MH Components limited is a company that has undergone various problems that mainly revolve around principles of power and organizational politics and failure to achieve managerial roles. Organizational power and politics refer to the influence process that occurs within the work setting. The manager has the formal authority over an organizational subunit and some of his roles include interpersonal, informational, and decisional roles. This report discusses principles of power and organizational politics, and managerial roles in the case study.
Principles of power and organizational politics
Organizations are more or less social structures whereby there is a constant struggle for resources and influence tactics by people to achieve objectives in different ways. Organizational politics involve the behavior that individuals in organizations engage in to maximize the short-term or long term interests. This contradicts collective organization goals that every individual in the work setting is required to help accomplish. According to Ferris & Kacmar (1992), power and organizational politics is a self-serving behaviour that aims to achieve personal interests at the expense of other peoples’ interests and the interest of an organization. For instance, a politically oriented senior manager in a company would use the performance evaluation structure to show favoritism to certain individuals or even self-promotion.
Alternatively, a politically oriented manager can use their position to pursue their own selfish interests. For instance, at MH Components LTD, the deputy MD Peter Jones secured a 15 million contract in 2010 to secure the topmost position of MD in the company. An individual who considers himself to be in a political setting understands that hard work will not always be rewarded. However, since power ensures success, such an individual would concentrate his efforts on alliance building. Such behavior in the work setting is likely to cause some individuals less happy or committed to putting more effort in maintaining an organization. Such a scenario is replicated in MH Components limited whereby Mr Jones is not interested or committed to meet with junior managers of the company and address some of the problems that the company is facing. Jones even claims that it is not up to junior managers to arrange meetings with him or tell him what to do. The only thing that appears to interest him is the senior position he holds at the company. In addition, there is misuse of power by the senior personnel at the company as they do not transmit policies and organizational plans to other company sites, do not look into labour relations, and the senior managers are mainly based in London. Some of the company employees feel like London is the “power centre” of the company.
Organizational behavior is often accompanied by behavior that is associated with manipulation, subversive behavior, and excessive use of power to attain personal interests (Vigoda, 2000, p. 336). Jones appears to have this behavior as he blames stress and great deals of problems at the company since 2012. In addition, he does not want to address the problems facing the company, and he uses his power to dismiss the junior managers and their efforts to address the problems facing the company.
According to Parker et al., employees who perceive politics in an organization consider the organization less supportive or innovative (Parker et al, 1997, p 23). In addition, organizational politics leads to decreased employee satisfaction, increased job anxiety and withdrawal from an organization. This explains why employees at MH Components feel out of touch from the company, feel demotivated about their views being ignored, and even consider a strike. It is clear that there is misuse of power by the senior personnel at the company and there is a lot of organizational politics. It appears as if the senior managers are safeguarding their interests at the expense of the junior employees and the general interests of the company. Power and organizational politics appear to be contributing to or aggravating most of the company’s problems.
Mintzberg considers a manager to be the person who is in charge of an organization, department or a subunit (Mintzberg, 1990, p. 4). As such, the manager has the formal authority over an organizational subunit. A manager has interpersonal, informational, and decisional roles. The interpersonal roles include being a figurehead whereby the manager should perform ceremonial duties and routine work, being a leader who motivates and encourages employees and reconcile individual interests with organizational interests, and have a liaison role whereby he makes contacts outside the chains of command.
Managers should therefore spend more time with their peers and subordinates and very little time with other managers. However, the interpersonal role of managers at MH Components is not being fulfilled. Managers are not encouraging employees or even motivating them. Instead of reconciling individual interests with organizational interests, managers at MH Components including Jones, are pursuing personal interests without paying attention to junior employees.
The informational roles of a manager according to Mintzberg (1990, p. 5) include monitoring whereby the manager collects information from liaison contacts, subordinates and personal contact, disseminating role whereby the manager passes information to subordinates who would not otherwise get such information, and spokesman role whereby the manager sends information to people outside the unit. When it comes to MH Components, managers have failed in the informational role as they do not collect or disseminate information to their subordinates. The consultants hired by Harris found out that senior managers do not transmit policies or liaise with other company sites at Cardiff Newcastle and Brighton. The other role of a manager, according to Mintzberg is decisional roles whereby he commits the unit he leads to new courses of action. A manager should be an entrepreneur who should seek to improve the unit by looking out for new ideas. A manager should also be a disturbance handler who initiates change and positively responds to pressure. Such pressures include employee dissatisfaction, strike looms or customer dissatisfaction (Koontz, & Weihrich, 1990, p. 18).
Another decisional role of the manager is to allocate resources, ensuring that activities are running smoothly. A manager should also be able to negotiate organizational resources. Managers at MH Components have also failed in the decisional roles as manager as they have not been able to address customer and employee dissatisfaction, the looming strike, and poor allocation of resources.