power_resistance_and_decision_making

Report
Topic 4: Power, Resistance and Decision
Making
Developed by Dr. Ruth Barton
&
Dr. Margaret Heffernan, OAM RMIT University
Aims of the lecture
Questions of power
Hoe power works; 4 faces of power
Resistance and control
Types of resistance
Decision making
Theories of decision making; factors that
enhance and limit decision making
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2
Questions of Power
Who has
power?
How is
influence
achieved?
What is power?
Several
dimensions
and bases
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How is power
obtained
in
organisations?
POWER
What
alternative
theories and
perspectives
are there?
What of
resistance?
Another form
of power?
3
How Does Power Work in Organisations?
Organisations
are
hierarchical
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Power
as the
ability
to control
social interaction
What is Power?
Normative
(most
rational
way of
organising
power)
Realpolitik
(how does
power
actually
operate)
An
individual
capacity?
Two
broad
traditions
OB blind
towards
power
Property of the
person or
collective?
Power as the
prerogative of
wise or
wealthy men?
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(Source: Thompson and McHugh 2009:256)
5
Power in Mainstream Theory
Bases of power
► Reward
► Coercive
► Referent
► Legitimate
► Expert
(French & Raven 1959)
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Trend spotting as
Power
information power in the
advertising industry
Control over information
flow
 legitimate power
 More power to those who
can help firms cope with
uncertainty in contemporary
business
Power : Mainstream Theory
• The Four ‘Faces’ of
Power
Economic
►Coercion
► Manipulation
Coercive
Ideological
(Runciman 1999)
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► Domination
► Subjectification
(Fleming and Spicer 2007)
1st Face of Power: Coercion
Direct coercion
getting another person to
do something that might
not have been done.
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2nd Face of Power - Manipulation
►Of agendas: ‘behind the
scenes’ politicking
3 processes
► Anticipation of results
► Mobilisation of bias
► Rule and norm making
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►Exclusion from decision
making authority
►Power as manipulation:
There is no direct
exercise of power but an
implicit shaping of issues
considered important or
irrelevant.
3rd Face of Power - Domination
►Over the preferences and opinions of
participants
►Power that shapes our preferences, attitudes
and political outlook
►Used in the design and implementation of
paradigmatic frameworks
►Forms of life e.g. profit
►Ideology
►Technical rationality
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4th Face of Power - Subjectification
►People are moulded with certain understandings of
themselves and the world around them
►The organisation moulds people into a certain type
►Use knowledge to produce compliance
►Culture of the customer
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“A wide range of behaviour – from failure to
work very hard or conscientiously, to not
working at all, deliberate output restriction,
practical joking, pilferage and sabotage.”
(Ackroyd and Thompson, 1999 cited in Fleming and Spicer, 2007)
“Resistance constitutes a form of
power exercised by subordinates
in the workplace.”
(Collinson, 1994 cited in Fleming and Spicer, 2007)
Resistance
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12
Resistance as Refusal
► 1st face of power is coercion
► Resistance is refusal to do what the person
in the position of power tells him / her to do
► Aim is to block the effects of power by
undermining the domination rather than
changing it
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Resistance as Voice
►2nd face of power operates through nonparticipation
► Resistance is to gain access to power in order to
express voice
►Internal: interest groups, trade unions
►External: social movements
►Sabotage
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Resistance as Escape
► 3rd face of power is domination
► Escape is to mentally disengage from
the world of work
► Tools are
►Cynicism
►scepticism
►dis-identification
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Resistance as Creation
• 4th face of power is subjectification
• Involves using domination to create something
that was not intended by those in authority
• May make use of parody e.g. Union newsletter
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“A decision is often defined as a
product of decision making processes.
Recent researchers argue that
managers often seek to avoid making
decisions or obscure them, often to
avoid accountability for courses of
action that are subsequently
seen as misguided.”
