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Workplace Politics: Both Sides of the Grand Contest


Most persons opt to highlight the negative aspect of politics without regard for its positive contributions at the work place. This explains why most people perceive it as a destructive influence that disfigures resolutions, leading the organization and its personnel astray. It is noteworthy that persons within the work environment exaggerate most of the negative influences of politics. This paper examines the positive and negative aspect of politics in the workplace, using the case of an IT establishment. Three high-ranking experts will provide contributions, opinions and views that make up this paper. Several scholars have delineated politics to infer methods of resolving assorted interests, which are often conflicting. This is against a perception of the majority, who view it as a fraudulent procedure that influences employees negatively.

Effects of positive politics

A member of the support team in the IT organization I work for contends that politics constitutes the daily happenings within places of work; it helps when enhancing or shielding personal welfare. This implies that prosperous managers employ the phenomenon to realize positive outcomes for themselves and their subordinates. Most offices brand successful politicians as leaders, strategists or influencers.

A new supervisor who joined the firm recently confessed to having employed the technique constructively, which ensured they received a positive outcome for their firms. According to him, managers should create an enabling atmosphere within their areas of jurisdiction and ensure that their colleagues and deputies alike receive all the requisite support.

She also argues that engaging in constructive politics ensures that superiors conduct themselves with decorum and in principled ways. This ensures that they esteem their subordinates and appreciate their contribution regardless of its magnitude. Consequently, fairness reigns supreme at the work establishment, and persons are influenced, not commanded.

The IT manager in an organization I am attached to agrees that politics may be positive, but contends that the example of senior managers determines its effect on the team. This is because their ability to sanction behavior and reward it at will accord’s them this privilege. Being exemplary role models requires that they recognize this responsibility and perform it to the best of their ability, giving preference to the needs of their subordinates.

Personal sentiments

I concur with these arguments totally. This is because managers can employ positive politics by ensuring employees have positive relationships among them. This guarantees confidence and trust among them, creating positive chemistry and a sense of togetherness (Zeff, 2007). It is noteworthy that most IT related tasks require extensive consultations due to their complexity and unpredictability. Cooperative employees will ensure these tasks are completed without any hitches, to the satisfaction of employees.

Understanding the individual plans of the employees also helps managers. This strategy helps superiors immensely, since they are able to manipulate other factors in order to realize positive results for everyone. It is noteworthy that goal realization motivates employees, and motivated employees are an advantage for any organization they are attached to. Summarily, constructive politics ensures that managers recognize and propagate positive ideas, thus establish a proper personal reputation. This ensures their superiors and subordinates revere them equally, making it easy to lead the teams under their supervision.

Effects of negative politics

The support staff member mentioned the danger of workplace politics, arguing that the self-seeking nature of persons tends to interfere negatively. This implies that superiors may employ negative politics to serve their personal aspirations. This often results in abuse of power and stirs up resentment among employees (Grossman, 2003). For example, managers often take up a subordinate and accord him or her preferential treatment. On many occasions, such steps are unwarranted, since they are not based on merit. This demoralizes other employees, creating disharmony among the workforce. These persons have also served as spies. For many employees, this stifles their autonomy and defies the logical succession process, denying them competitiveness and job security.

The manager cited misinformation as another trait of destructive politics at the office atmosphere. This has negative impacts on the team, since it makes others appear ignorant or ill informed. It may also result in mismanagement of crucial projects, hurting the image of the firm in general. Consequently, this vice should be tamed, in order to instill discipline and order within the team.

Lastly, the supervisor mention incomplete projects and infighting as negative political influences she has come across. Foremost, she castigated the superiors who skip to different projects without completing those they initiated previously. After the implosion of the project, blame is often passed to the current administrators, forcing them to bear a responsibility they do not deserve. In mot cases, such person are called upon to resuscitate the projects they abandoned. Consequently, superiors are advised to consider and investigate such situations thoroughly, before apportioning blame to any employee.

Infighting and extending personal differences to the office also fit this category. This depicts a classical case of infighting that plagues most professional places of work. It is regrettable that some of the se differences degenerate to the level of using proxies settling differences. This draws innocent persons into unwarranted trouble, wrecking havoc and disharmony at the work place.


The interview with these professionals shed light into a matter that is often avoided by persons occupying positions of power. It is encouraging that they agree on the fact that politics can serve a positive purpose in the office, in spite of the numerous negatives and threats it bears. Positive politics ensure that employees conduct themselves with decorum at the workplace. It also ensures that they achieve their personal goals, ensuring that company goals are also realized in the process.

Most importantly, perpetrators of positive political tendencies often command respect of their peer and subordinates alike. On the other hand, negative political practices demoralize employees greatly. This creates an unfavorable climate at the workplace, ensuring that no positives are realized from this place (Oade, 2009).


Grossman, B. (2003). Workplace politics. Indiana, IN: Xlibris Corporation.

Oade, A. (2009). Managing Politics at Work: The Essential Toolkit for Identifying and Handling Political Behavior in the Workplace. New York: NY Palgrave Macmillan.

Zeff, J. (2007). Make the Right Choice: Create a Positive, Innovative and Productive Work Life. New Jersey, NJ: John Wiley and Sons.

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