Depending on which side of the debate you fall on, you may find the term “office politics” to be negative or a push in the right direction. Whether you have worked in small or large organizations you have probably experienced office politics in one form or another.
In her article Office Politics: Must You Play? A Handbook for Survival/Success, Cheryl Conner intimates that Intel was a company that “…thrived on “constructive confrontation,” and the theory that the atmosphere would force participants to defend their positions thoroughly…” which would in short, “allow the strongest vantage points (and executives) to prevail”. Apparently, the theory worked. Intel stock grew by 2400% during 1987-1997.
On the other hand, why not promote based on good old fashioned ingenuity, hard work, and knowhow? I do my part and I am rewarded accordingly. No one is hurt or overlooked and we all win.
According to BusinessDictionary.com, office politics is “The pursuit of individual agendas and self-interest in an organization without regard to their effect on the organization’s efforts to achieve its goals.”
CollinsDictionary.com defines office politics as “….the ways that power is shared in an organization or workplace, and the ways that it is affected by the personal relationships between the people who work there.”
So is office politics good, bad, or perhaps both? Is it something that you can work to your advantage, or something that is simply detrimental to your career? Should you stay within an organization where office politics are a state of “business as usual”? More importantly will it always exist?
All very important questions and answers may surprisingly be in alignment with your current view(s).
Please post your thoughts.