Organization Culture – Office Politics

Organization culture and office politics has a relation. Among two types of culture – Strong Culture and Weak Culture, which allows office politics to groom?

Among the offices I worked, the management policy towards administration has key role in allowing or not allowing politics and ‘groupism’ in work place.

If the mid level managers or supervisors are granted extreme powers to control their sub ordinates, there is less scope for politics.

Even if the manager fires his sub ordinate, his higher authority should not question his action. In those type of administration politics has no scope.

For Example:
There is a CEO. Below the CEO there are Managers – Marketing manager, accounts manager, software manager, hr manager.

Marketing manager has a Senior Salesman. Senior Salesman has a team of salesmen. In this case, CEO will not communicate with salesman or Senior Salesman directly regarding business affairs. CEO’s point of contact is always Marketing Manager.

In the same way, marketing manager communicates with his Senior Salesman not with salesmen team directly regarding business affairs.

If the Senior Salesman fires any of his salesman, he should not be questioned by Marketing manager or CEO.

Senior Sales man recruits anybody to his sales team, which will not be questioned by Marketing manager.

The salary he fixes to his sales man should not be questioned as long as it is within the company’s budget range for a salesman.

In the same way, Marketing Manager can fire his Senior sales man without giving reason to CEO. The same is applicable to recruitment. He can recruit or promote anybody from sales team as Senior Salesman.

Every head has formidable power over their sub ordinates without external interventions. The power ranges from work allocation, salary fixation, recruitment, leave sanction, and termination.

In these type of administration, no or less scope for office politics. But there are higher scope for immediate boss harassment.

I am not sure whether this is a Strong Culture or Weak Culture.

I assume it as Strong Culture. If I am wrong correct me.

On the other hand, the immediate bosses or heads at every level vested with limited powers. They can not recruit or terminate anybody as they like. Here the immediate supervisor’s position is weak compare to previous administration described above.

In this type of administration has great scope of office politics.

Here CEO can override his marketing manager and communicate with senior-salesman or salesman.

For Example:
The Senior salesman has a rapport with CEO. Now if the Marketing Manager does not like the Senior Salesman in any aspects, he can not terminate him. He has to explain to CEO, because of the rapport between CEO and Senior Salesman. Senior salesman has an advantage to play a ‘parallel manager role’ because of his rapport with CEO.

This type of environment has less scope for immediate boss harassment but greater scope for office politics.

I am not sure whether this is a Strong Culture or Weak Culture.

I assume it as Weak Culture. If I am wrong correct me.

The Sales team example can be applied to any type of team like software, accounts, housekeeping etc.

If the hierarchy is strictly maintained, less scope for office politics but more scope for immediate boss harassment.

If the hierarchy is loosely maintained, less cope for immediate boss harassment but more scope for office politics.

Immediate boss harassment and office politics – both are different, not same.

An organization can allow any type of culture or change the culture at anytime for the advantage of its growth. It can allow pseudo culture – both mixture of strong and weak culture.

Job Hopping is happening due to both Immediate Boss Harassment and Office Politics. Both are equally keeping the HR busy.