You are here

Due to a disruption with our fulfilment partner, we are unable to take print book orders on our website. We recommend purchasing via retailers and online via

Digital inspection copies are still available to request. If you require a print inspection copy, please contact your local Academic Sales Consultant.

For further assistance please visit our Contact us page. Thank you for your patience and we apologise for the inconvenience.

Political Behavior in Organizations

Political Behavior in Organizations

November 2008 | 320 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
Political Behavior in Organizations includes a summary of power and influence in organizations. The text blends research, theory, experience and skill building into a comprehensive yet concise book designed for understanding and application.

Key features include:

- captivating case histories for analysis, both from the media and original stories;

- political skill-building exercise for each chapter;

- self-assessment quizzes;

- introductory cases at the beginning of each chapter.

Part I The Nature and Context of Political Behavior in Organizations
Chapter 1 The Nature and Causes of Organizational Politics
The Meaning of Organizational Politics

The Importance of Political Behavior for Career Advancement and Organizational Performance

How Interpersonal Influence Behavior Facilitates the Pathway to the Boardroom

Political Behavior and Organizational Performance

Factors Contributing to Political Behavior in Organizations

Organizational Factors

Individual Factors

A Framework of Effective Use of Organizational Politics


Questions and Activities

Case Problem: The Curious Behavior CEO of Steve Heuer

Political Skill-Building Exercise 1: What Are Office Politics?


Chapter 2 The Organizational Context and Ethics of Political Behavior
Dimensions of Organizational Culture Related to Organizational Politics

Diagnosing the Organizational Culture and Climate for Political Behavior

Sizing up the Situation Related to Political Behavior

Preferences of the Work Unit Manager

Work Group Influences on Political Behavior

Dimensions of National Culture Values Influencing Organizational Politics

Ethical Considerations in Organizational Politics

The Intentions of the Political Actor

A Test of Ethics Based on Moral Principles


Questions and Activities

Case Study: Pay for Play at the North Carolina Treasurer’s Office

Political Skill-Building Exercise 2: Creating an Organizational Story with an Underlying Meaning


Part II Strategies and Tactics of Positive Organizational Politics
Chapter 3 Major Initiatives for Acquiring Power
The Sources and Types of Power

Position Power

Personal Power

Performing a Power Analysis

Strategies and Tactics for Acquiring Power

Perform Well and Establish a Good Reputation

Form Alliances with Powerful People

Attract a Powerful Mentor

Be Grandiose, Audacious, and Flamboyant

Be Visibly Kind

Be an Extraordinary Strategist

Make a Quick Showing

Turn Around a Failure or a Crisis

Share Power and Ask for Assistance

Make a Powerful Appearance

The Abuse of Power with Organizations


Questions and Activities

Case Study: Big Eddie Lambert Likes to Deal

Political Skill-Building Exercise 3: Creating an Impression of Power


Chapter 4 Upward Relations
Organizational Citizenship Behavior as Organizational Politics

