An Examination of the Causes, Prevention and Management of Organizational Politics in Cape Coast Polytechnic, Ghana

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background of the study

Organizations are social entities that involve a struggle for resources, personal conflicts, and a variety of influence tactics are executed by individuals and groups to obtain benefits and goals in different ways. Power and politics play a huge role in business, from governing how decisions are made to how employees interact with one another. In businesses big and small, the impact of power depends on whether employees use positive or negative power to influence others in the workplace. Politics may directly influence who has the power and determine whether the overall culture of the workplace encourages productivity. Organizational politics is endemic to organizations. People come to work situations with many goals, not just one unified goal. These goals invoke conflict and competition among workers in the organization. Chaudhary et al. (2012) observed that organizational politics involves amassing organizational power for personal benefits, rather than organizational objectives. George & Jones (2011) accepted that organizational politics can be dysfunctional for the organization, but when organizational interests integrate with employee interests and when used for the benefit of the organization, it can be functional and advantageous for the organization. Some of the personal advantages may include access to either tangible or intangible benefits such as status or pseudo-authority that influences the behavior of others. Both individuals and groups may engage in office politics, which can be highly destructive, as people focus on personal gains at the expense of the organization. ” Self-serving political actions can negatively influence our social groupings, cooperation, information sharing, and many other organizational functions. Hence, it is vital to pay attention to organizational politics and create the right political landscape. Generally, negative organizational politics stands to minimize the production of an organization and potentially undermine an organization’s ability to function at the most basic levels. Office politics can no doubt affect an employee’s work performance, because if an employee feels that no matter how hard he works, he will never receive recognition for his hard work just because he is not in the good graces of his line manager, it will certainly affect his performance. So he comes to work and does not put in the extra effort to ensure that the organization grows. This, in turn, leads to organizational initiative, innovation, morale, and performance. Some view organizational politics as a means for working through conflicts in organizations, and employees use their perception of organizational politics to make sense of the environment they work in. Although organizational politics can be destructive, organizations can develop a political culture that is easy for employees to understand. Establishing clear policies and chains of command makes it easier for employees to find the answers they need and spend more time producing quality work, which will also encourage productivity. On the other hand, organizations that develop climates of negativity and conflict will suffer as a result. If employees are encouraged to engage in dishonest or unethical behavior to get ahead, and favoritism trumps the quality of work, the organization faces a decrease in productivity and higher turnover rates.

1.2 Statement of the problem

Organisational politics is a reality which managers and employees usually grapple with and it affects organisational operations.Cape Coast Polytechnic, one of the ten polytechnics in Ghana, was established in 1984 and started operation in 1986 to provide middle manpower needs for the country. It has had its fair share of organizational politics. The Polytechnic has, since its establishment, been providing competency-based training to equip students to acquire skills much needed for service industry and commerce. Situated in the regional capital of the Central region, the Polytechnic and its staff are characterized by people with different religions and geographical backgrounds. The Polytechnic, as a human institution, has over the years battled with politics and is still putting in all possible efforts to handle this problem so as not to affect the achievement of its goals and objectives. Thus, without sound political awareness and skills, organisations, which include Cape Coast Polytechnic, will continue to face the inevitable challenge of being immersed in bureaucratic infighting, parochial politics, and destructive power struggles that affect organizational life, initiative, innovation, productivity, morale, and performance by unleashing a stressful environment that ultimately retards organization performance. Therefore, it is upon the premise that this research seeks to investigate the causes, prevention, and management of organizational politics at Cape Coast Polytechnic.

1.3 Objective of the study

The main focus of this study is to examine the causes, prevention and management of organizational politics in Cape Coast Polytechnic. Specifically, it sought to:

  1. To find out the causes of organizational politics in Cape Coast Polytechnic.
  2. Ascertain the preventive measures put in place by the management of Cape Coast Polytechnic.
  3. Identify the extent to which organizational politics affect the performance of employees of Cape Coast Polytechnic.
  4. Find out the coping strategies used by employees in managing organizational politics in Cape Coast Polytechnic.

1.4   Research question

What are the causes of organizational politics in Cape Coast Polytechnic?

  1. What are the preventive measures put in place by the management of Cape Coast Polytechnic?
  2. What is the extent to which organizational politics affect the performance of employees of Cape Coast Polytechnic?
  3. What are the coping strategies used by employees in managing organizational politics in Cape Coast Polytechnic?

1.5  Significance of the study

The results of this research would be of enormous benefit to the organization understudy (Cape Coast Polytechnic) and to other organizations as well. This is because the research will bring out the bare facts about the harm politics can cause the organization in its growth and help minimizeit if notalleviate the problems that arise from politics in the organization. Again, officers at the helm of affairs especially, the Managementof Cape Coast Polytechnic will be informed of the positive and negative effects of organizational politics in order to be able to deal with it constructively to help achieve the overall goals of the organization.

1.6 Scope of the study

The scope of this study borders on thexamination on the causes, prevention and management of organizational politics. The study is however delimited to Cape Coast Polytechnic, Ghana.

1.7 Limitation of the study

During the course of this research, the following factors are proposed to be a limitation.

Financial constraints: Financial constraints tend to impede the researcher’s efficiency in locating relevant materials, literature, or information, as well as in data collection (internet, questionnaire, and interview).

Time constraint– The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. As a result, the amount of time spent on research is reduced. However the researcher will give in their best to make this research a success.

1.8  Definition of terms

Organization: An organization, or organization, is an entity – such as a company, an institution, or an association – comprising one or more people and having a particular purpose

Politics: Politics is the set of activities that are associated with making decisions in groups, or other forms of power relations between individuals, such as the distribution of resources or status.

Organizational Politics: “Organizational politics are self-serving behaviors” that “employees use to increase the probability of obtaining positive outcomes in organizations”. Influence by individuals may serve personal interests without regard to their effect on the organization itself.

REFERENCE

Andrews, M. C., &Kacmar, K. M. (2001). Discriminating among organizational politics, justice, and support. Journal of organizational behavior, 22(4), 347-366.

Beugré, C. D., & Liverpool, P. R. (2006). Perceptions of organizational politics: A justice perspective. Handbook of organizational politics, 122-135. Edward Elgar Publishing.

Bolander, J. (2012). How to Deal with Organizational Politics. The Daily MBA. New York: John Wiley and Sons.

Chang, C. H., Rosen, C. C., Siemieniec, G. M., & Johnson, R. E. (2012). Perceptions of Organisational Politics and Employee Citizenship Behaviors: Conscientiousness and Self-Monitoring As Moderators. Journal of Business and Psychology, 27(4), 395-406.

Chaudhary, R., Rangnekar, S., &Arua, M. (2012). Relationships between occupational self efficacy, human resource development climate, and work engagement. Team Performance Management: An International Journal, 18(7/8), 370-383.

Chen, Z. X., &Budhwar, P. S. (2004). Exchange fairness and employee performance: An examination of the relationship between organizational politics and procedural justice. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 94(1), 1-14.

VIvian H. (2016)  Organisational Politics In Cape Coast Polytechnic: Causes, Prevention And Management retrieved from https://ir.ucc.edu.gh/xmlui/bitstream/handle/123456789/3225/VIVIAN%20HANNAH%20ATTAH.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y

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