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The Impact of Organizational Politics on Employees


Once in a while, employees working in an organization engage in workplace politics. In most cases, these occurrences arise when some employees tarnish their colleague’s reputations, hoping to receive favors from their seniors. Workplace politics refers to the act or process which encompasses human interactions with power and authority (Babalola et al., 2016). Such politics reduces workforce productivity leading to losses for the organization. Furthermore, people have developed a tendency to use most of their precious time in the workplace to play personal politics at the expense of productive engagements. Some of these political struggles have resulted in the development of unethical practices. Therefore, managers need to uncover these battles and develop models to resolve them before they progress to a level where they negatively affect individual employees and business output.

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An Explanation of a Political Encounter in my Workplace

Jianshi is a medium, electronic production and sales organization in Arizona, USA. The company has a total of 20 permanent employees working in different departments. This setting provides the organization with a serene working environment. However, a political conflict once occurred and disrupted operations, nearly bringing the company to a standstill. The company policy stipulates that the most qualified and experienced employees should be considered for promotion. These elevations are usually done on a merit basis, implying that employees with the highest education and experience are prioritized in filling the higher position. However, one of the workers, John, received a promotion which he was not fit to get (Robbins, 1997). Consequently, a political struggle emerged, which involved four employees in the company. This engagement escalated to a point where it affected other employees who believed John was unfairly promoted due to his relationship with one of the organization’s directors.

Personal and Organizational Factors that Caused the Conflict

The desire to exercise control is one factor that caused the political battle. John always had a craving for power because he liked bossing around despite not having legitimate authority. Besides, John unduly influenced and used coercion to ascend to a position he did not deserve. According to Luthans et al. (2015), such organizational factors as favoritism can cause political battles. Despite the affected employee being the director’s relative, he needed to meet all the promotion requirements and not depend on the top manager’s blood connections to get the promotion. However, the company was biased when it awarded him the post, which ignited the political conflict.

Exhibited Behaviors

After considering players’ behavior in the political battle, John exhibited selfishness. He only cared about his interest and never minded the feeling of other employees who were qualified for the position. The management was selfish too since they awarded John a promotion knowing he was not qualified as the deserving compared to the most qualified (Luthans et al., 2015). Hence, this can be described as selfishness by both John and the company bosses.

Unethical Issues

John’s act influenced the management to promote him, which was against the organization’s policies. Furthermore, the management’s decision to violate the upgrade policy and raise John because he was a senior officer relative was unethical (Robbins, 1997). Firm bosses ignored complaints from other employees by failing to reconsider advancements. Unethical issues relating to John’s elevation led to the escalation of workplace politics in the business.


Political conflicts will continue to happen in places of work. However, it is the organization’s human resources department’s role to develop and adopt techniques to detect and resolve them before they escalate. This approach will play a significant role in ensuring that an organization’s productivity and operation are not affected. Finally, it is essential to encourage work ethics from both individuals and management to deter conflicts.


Babalola, M., Stouten, J., Euwema, M., & Ovadje, F. (2016). The relation between ethical leadership and workplace conflicts: the mediating role of employee resolution efficacy. Journal of Management, 44(5), 2037-2063. Web.

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Luthans, F., Youssef, C., & Avolio, B. (2015). Psychological capital and beyond. Oxford University Press.

Robbins, S. (1997). Essentials of organizational behaviour (5th ed.). Prentice-Hall.

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