Decision making
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Linstead & Fulop 2009: 669
17
Traditional decision-making theories and ‘choice’
Decision making: a response to a situation requiring
a choice.
Unitary
approach
Pluralist
approach
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• A general agreement about
organisational goals and the
best means to achieve
them.
• Emphasises conflict & power
struggles between individuals &
coalitions in organisations in
circumstances where participants
have substantial knowledge and
information.
Linstead & Fulop 2009: 671
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Types of ‘choice’
Clear choice
Competing
choice
Choice
avoidance
Choice
suppression
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• Which two products to adopt.
Straightforward
• Alternatives of improving profitability
• Occurs when issues arising require
resolution
• When information is distorted or
suppressed
Linstead & Fulop 2009: 672
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Types of decision processes
Sporadic
Fluid
decision
Constricted
decision
Informal
Will suffer from
delays
Flow, formally
channelled,
Speedy &
predictable
Narrowly
channelled,
technical
information
Information from
various sources
of expertise
Time delays
Information from
fewer sources
Fewer delays
Decision made
by experts
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Linstead & Fulop 2009: 671
20
Models of decision Making
Rational
• Decisions are made after careful
evaluation of alternative courses of action
Administrative
/ Bureaucratic
• Questions whether managers are capable
of making fully rational decisions
Garbage-can
Political
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• Introduces the idea that decisions are
really problems looking for solutions
Examines the role of powerful decision
making groups (‘dominant coalitions’) and
why many decisions are really ‘nondecisions’
Source: Thompson and McHugh 2009,Table 18.1: 273-4
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The rational decision model
Recognition and
definition of a
problem
Assumptions
► Problem clarity
Search for alternative
courses of action
► Known options
► Clear preferences
► Constant preferences
Gathering and
analysing data
► Maximum pay-off
► No time or cost constraints
Identification and
application of choice
criteria
Evaluation of
alternatives in relation
to choice criteria
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► Outcome will be rational
Implementation of decision
(Bratton et al. 2010: 411; Linstead & Fulop 2009:674; Nelson et al. 2012:150 )
Bureaucratic / administrative model
Based on the
actual behaviour
of decision
makers
Assumptions
Managers:
There are cognitive
or mental limits to
human rationality
Decision making is
governed by
bounded rationality
Influence of nonrational elements in
humans
Satisfices
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► Select the first satisfactory alternative
Are comfortable making decisions
without determining the alternatives
► Make decisions by short cuts or
heuristics (managers make decisions
on what has worked in the past)
► Satisfice – because of cost of ‘best
choice’
Decision made on ‘best in
the circumstances’
(Bratton et al. 2010: 411; Linstead & Fulop 2009:676; Nelson et al. 2012:151 )
Garbage-can decision model
Difficulty
Organised
anarchy
► Failure to account for the
political activity of
participants who encourage
conditions of organised
anarchy, or who exploit
them for particular
advantage.
Not clear if an
issue is a problem,
or a solution to a
problem
Reaction to
circumstances
Total demands on
the decision
makers at the time
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(Linstead & Fulop 2009:683)
Implementation of decision
Political decision model
Recognises the
role of conflict and
conflict resolution
in the decisionmaking process
Difficulty
Pluralistic in nature
Recognises the
role of
stakeholders in the
organisation
Decision making is
about reconciling
stakeholders
interests
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(Linstead & Fulop 2009:685)
► The pluralist approach
does not explain how
decisions can be made or
avoided in organisations
because of the influence or
pressure of external groups
who may form part of a
dominant coalition.
Implementation of decision
‘Z’ Model of Decision Making
Look at the facts
and details
Sensing
Intuition
What are the facts?
Be specific and realistic.
List all relevant details.
Be clear.
Can it be
analysed
objectively?
Consider the
# consequences of each
alternative
# cause and effect of each
action
If you were not involved, what
would you suggest?
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What alternatives
do the facts suggest?
Let your imagination
run wild.
