What is Organisational Politics? | Political Tactics | Causes

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Politics is a word that everybody know. But, do you know what is organisational politics? If no, then you will get to know and learn something new and interesting.

So, let’s start this article where you come to know many things related to organisational politics such as its causes, tactics, and management.


What is Organisational Politics?

As we know that politics in an Organisation or anywhere is an unavoidable part. 

On this earth, billions of people leave with different mindsets, which ultimately create different opinions and conflicts. 

It is frequently seeing that politics happens more on top managerial levels rather than at lower managerial levels in the Organisation.

There were two organisational behaviour experts Newstrom and Davis who describe a definition for Organisational politics as – 

“Intentional behaviour’s that are designed to enhance /protect a person’s influence and self-interest”.

It is also mentioned that if politics be practice professionally then it creates a big difference in the Organisation. 

Like it could result in someone promotion, increase in responsibility, increase in personal status, and reputation in the Organisation. 

But nowadays everyone’s try to get their benefits and interest at any cost. Which leads to ultimate loss for Organisation objectives and vision.

What are the Tactics used in Organisation politics? 

Top managers and leaders use a lot of political tactics in the Organisation to get the Organisation at the top and gain lots of power. 

So here I want to share with you some of the tactics which the Organisation used-

Social Exchanges- 

It is the type of tactic use by lots of Organisations. Here in which they try to provide benefits and favours to other organizations, and in return, they expect the same through them. 

Social exchanges are simply means if you did something good for me then I will do the same. 

But here certain uncertainty factors are also there like sometimes the opposite does not give you favour, irrespective of any reason.

So, it should be taken by the Organisation that not always the others convince.

Selective service-

 In this type of tactic, Organisations try to give the selected service to their supporter, and in any case, there is some problem then try to delay it. 

E.g. If an employee who is a true supporter of the admin department, go and want some favour then it should be given, but at the same time if any other employee asks for something who is not a supporter, then the Organisation try to delay or neglect it, till the time the person does not forget it at all.


What is Organisational Politics?

 It is a type of politics where two similar thinking individuals come together so they become big and powerful. And also, they are now able to influence others.

For example, the sales manager and finance manager come together.

Power and status symbols- 

In this type of politics, the employee tries to impress others by showing their power and status. 

For example, finance managers do furnish chambers and using top brand equipment.

Identification with higher authority- 

It is a type of politics which frequently done by peoples in an Organisation. 

In this, an employee tries to attach someone more powerful than him, and also, he should be a successful person in the Organisation.

After all this, the ultimate results are the higher position person protects the other guy by giving some benefits. 

Control of information-

 As you all know that in today’s world the information of an Organisation is very important. 

Data is all responsible for a company successful or not. Due to this it also a political tactic used by people for blackmailing and all.


 it is like friendship with another circle. In company, some employee also tries this type of tactics, where they try to connect with influential people, like connect with boss friends circle.

Power plays a vital role- 

Here the manager tries to use their power and relocate a particular department employee to other departments for their benefits.

Here we complete some of the tactics which are used by the employee, top managers, and Organisation for their benefits. 

Because of several risks’ factors like the nature of a person and all. 

So here I am going to introduce a new topic which tells us how to protect ourselves while we using several political tactics.

Impression Management-

It is a type of management that is generally be taken care of in Organisational politics because in this we have to take care of our self to protect ourselves from others. 

Also, at this time we have to create a self-good image in the eyes of others. 

It is a process in which we try to attempt to control the impressions of our self. 

Examples of this are like giving nonverbal signals to the boss or always smiling are common in this management.

So, there are certain more techniques which are there to boost our image. 

This technique comes under two different categories which are as follows-

Self-enhancement in organisational politics

It is referring to a technique in which people wants their self-appeal for other eyes or increase their self-awareness. 

Certain techniques come under this-

Firstly, like do well dressing and grooming to attracts others and also boost your owns appearance. 

For example, the use of eyeglasses, to look like an intelligent fellow.

Secondly, like always tell positive things of self to others. 

This person tries to flaunt to others by giving examples like I am doing an extremely difficult task and so on.

Other enhancements in organisational politics

 In this type of technique, individuals try to make other person or target person feels good in various ways like always talk in positive moods. Some of the different other enhancement techniques.   

  • Always do flattery with another person by telling your achievement.
  • Always try to give your views by aligning with the person.
  • Try to show interest in the target person.
  • Take feedback and advice from the target person.
  • Show others that your liking and other liking are the same.
  • E.g.-eye contact, smiling, etc.

It is also showing in research that self-enhancement and other enhancement both show an exponential success rate. 

Like increase impressions, positive feelings, and so on.

However sometimes this both techniques may backfire and give you negative results rather than positive. This is because of the overuse of this technique.

Causes of Organisational Political Politics-

It is observed that there is a difference in political behaviour across groups in the Organisation. 

Some of the Organisation has a lot of politics and some Organisation having less. 

Also, in research, it is found that political behaviours are coming from both individual and Organisational factors. This is also bifurcated in two different factors

Individual Factors

We know that lots of individuals with certain mindsets and personality is likely to engage in political behaviour-

Persons who are very high on themselves as self-monitoring are likely to be involved because their anxiety of society comes into the picture, they are very sensitive and always try to be best from others.

Individuals who think that they know how to control everything like any environment in an Organisation.

This type of person always tries to manipulate thinks and do politics.

There is a certain tendency is also where an individual engages in politics:

Investment in a job-

A person is less likely to do illegitimate political behaviour when he spends or invested lots of money into it and also a hope for future benefits.

Job alternatives- 

persons or individual is more likely to engage in illegitimate political politics when they have lots of job alternatives, skills and knowledge, etc.

Expectations of success- 

it is always seen that expectations of high success and also large dreams tend the people mind to go for illegitimate pollical politics.

Organisational factors-

After completing a lot of talks on individual factors, lets now shift our focus to Organisational factors. 

This factor has always a greater influence than an individual one. Due to certain situations, the Organisation tends to do this. 

Some factors which are pushing the political behaviours are-

Declining resources-

In certain tough times like during the times of downsizing, it was seen that there was scarce of resources, so at that time employee try to engage in politics and protect the resources what they have.

Promotional opportunities- 

When there was a promotional environmental atmosphere is created everyone tries to intend that I want these opportunities. 

But due to limited promotion opportunities, employees try to get into politics.

Low Trust- 

Sometimes it was seen that the bonding between low levels and top levels employee is not that trustworthy, and all two parties feel a low trust. And they tend to go to politics.

Rewarding of political behaviours-

When an employee sees that their fellow employer gets a reward and also their career graph growth is going high and irrespective of this he is also in political behaviour, then at that, he also starts approach to politics.


In conclusion, organizational politics are a normal part of the workplace. However, it is important that organizations create an environment whereby politics don’t become destructive.

Also, you can read our blog on The PVI Model – Standing Out From the Crowd


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causes of political politics,Organisational politics,politics,type of politics
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