IIMA - Course Catalogue
Power and Politics in Organization
Public Systems Group
Prof. Kandathil George,
Prof. Navdeep Mathur
Course Description & Objectives
Having a great idea and not having the political knowledge and skill to get it recognized and implemented is of course frustrating. Yet more frustrating could be the realization that what you achieved was not in your interest; rather more powerful others had shaped your interests and your thought -process to their advantage. This course addresses the aforementioned issues in two parts. The first part aims at improving your ability to diagnose the underlying distribution of power in the process of organizing (teams, groups, business and other social, cultural, political organizations) and enhance your effectiveness in exercising power in organizational settings towards better outcomes for those involved. It also helps understand power and politics in organizing the perspectives that govern our relationship with others at different levels.
Over the past two centuries, networks of corporations, the State, and supra-national institutions have grown in their power to the extent that they have become more powerful than many individual governments and civil societies. To work in and with such powerful organizations mere skills to understand the political landscape of a corporation/State from a single standpoint and attempt to shape it to some ideal purpose are not sufficient. It calls for a deeper understanding of the ways organizations shape our thought and behavioral patterns which in turn limits and shapes the nature of our proposed interventions to bring change. Therefore, a key aim is to generate a grasp of the complex relationships between power, politics and knowledge in organizational settings. This is achieved through discussion of a range of theories of power, and re-visiting distribution and exercise of power in organizational settings and the importance of using power ethically.
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