Politics is typically thought of as being connected to a government activity. However, it is suggested by Aransyah and Hetami (2021), that politics “is also an organizational activity to be associated with power and personal status” (p. 109). This second meaning of the word is what we are learning about in this Module.
According to the study of Aransyah and Hetami (2021), there are five indicators for when internal politics may occur: “unclear objectives, budget allocation, decision making, salary and promotion, power, and job dissatisfaction” (p. 109).
All organizations have internal politics. However, most organizations keep their political battles private and it is rare that the public will know the details about political intrigue within the major corporations.
In the 1960s, when the editor of “The New York Times Magazine asked if corporations “have a social duty” to speak up, the head of U.S. Steel declared that’s “quite beyond what a corporation should do” (Dokoupil & Finn, 2023, para. 3).
Things have changed quite a bit in the last 60 years. Companies no longer keep quiet about their political leanings or sides about social issues and wear the popular issues like value flags. The ones that do this most recently include Disney, Target, Budweiser (Bud Light), Nike, Levi Strauss, Amazon, Microsoft, Starbucks, McDonald’s, and Chick-fil-A. Some of these companies have met backlash due to their stand on issues while others have been lauded for taking a stand. Some of these companies have lost half the country as their customers because of the division of members in the country’s two main political parties. Only time will tell if the loss was a beneficial step in the right direction. Then the questions becomes, beneficial to whom?
Do some research online and you will quickly find stories about these and other companies embroiled in or leading an American revolution of social issues.
Case Assignment
For this assignment, make sure to first carefully review the background materials regarding the causes of political behavior, types of political behavior, and the ethics of political behavior. Examples of the causes of political behavior include competition for resources, ambiguous organizational goals, lack of trust, and performance factors, although Aransyah and Hetami (2021), brought in five more indicators. Examples of types of political behavior include blaming others, selectively distributing information, managing impressions, and forming coalitions. Regarding ethics, consider the three main factors:
• Does the political action violate individual rights?
• Does it improve the welfare of those involved?
• Does it increase distributive justice?
Once you have finished reviewing the background materials and have completed your research, select one of the mentioned companies and read up on their political intrigue, political behaviors, and organizational ethics. Write a 4- to 5-page paper addressing the following issues:
1. What individual and organizational factors might cause senior leaders to exhibit intense political behavior? Refer to some of the specific factors discussed in the assigned readings.
2. What types of political behaviors did your selected company’s board members and CEOs exhibit? Be specific and use the types of political behaviors discussed in Chapter10 of Luthans et al. (2021) and Aransyah, and Hetami, (2021).
3. What do you foresee for the future of organizational behaviors surrounding social issues for your selected organization (or others)?

 

Sample Answer

Sample Answer

 

 

The Intersection of Politics, Social Issues, and Organizational Behavior: A Case Study Analysis

In today’s corporate landscape, the intertwining of politics, social issues, and organizational behavior has become more pronounced than ever before. Companies are no longer shying away from taking a stand on societal matters, often leading to both praise and criticism from various stakeholders. This paper delves into the political behaviors and ethical considerations within a selected company, examining the individual and organizational factors driving intense political behavior among senior leaders and the implications for future organizational behaviors surrounding social issues.

Company Selection: Nike

Individual and Organizational Factors Driving Political Behavior

1. Competition for Resources: Senior leaders at Nike may exhibit intense political behavior due to competition for resources, such as marketing budgets and talent acquisition, to support their initiatives and projects.
2. Ambiguous Organizational Goals: Unclear strategic direction or conflicting priorities within Nike could lead to power struggles and political maneuvering among senior leaders vying to influence decision-making.
3. Performance Factors: Pressure to meet financial targets, market share growth, and brand visibility may drive senior leaders to engage in political behaviors to secure their positions or advance their agendas.

Types of Political Behaviors

1. Forming Coalitions: Board members and CEOs at Nike may form alliances with key stakeholders, such as athletes, influencers, or advocacy groups, to amplify their social impact initiatives and enhance brand reputation.
2. Managing Impressions: Executives at Nike could strategically present the company’s stance on social issues through marketing campaigns, sponsorships, and public statements to shape public perception and consumer loyalty.
3. Blaming Others: In response to controversies or backlash related to social issues, leaders might deflect blame or responsibility onto external factors or competitors to protect the company’s reputation.

Ethical Considerations

1. Violation of Individual Rights: Senior leaders must ensure that their political actions do not infringe upon the rights of employees, customers, or community members impacted by the company’s decisions.
2. Improving Welfare: Political behaviors should aim to enhance the welfare of stakeholders involved, including employees, shareholders, and society at large, through responsible and sustainable practices.
3. Distributive Justice: Leaders must consider the fairness and equity of their actions in distributing resources, opportunities, and benefits across diverse groups within and outside the organization.

Future Organizational Behaviors

The future of organizational behaviors surrounding social issues at Nike and other companies is likely to continue evolving in response to changing societal norms, consumer expectations, and regulatory environments. Companies that authentically embrace social responsibility, diversity, and sustainability as core values are poised to engage with stakeholders more effectively and build long-term resilience in a rapidly changing world.

In conclusion, the nexus of politics, social issues, and organizational behavior presents both challenges and opportunities for companies like Nike to navigate complex ethical dilemmas, foster inclusive cultures, and drive positive impact in society. By aligning political behaviors with ethical principles and stakeholder interests, organizations can shape a more sustainable and socially responsible future for all.

 

 

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