POLITICS OF SCHOOL ADMINISTRATION
Organizational Politics is individuals or group behavior that is informal and such politics is typically illegitimate because personal agenda are substituted for organizational ones. It can also be defined as collection of goings, on a set of games taking place in the school organization; It is a kind of multiple-ring circus (Hoy and Miskel, 2008) Organizational politics invariably lead to political tactics.
What is Political tactics
It is political strategy of dealing with politics from strategic perspective. Tactics of downward control: This arises from the superior’s attempts to establish or maintain power over subordinates. They use rewards and punishments to influence behavior. The other means of directly controlling the behavior of subordinates including giving direct order, setting decision premises, reviewing decisions and allocating resources.
E.g. Head of school may delegate the decision-making authority to the subordinate (teachers), but retain the right to review the decision and veto it, approve it or modify it before it is implemented
- Tactics of upward influence: Many influence attempts are in an upward direction. Individuals often try to influence others who are higher, not lower in the formal hierarchy. It can be used for two general purposes:
(a)To promote self-interests, usually attempted proactively. It is initiated by the subordinate and attempts to improve the subordinate’s position.
(b)To protect those interests which are usually in a reactive manner. It is the response to a superior’s initiation and attempts to protect the subordinate.
- There are two major categories of upward political influence:
(a) Sanctions: These involve the use of reward control tactics. exhibiting exemplary performance, doing favors and solving work problems are rewards in the sense that they make a superior’s job easier methods
(b) Information methods: These involve the open, discrete or manipulative use of information to influence higher-ups. Informational tactics include open persuasion, manipulative persuasion and true manipulation
- Tactics of Lateral Influence: Many political influence tactics are attempted between managers and department that are not in a direct authority relationship with one another. One can increase power through horizontal responsibilities.
Therefore not all power maneuvers flow in the vertical (downward and upward) directions but also horizontally between departments.
Common political tactics used by employees at all levels: –
It is a tactic used to gain the good will of another through doing favour, being attentive and giving favors.
Teachers usually attempt to gain the good will and obligation of their colleagues and Headmasters and Headmistresses by doing beyond their duty in helping others.
It is the process of forming relationships with influential people. Such people may or may not be in important positions, but they often have access to useful information.
It is a tactic used by individuals who want to control others or build their own status. Although having critical information is useful in itself the techniques used to spread the information can enhance one’s position in both the formal and informal organizations.
Releasing information when it has full impact can promote self interest and defeat the ambitions of others
- Impression management:
It is a simple tactic that almost everyone uses from time to time to create a favorable image.
The tactic includes dressing and behaving appropriately, underscoring one’s accomplishments, claiming credit whenever possible and crating the impression of being important if not dispensable.
The key is to build an image such that others see you as knowledgeable, articulate, sensible, and sensitive and socially adapt. Although political tactics are a fact of organizational life not all are viewed as legitimate. violating the chain of command, losing your temper in public, saying no too often to superiors, and challenging cherished belief are costly political mistakes: Such tactics as we have discussed are bases of organizational politics.