SECOND EDITION Looking Back and to the Future
Research Handbooks in Business and Management series
Edited by Eran Vigoda-Gadot and Amos Drory
Chapter 12: Organizational politics and a maturity model: an integration and extension of existing models and dimensions
This chapter describes the development of an organizational politics maturity model based on a qualitative study of organizational politics involving 14 individual in-depth interviews conducted across three organizations. The organizational politics maturity model integrates and extends previous conceptualizations of organizational politics and acknowledges the reality of both “good” and “bad” organizational politics. Existing definitions, dimensions and measures of organizational political behaviour, political skill, perceptions of organizational politics and power bases are first described at varying levels of analysis. Next, we overview our recent qualitative research aimed at developing a greater understanding of organizational politics in contemporary organizational contexts, including whether employees perceive organizational politics to be both positive and negative. We then propose a maturity model of organizational politics that can help organizations assess, manage and develop organizational politics in their particular context. The maturity model proposes five levels of organizational politics perceptions: unaware, reactive, reluctant, strategic and integrated. The maturity model also incorporates five categories of political behaviour that correspond to five established bases of organizational power: connection power, information power, coercive power, positional power and personal power. We conclude by considering the practical, theoretical and research implications of the model. We aim to contribute an understanding of organizational politics that both integrates and extends existing negatively skewed conceptualizations and that, looking into the future, will have useful application for theory and practice.
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