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Decision-Making and Information Politics

Introduction

Decision making and information politics form part of an organizations structures and are therefore important for success (Lauwereyns 13). In the current business world, organizational politics is a reality that we are supposed to face. This means CIO’s are supposed to act in a certain manner. As a matter of fact, the performance and outcome of an organization is broadly influenced by organizational politics. It should be known that organizational politics can manifest itself in a number of ways that need to be understood.

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Followers within an organization are influenced by their leader. In this case, they will make decisions that have an impact on their commitment and involvement (Levin 9). Being truthful is good, but there should be an extent to which this is done. This paper will therefore try to evaluate if it was good organizational politics for Overstock.com’s CIO to act the way he did. This will be done in relation to decision making and information politics that take place in an organization.

Discussion

Overstock.com’s CIO knew that he was doing the right thing by revealing various aspects that relate to the company. In this case, he revealed the company’s technological shortcomings thereby admitting that he was to blame for all this. Currently, there is an argument if today’s CIO can do such a thing. The CIO sent a note to the company’s business partners to apologize on a number of issues. In this case, he admitted that there were a number of problems that business partners had to face because of the company’s poorly designed and done IT systems.

On the other hand, he also sold his stock before the company could disclose any shortcoming in sales. The CIO used his authority to do what he thought was right for the company (Levin 13). Therefore, this was his decision as far as organizational decision making is concerned. Organizational politics is supposed to set up a good agenda and mobilize support within the organization. Therefore, the interplay between different leaders and their roles and duties is supposed to be looked at.

As far as organizational politics is concerned, Overstock.com’s CIO was not right to act as he did. Organizations have internal structures that are supposed to be used in solving various problems (Lauwereyns 17). In this case, it would have been wise for the CIO to try and solve such issues without involving the public. Organizations have a specific framework that is supposed to be used as far as decision making is concerned. This means that good decisions are made after wide consultations have been done.

As much as this is supposed to be adhered to, there is no indication that the CIO consulted other people in the management to reach at this decision. Such issues bring conflicts because other managers will say that they were not consulted. There is no way that an organization can publicly admit its mistakes in this competitive world (Levin 7). The CIO was wrong to reveal the company’s shortcomings because this might be used by competitors to challenge the company in the market place. It should be known that organizational politics is usually directed at making profits but the CIO’s decisions was not in any way going to enhance the company’s profitability and that is why it was not a good decision.

The CIO began by telling the truth and this was good as far as organizational ethics are concerned. As much as everybody needs to get information to be prepared, there are other avenues that can be used to achieve such an expectation (Lauwereyns 23). These can mostly be done internally. The CIO is supposed to protect the company and as much as there could be a leak, it should not be used as an excuse to give out such information.

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All information is political but the CIO needs to be accountable for all decisions that are made (Levin 15). This is the political advice that the CIO needs to take into account. Politics is very important in an organization and that is why various aspects have to be looked at before information can be released. As much as everybody is supposed to save his skins as the CIO attempted to do, he was a little bit altruistic. The information that he was providing was bad news and could have had positive and negative impacts on the company.

Conclusion

This was a risky decision that he was making although it was somehow political (Levin 23). In this case, the CIO wanted to be upfront so that he could not be caught up in the lie like others have always found themselves in. Since the CIO was giving out bad news, he was supposed to be fired immediately because such things have been happening in business in recent years.

As far as organizations ethics are concerned, people are supposed to be honest but this is not the best political move that any CIO should engage him/herself in (Lauwereyns 28). Whenever bad information is released to the public, the value of the company will always decrease. Negative information can also be met with positive responses and the CIO can get credit for that.

References

Lauwereyns, Jan. The Anatomy of Bias: How Neural Circuits Weigh the Options. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 2010. Print.

Levin, Mark. Composite Systems Decisions. New York: Springer, 2006. Print.

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