Brainstorm.
Consider various solutions
Thinking
Feeling
What impact will it
have on those
involved?
Is it something you
can live with?
How do you feel about the
action?
What hunches do you have
about others’ reactions?
Pfeffer’s Four Organisational Decision-Making Models
DIMENSION
RATIONAL
(Unitary)
BUREAUCRATIC
(unitary)
GARBAGE CAN
(pluralist)
POLITICAL POWER
(pluralist)
PREFERENCES
&
GOALS
Consistent
among
participants
Reasonably consistent
Unclear, ambiguous,
may be constructed
afterwards
to legitimise actions
Inconsistent, diverse
or conflicting goals
& preferences
POWER
&
CONTROL
Focuses on
hierarchical
authority
Less centralised ,
still legitimate authority
Very decentralised,
anarchic; power is also
recognised
Shifting coalitions
&interest groups who
have power but not
necessarily authority
DECISION
Orderly,
rational
Procedural rationality
embodied in programmes
&standard operating
procedures
EXPECTED
RESULTS
& OUTCOMES
Maximisation
&
optimisation
Follow from
‘satisficing’ mode
Unclear, ambiguous
Power & stabilisation
of demands
INFORMATION
Extensive
&systematic
information gathering
Reduced by the use of
rules & procedures
information
Haphazard collection &
use of information
Information used
&
withheld strategically
Stability, fairness
Playfulness
Conflict & power
struggles among
relatively equal
opponents
PROCESS
REQUIREMENTS
RATIONALE
Efficiency
&effectiveness in
achieving agreed-to
performance criteria
Ad hoc
(Adapted from Table 14.2, p.686 in Linstead et al. 2009)
Disorderly, characterised
by push & pull of interest
groups
Escalation of Commitment
Limitation that all decision
making models share
Unwillingness to
abandon a bad
decision, or continuing The desire to win is a
motivation to continue
to support a failing
course of action, even
to escalate
when substantial costs
are incurred
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Source: Nelson et al. 2012:151
28
Techniques of decision making
Types of decision
Traditional decision-making
techniques
Modern decision-making
techniques
1.Programmed
► Routine, repetitive
decisions;
organisation develops
specific processes for
handling them.
► Low uncertainty and
low ambiguity
► Habit
► Clerical routine: standard
operating procedures,
policies, manuals
► Organisation structure –
know your place
► Systems of sub-goals
► Well-defined information
channels
► Operations research
mathematical models,
computer simulations
► Electronic data
processing
► Management
information systems
2. Non-programmed
► Judgment, intuition ,
► One-shot, illcreativity
structured novel policy ► Rule of thumb (by top
decisions.
management)
► Handled by general
non-routine problemsolving processes.
► High uncertainty and
ambiguity.
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Heuristic (problem solving)
techniques applied to:
► constructing computer
models
► brainstorming
► counter-planning
► simulation
(Linstead & Fulop 2009:Table 14.1: 677)
Influences of Decision Making
Individuals differ in
risk behaviour
Risk, risk
aversion
Enablers
and
barriers to
creativity
Personality,
attitudes,
values
Organisation
Environment
Influences
4 stages:
Preparation
Incubation
Illumination
Verification
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Creativity
Intuition
(Source: nelson et al. 2012: 153)
Ability to make
judgment about a
situation based on a
‘hunch’.
