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Organisations are inherently political entities due to 3 sources of conflict:

  • Diversity of perspectives,
  • Interdependence, and:
  • Scarcity of resources;

And yet many managers seem to have the same impulses when it comes to office politics - "it's a waste of time, I don't want to deal with it," often citing power as a bad thing, a source of corruption.

Behaving ethically and productively requires managers to pay attention to and use those 3 dynamics as opposed to being afraid of or ignoring them. Inactivity in this sense leads to powerlessnes, the true source of corruption.

To succeed in office politics, managers need to invest time in creating the following 3 networks:

  • 1. Operational Network.
  • 2. Strategic Network.
  • 3. Developmental Network.

Source: The Best Way to Play Office Politics - Harvard Business Review