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Power, Politics, and Organizational Change

Power, Politics, and Organizational Change

Third Edition
  • David Buchanan - Cranfield University, UK
  • Richard Badham - University of Sydney, Australia, Macquarie Graduate School of Management, Macquarie University, Australia

May 2020 | 344 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

Organization politics can be seen as a game in which players compete for different kinds of territory such as status, power, and influence.

In Power, Politics and Organizational Change, David Buchanan and Richard Badham ask: What’s the relevance of politics to change and innovation? What kind of game is this? What, if any, are the rules? How is the game played? What ethical issues arise? Should one play this game to win, and if so, how? How can you develop political expertise?

The third edition has been thoroughly updated and revised. This includes discussion of current trends heightening the importance of developing political will and skill in a post-truth era, the rise of ‘new power’, the role of ‘BS busting’, the power of storytelling, and the politics of speaking up.


Chapter 1: Power: what is it, and how do I get more?
Chapter 2: Political behaviour: power in action
Chapter 3: But is it ethical?
Chapter 4: Cutting the bullshit
Chapter 5: It is different for women
Chapter 6: Telling tales
Chapter 7: Speaking up
Chapter 8: Power assisted steering: accounting and winning
Chapter 9: Political expertise: why you need it and how to develop it

"It is foolish to ignore or marginalise the role of power and politics in organisational change, yet many practitioners and academics do just that. Fortunately, this must-read book addresses these issues in a clear, concise and practical manner. The first two editions of this book were excellent and very welcome. This edition provides a timely update, building on the quality of the previous editions, especially in terms of its reinterpretation of Machiavelli’s work. I would strongly recommend it to anyone involved in change, whether student, academic or practitioner."

Professor Bernard Burnes
Stirling Management School, University of Stirling, UK

"It is an original, well written, frank and insightful book that combines academic knowledge with a good and valuable sense of the realities of organisational life and change projects.”

Professor Mats Alvesson
Lund University, Sweden

"Long regarded as a realist’s guide to management (as opposed to much of the management literature that often appears to have a reality deficit ion its recipes for success), Power, Politics and Organizational Change is now in its third edition. It really is a new improved version and bang up to date. A new generation of students, introduced to the necessity of political skills, entrepreneurship and power steering, will be better able to navigate the potholes and pratfalls of the corporate landscape and its rhetoric as a result of reading this book and thus be better agents of change or resistance to its more outlandish claims."

Professor Stewart Clegg
University of Technology Sydney, Australia

I never received an inspection copy

Mr Zoran Sušanj
Department of Psychology, University of Rijeka
December 14, 2021

Excellent text which provides a good balance of academic theory and application for practitioners.

Dr Deirdre Anderson
Cranfield School of Management, Cranfield University
October 28, 2021