Currently, I am working at Home Care Matters, which is an organization licensed, by the State of Georgia, to provide In-Home assistance and Personal Care. At the workplace, we share an office and, therefore, most conversations between people are open. I am not against the idea of engaging in some discussions, but for the time, I have been working at the company, there has been a menace brought about by two of our office mates regarding their opinions on various issues (Hawley, 2008 p. 11). Ever since I started working at Home Care Matters, my immediate supervisor, Mr. Brown and Mr. Evans, the regional marketing director virtually never seem to agree on anything in particular.
Mr. Brown is extremely resentful about China as a whole, and this trickles down to Chinese products such as mobile phones. He is bitter about the idea of China being a communist nation and he often vows to the entire office that he will never set foot in China. Mr. Evans, on the other hand, is the total opposite of Mr. Brown especially on views regarding the China Republic in its political frame (Browning, 2009 p. 13). To him, China has the best form of government and the value of its leadership is measurable by the development taking place in the country (Hawley, 2008 p. 11). He likes the fact that Chinese products are cheap and cater for people across the board, whether poor or rich. He often describes the stylish make of his refrigerator, which is a Chinese product.
In the office, we have a television set which is used for people to watch the news and catch up on the latest trends of our products and services. However, the television is usually on throughout, and content on the TV set plays a significant role sparking these conversations. As soon as anything touching on China appears on the screen, one of them will mention something and the argument will begin. As a result, attention shifts from the television set itself, to the two, who hold intense arguments at the peak of their voices as the example of the political frame definition.
There are times that I feel as if to tell them to their faces that we are in the office, and that office etiquette and ethics are applicable at all times. However, the saddening bit is the fact that they are both my seniors, and I can do nothing. Confronting the issue can only mean jeopardizing my work, as well as the company’s profile. In addition to that, doing so might violate the excellent working relations among the people in the office (Hawley, 2008 p. 62).
Mobilizing people and influence strategies
In any given organization, fostering commitment among the members is paramount in strengthening the organization. At Home Care Matters, there is a lot of emphasis on commitment because it ensures that people are effective when it comes to influencing others (Browning, 2009 p. 43). The company values teamwork to win the attention of other people collectively. The commitment of the company to its mission and vision also help in alleviating any thoughts of giving up and setting examples for those that may not be confident. Through the commitment to their core objectives, individuals also tend to give better cooperation since it builds trust, among other things that are essential for the success of the organization (Hawley, 2008 p. 65). Lastly, commitment in itself, in the end, equips people with the knowledge they need to increase their effectiveness. Because of this, people get enough time to experiment with some things, some of which fail and they manage to establish a working strategy.
The organization tried out a number of influence strategies, some of which were successful while others failed terribly. First, there was the introduction of the divide and conquer strategy which, for a start sounded okay with people. However, looking at the achievements made using this strategy, people eventually outsmarted it, and the management had to think of other strategies, to influence people (Hawley, 2008 p. 112).
Even without trying out the direct strategy, the management agreed that it would not survive given the nature of employees at the company and the influence that they have on one another. This appears as a risky strategy given the fact that many of the company’s proposals were not hugely popular with people. In the end, the management settled on the indirect strategy because it would provide for the altering of ground rules in some of the discussions. Since its inception, the indirect strategy is still in use, and it proves more effective than ever before (Hawley, 2008 p. 23).
Conflicts in the organization and their resolutions
Most of the conflicts at Home Care Matters arise from communication breakdown especially from one department to another. Though the company has different departments, which are independent in nature, one department may need information from the other to do its job effectively. In the event that one department has requested for such information and the other one does not avail it, conflicts do arise (Browning, 2009 p. 68). In essence, this takes the form of interdepartmental disagreements, which result in, nonresponsive attitudes that are not suitable for the organizations. There are also times when such conflicts arise because of the issuing of circular responses, for instance, saying an issue is under review. The withholding of such information is purposeful and hence it requires prompt action. At Home Care Matter, the tackling of such issues is through personal meetings with both sides in an attempt to get a solution.
Politics Management Recommendations
In most cases, people view politics with negativity since it corrupts and brings down the organization. Even, though, this may be true to some extent, it is worth noting that the positive side of politics is essential for the benefit of the organization as a whole (Browning, 2009 p. 88).
For Home Care Matters, I would encourage a situation where the management encourages employees to participate in constructive politics. This should occur bearing in mind that pragmatism and ideologies are eminent in such a setting. This is because ideologies offer guidance in the event of a standoff (Browning, 2009 p. 98). Pragmatism, on the other hand, furnishes the organization with the much-needed flexibility to be able to adapt to different environments. Ideologies, however, have a disadvantage in the sense that they may hinder the possibility of accounting for hostility or other people’s opinions. Other best practices in line with constructive politics are manageable by narrowing one’s goals. Even, though, it is a loss, broad goals force many restraints that shun several options.
The unfortunate aspect of politics in the workplace is that it can contribute to conflicts between workers. This can be detrimental to the objectives of the company in terms of time and money. Resentment of one employee’s political views from another coworker can manifest itself in the goals to ridicule the employees work, set out to destroy the person’s appearance in the eyes of supervisors and, in extreme cases, undermine the quality of their work. Should this arise it has to be dealt with swiftly by the upper management to ensure that the recognition of the company is not degraded indirectly in the eyes of the customer.
- Browning, G. (2009). Office Politics: How Work Really Works. New York: Ebury Publishing.
- Hawley, C. (2008). 100+ Tactics for Office Politics. Barrons Education Series: New York.