Impression Management

Contextual Variables Influencing Impression Management

Specific Tactics of Impression Management

A Variety of Relationship Builders with Superiors

Understand your Manager’s Style and Work Preferences

Help Your Manager Succeed

Engage in Favorable Interactions with Your Manager

Be Loyal in a Variety of Ways

Flatter Your Manager with Sincerity

Strive for Ample and Open Communication

Dealing with a Difficult Boss


Questions and Activities

Case Study: The Image Doctor Will See You Now

Political Skill-Building Exercise 4: Engaging in Effective Flattery


Chapter 5 Lateral Relations
The Positive Consequences of Good lateral Relations

Political Tactics for Coworker Relationships

Engage in Interpersonal Citizenship Behavior

Engage in Positive Coworker Exchanges

Participate in Positive Gossip and Small Talk

Supplement E-Mail with More Personal Contact

Repair Damage Quickly

Political Tactics for Enhancing Team Play

Contribute to the Team Culture

Demonstrate Confidence and Trust in Teammates

Give Credit to Others

Follow the Law of Reciprocity

Participate in Healthy Competition

Assist Teammates in Trouble

Cooperate During Teamwork Training

Individual Recognition and Positive Lateral Relations


Questions and Activities

Case Study: Passed Over Pete

Political Skill-Building Exercise 5: High-Quality Exchanges with Coworkers


Chapter 6 Downward Relations
Leader-Member Exchange (LMX) and Downward Relations

Different Quality Relationships

First Impressions

The Path-Goal Theory of Leadership and Downward Relations

Humanistic Leadership Practices for Building Downward Relations

Mix Humility and Self-Confidence

Communicate Trust in Others and Minimize Micromanagement

Engage in Face-to-Face Communication

Assist in the Development of Subordinates

Be Civil yet Maintain Professional Distance

Give Emotional Support and Encouragement

Begin a New Position with a Listening Tour

Share Credit with the Team

Avoid Being the Abominable No Man or Woman

Politically Astute Leadership Practices for Building Downward Relations

Use Authority Prudently

Achieve Buy-In for Initiatives

Encourage Democracy Including Power Sharing

Use a Leadership Style Different from Your Predecessor

Be Prudent in Dealing with Former Coworkers

Encourage and Welcome Group Members of Superior Intelligence

Solicit and Welcome Feedback

Be a Servant Leader


Questions and Activities

Case Problem: Micro Mike

Skill-Building Exercise 6: The Effective Leader

Chapter 7 Influence Tactics
Interpersonal Level Influence Tactics

Be Persuasive

Exchange Favors and Benefits

Ingratiate Yourself to Others

Be an Alpha Executive

Negotiate Sensibly

Be Low Key

Be Agreeable and Apologize when Necessary

Group and Organizational-Level Influence Tactics

Form Coalitions

Engage in Cooptation with the Other Side

Display Expertise

Use Charisma

Display Skill in a Foreign Language

Be a Maverick or an Iconoclast

Appeal to Superordinate Goals

Be Cool Under Pressure

Place Spin on Negative Events

Relative Effectiveness and Sequencing of Influence Tactics

Relative Effectiveness of Influence Tactics

Sequencing of Influence Tactics


Questions and Activities

Case Study: The Coal Man Speaks

Political Skill-Building Exercise 7: Applying Influence Tactics


Chapter 8 Social Networks within Organizations
Social Network Theory

Social Capital and the Importance of Ties

Strength of Ties among Network Members

Social Network Analysis

Internal and External Networks in Organizations

Internal Networks

External Networks

Internet-Mediated Social Networking for Business

How Leaders Use Internal and External Networks

Social Networks and Group and Organizational Performance

Group Performance and Social Networking

Organizational Performance and Social Networking

Social Networks and Career Advancement

Suggestions for Building and Maintaining Social Networks

Networking Suggestions Based on Scholarly Research

Networking Suggestions Based on Experience and Intuition


Questions and Activities

Case Study: Networking Ashley

Political Skill-Building Exercise 8: Building Your Network


Part III Negative Tactics, Blunders, and Overcoming Dysfunctional Politics
Chapter 9 Negative Political Tactics and Blunders
Negative Political Tactics

Hostile Behavior toward Others

Shrewd Tricks

Political Blunders

Political Blunders and Emotional Intelligence

Career Retarding Blunders

Blunders Leading to Embarrassment and Minor Setbacks

Recovering from Blunders

Damage Control after a Major Error the Job


Questions and Activities

Case Study: The Wal-Mart Adventures of Julie Roehm

Political Skill-Building Exercise 9: Blunder Recovery and Damage Control

Chapter 10 The Control of Dysfunctional Politics
The Perception of Dysfunctional Politics in Organizations

Organizational and Individual Factors Associated with Perceptions of Politics

The Impact of Perception of Organizational Politics on Performance

The Consequences of Dysfunctional Politics

Managerial Control of Dysfunctional Politics

Create a Prosperous Organization

Set Good Examples at the Executive Level

Establish a Climate of Open Communication

Develop Congruence between Individual and Organizational Goals

Minimize Favoritism and Have Objective Standards of Performance

Reward Honest Feedback

Emphasize Teams to Reduce Self-Serving Behavior

Threaten to Discuss Questionable Information Publicly

Hire People with Integrity and Honesty

Protecting Yourself against Negative Politics

Understand Political Forces within the Organization

Develop a Clean Record and a Positive Reputation

Extend an Olive Branch to Rivals

Confront Backstabbers


Questions and Activities

Case Study: The Nightmare in the Logistics Department

Political Skill-Building Exercise 10: Confronting the Backstabber in the Logistics Department




"Right read in times of downsizing, to survive workplace politics."

D. Murali
The Hindu News Service

"Billed as 'the first true textbook' on the subject."


"Western's unique approach to examining leadership with practical examples and references from many disciplines makes the book a very interesting read."

Nella A. Roberts
Florida International University

For instructors

This book is not available as an inspection copy. For more information contact your local sales representative.

Purchasing options

Please select a format:

ISBN: 9781412954617