30
Group Decision making
Synergy = 1 + 1 = 3
Advantages
Disadvantages
More knowledge and
information
Pressure to conform
Greater understanding
of the decision
Domination by one
forceful member
Member involvement
Time required to make
a decision
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Nelson et al. 2012: 157
31
Levels of organisational decision-making
behaviour
Level of
analysis
Theoretical
Key issues
Approaches
Theories of
Effects of power
Organisation organisation
and conflict
power, conflict and
decision making
Group
Individual
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Constraints
1.Multiple ongoing tasks
2.Historical precedents
3.HRM systems
4.Time constraints
1.Group
conformity, group
dynamics, group
size, and networks
Effects of group
dynamics,
individual
perceptions and
behaviours
1. Group norms
2. Group think
1.Informationprocessing theory
2. Cognitive
psychology
1.Information
overload
2.Personal biases
1.Information processing
failures
2.Perceptual biases
3.Intuition and emotion
4.Escalation of
commitment
Negative factors arising from group cohesiveness
Groupthink
Moral
judgment and
reality testing
are
suspended
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Often occurs
with high risk
decisions in
high-status
groups with
dominant
leadership
Source: Thompson and McHugh 2009:375
High stress
conditions and
threats to selfesteem
33
Symptoms of Groupthink
• Conform and
reach consensus
• Unpopular ideas
may be
suppressed
• Members who
oppose the group
are stereotyped as
weak, evil or
stupid.
Leads members to be
convinced of the
logical correctness of
what
they are dong and
ignore
the ethical or moral
consequences of
decisions.
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Illusion of
invulnerability
Pressure
on
individuals
Group
consensus
Belief in the
inherent morality
of the group
• Excessive optimism
and risk taking
• Group believes it
cannot make a bad
decision
Leads to discounting
warnings and negative
information.
An illusion of unanimity
emerges
Self-censorships of any
deviation from group
norms.
Wood et al. 2010 : 103
34
Avoiding Groupthink
Can be avoided with some effort
Invite
Interaction consultants
Develop
with other and others alternative
to challenge
groups
plans
the group
Leaders need to be reflexive to assess their behaviour and stay impartial
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Source: Thompson and McHugh 2009:375
35
Group Polarisation
The tendency for group discussion to produce
shifts toward more extreme attitudes among
members.
Can be disastrous
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If individuals are
leaning towards a
dangerous decision they
are likely to support it
more strongly following
discussion.
Source: Nelson et al. 2012:160
36
Minimising Bias and Errors in Decision Making
Brainstorming
• Generation of free flowing multiple ideas
• Computer mediated brainstorming
Nominal group
technique
• Variation of brainstorming , independent
contribution
Stepladder
technique
• Discussion with two initial members, then
additional members added until all group
members have joined the discussion
Delphi
technique
Structured team decision-making process of
pooling the collective knowledge of subject
experts
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Bratton et al. 2010 :425
References
• Bratton, J, Sawchuck, P, Forshaw, C, Callinan, M, & Corbett, M 2010, Work and Organization
Behaviour, 2nd edn, Palgrave MacMillan, UK. Chapter 15: Decision Making and Ethics, pp.407-432
• Clegg, S, Courpasson, D and Phillips, N (2007) Power and Organisations, London: SAGE.
• Edwards, P and Wajcman, J (2005) The Politics of Working Life, OUP: Oxford.
• Fleming, P and Spicer, A (2007) Contesting the Corporation: Struggle, Power and Resistance in
Organisations, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
• Haslam, SA, 2004, Psychology in organisations: the social identity approach, 2nd edn, Sage
London. Chapter 6: Group decision making, pp.99-119
• Knights, D (2009) ‘Power at Work in Organisations’, in Alvesson, M, Bridgman, T and Willmott, H
(eds) The Oxford handbook of Critical Management Studies, Oxford: OUP.
• Linstead S, Fulop, L, Lilley, S 2009, Management and Organization: A critical text, 2nd edn, Palgrave
MacMillan, London. Chapter 14: Decision making in organisations, pp. 667-708
• Nelson, DL, Quick, JC, Wright, S,& Adams, C 2012, OrgB Asia-Pacific Edition, Cengage, Sydney.
Chapter 10: Decision making by individuals and groups, pp. 148-164
• Thompson, P, & McHugh, D, 2009 Work Organisations: A critical approach, Palgrave Macmillan,
London. Chapter 24: From groups to teams, pp. 369-387
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