Political Intelligence

by Don Morley and David Bancroft-Turner

Introduction

Research conducted in the UK by the Roffey Park Institute claims that nearly 70 per cent of managers have experienced the negative effects of organisational politics. One effect of this is to undermine trust between people at all levels in organisations. Clearly, this does not foster effective working relationships and inevitably impacts adversely on the performance of the organisation.

However, while many in corporate life only see the negative implications of politics, the reality is that in many instances political behaviour is ‘the way things get done round here’. So we can make a start by avoiding falling into the trap of describing organisational politics in purely negative terms.

This section aims to put you in the driving seat when it comes to managing the inevitable political behaviour that occurs in most organisations. In the first instance, we provide political insights that will raise your awareness with regard to spotting the signs and identifying the causes of politicking. With this appreciation in place, it becomes much easier to explore and develop a clear understanding of the fundamental issues surrounding politics in organisations.

This understanding is clarified with the use of models. What sort of political animal are you? Armed with the answer to this question, we explain the behaviours and actions that will enable you to become more politically intelligent.