Write about your own workplace experiences as they relate to power and politics. Think of one of the largest political battles you witnessed or were a part of during your career, and think carefully about how the concepts from the background materials apply to what you experienced. If you have no workplace experience like this, consider political battles, ethical dilemmas, or abuse of power among your family or friends, or in an organization for which you volunteer.
In preparation for the SLP, make sure you have a thorough grasp of the terminology from the background materials including the main individual and organizational factors that lead to political behavior and the types of political behavior. Once you are comfortable with the terminology and concepts from the background materials, write a 2- to 3-page paper addressing the following issues:
1. Briefly describe a political battle, ethical dilemma, or abuse of power that took place in your workplace, among your family or friends, or in an organization for which you volunteer. Explain who the main players were and what issues were at stake.
2. What individual and organizational factors led to this political battle, ethical dilemma, or abuse of power? Refer to the background readings in your answer.
3. What types of political behaviors did the participants in this political battle, ethical dilemma, or abuse of power exhibit? Be specific and use the types of political behaviors discussed in Luthans et al. (2021).



Sample Answer

Sample Answer


Workplace Experience: Political Battle


In my previous workplace, I witnessed a significant political battle that unfolded between two senior managers in the marketing department. The conflict stemmed from a disagreement over the allocation of budget resources for upcoming marketing campaigns and the strategic direction of the department.

Main Players and Issues at Stake

The main players involved were the Marketing Director, who advocated for a more traditional marketing approach focusing on print media and events, and the Digital Marketing Manager, who championed a shift towards digital marketing strategies and online campaigns. The conflict escalated when the Marketing Director refused to allocate a substantial portion of the budget to digital initiatives, citing a lack of proven ROI and the importance of maintaining existing relationships with traditional media partners.

Individual and Organizational Factors

Several individual and organizational factors contributed to this political battle:

1. Individual Factors:

– Competing Goals: The Marketing Director and Digital Marketing Manager had conflicting goals and visions for the department’s future.
– Power Dynamics: The Marketing Director held more formal authority and control over budget decisions, creating a power imbalance.
– Personal Ambitions: Both managers were ambitious and sought to advance their own careers, leading to a clash of interests.

2. Organizational Factors:

– Resource Scarcity: Limited budget resources intensified competition for funding and prioritization.
– Lack of Clear Communication: Poor communication channels within the department exacerbated misunderstandings and fueled tensions.
– Organizational Culture: The organizational culture favored traditional marketing methods, creating resistance to change and innovation.

Types of Political Behaviors

The participants in this political battle exhibited various types of political behaviors as outlined by Luthans et al. (2021):

1. Networking: Both managers engaged in strategic networking with key stakeholders to garner support for their respective proposals.
2. Coalition Building: The Digital Marketing Manager formed alliances with other department heads who supported digital transformation initiatives.
3. Impression Management: The Marketing Director used impression management tactics to portray traditional marketing as the safer and more reliable option to senior leadership.
4. Information Withholding: Both managers strategically withheld information from each other to gain a competitive advantage and protect their interests.


The political battle in my workplace exemplified how individual ambitions, power dynamics, and organizational factors can converge to create conflicts that impact decision-making processes and organizational culture. Understanding and navigating political behaviors are essential skills for leaders to manage such situations effectively and promote a collaborative and productive work environment.



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