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Monday, July 16, 2012

Power In Groups: Coalitions - Power and Politics

Individuals who lose power or are out of power seek to increase their power individually. If they fail to do so, then the alternative is to form a coalition–an informal group bound together by the active pursuit of a single issue. The natural way to gain influence is to become a power holder but this may be difficult, risky, costly, or impossible.

Ø  In such an event, efforts are directed towards forming a coalition of two or more “outs” who, by coming together, can combine their resources to increase rewards for themselves. Successful coalitions have been found to contain fluid membership and are able to form swiftly, achieve their target issue, and quickly disappear disintegrate. 

Ø  There are a couple of predictions about coalition formation. They are as follows:

Ø  First, coalitions in organizations often seek to maximize their size. Decision-making in organizations does not end just with selection from among a set of alternatives, but require to be implemented. The implementation of an commitment to the decision is as important as the decision. It is essential for coalitions within organizations to seek a broad constituency and there may be expansion in coalition to help in consensus building.

Ø    Another prediction relates to the degree of interdependence within the organization. More coalitions are likely be created where there is a great deal of task and resource interdependence. In contrast, there will be less interdependence among subunits and less coalition formation activity where subunits are largely self-contained or resources are in plenty.

Ø   Finally, coalition formation will be influenced by the actual tasks that workers perform. In general, the more routine the task of a group, the greater the likelihood that coalitions will form.

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