Organizational politics involves intentional acts of influence to enhance or protect the self interest of individuals or groups. As long as people with diversified personal interests and self centeredness work together, official Squabbles will always be there. This is common in all Organizations.Everyone has got their own agenda according to Ganesh Ramachandran(LIME). However not all politics are bad. In fact, politics are a part of human interaction. Office politics are the strategies that people play to gain knowledge personally or for the cause they support; sometimes, the strategies people use to seek advantage at the expense of others or the greater good often affecting the working environment and relationships within it.
Work politics are inevitable because: decisions at work are impacted by work-related goals as well as personal factors hence a doorway for conflict, employees and teams often have to compete for limited resources to satisfy needs and objectives (survival for the fittest), some have more powers than others based on hierarchy and influence, for many gaining recognition and promotion is core and can create a misalignment of team and individual goals. Most employees are passionate about the decisions they make at work as a result may encourage politics in a bid be heard. In addition, bosses who are immature, illogical or otherwise present a functional disability and emotional incompatibility, subjective performance standards, unclear job definitions and emotional insecurity contribute to office politics.
Marie.G. McIntyre in her book: Secrets to Winning at Office Politics describes political types in the office namely:Corporate Sharks: (strive to look good) these category score very highly, they tend to use other people to enhance their career and climb up the ladder, they are power hungry, ruthless and devious. E.g. a supervisor who only allows the positive information to get to his boss and ignores the negative, employees under such a person face the risk of getting fired if they do not agree to his/ her ideals or openly defy him.
Climbers: (power by association) good score, there is a high possibility of success, thrive on politics by campaigning in the office to the best of their ability. E.g. an employee who sees his/her job as a competitive game and will use all possible networks and activities to prove himself and bring profitability.
Survivors: These category scores average, well aware of the office politics but get involves enough just to get by, and does whatever possible activity they can to stay afloat. E.g. A secretary who spends lunch breaks with colleagues in different departments to stay informed on the latest gossip or news.
Straight Arrow: Scores a little below average, not perceived as a politician, may neglect to cultivate key networks and in people that would help in career advancement, strong believer of “Honesty is the best policy” (we all know them).
Lamb of Slaughter: Scores way below average, does not believe in office politics, brags about never practicing office politics, often eaten by the sharks.
It is important to identify the true powers and players of the game at work, what motivates them, the favored behaviors and status symbols therein.