Organizations as Political Systems

Team E Class Notes: February 23, 2011


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Topic Overview

Key Terminology

Term or Concept
Definition
Author, Page
Politics
from Greek πολιτικός, "of, for, or relating to citizens"

autocracy
system of political rule where all power is held by an individual or a small group
Morgan, p. 153
bureaucracy
the basis of rule is established via the written rules
Morgan, p. 153
technocracy
knowledge and skills are the basis of power
Morgan, p. 153
codetermination
opposing parties align efforts in the interest of mutual benefit
Morgan, p. 153
representative democracy
rule by those who are elected to office for a specified period of time
Morgan, p. 153
direct democracy
rule by the people, everyone has the equal right to rule
Morgan, p. 153
unitary frame
of reference
an orientation influenced by the belief that the goals of the organization are more important than individuals' goals
Morgan pp. 194-195
pluralist frame of reference
an orientation influenced by the belief that conflict is inherent in organizations (those who see organizations as political systems have this frame of reference)
Morgan, pp. 194-195
radical frame of interest
an orientation influenced by the belief that conflict in organizations is a mirror of society's inequities
Morgan, pp. 194-195
ambiguity of purpose
difficulty of establishing clear-cut goals on an institutional level due to the changing nature of higher education
Cohen & March, p.16
ambiguity of power
who really yields the power and where is the decision actually made?
Cohen & March, p.17
ambiguity of experience
experience is subjective, so it is difficult to know whether an individual's actions are truly impacting an outcome
Cohen & March, p.18
ambiguity of success
Administrative success is often evaluated based on promotion and a profit-loss statement, but high-level administrators (aka college presidents) cannot judge their success by this criteria. How, then, do they/we judge their success?
Cohen & March, pp. 19-20
playfulness
the relaxation or suspension of rules in order to explore new rules
Cohen & March, p.32
organizational saga
"... a collective understanding of unique accomplishment in a formally established group."
Clark, p. 134

Summary of Readings

Bolman & Deal: Chapter 9


Editor's note: There is an Interesting observation on p. 205 that may tie into W&M history: "Managers need to track the shifting boundaries of zones of indifference so they do not blunder into decisions that seem safe but stir up unanticipated firestorms of criticism and resistance." Was W&M President Gene Nichol's decision to move a cross from display in the college's chapel -- and the controversy that followed - the type of miscalculation that Bolman & Deal describe? Read the Washington Post story that reports on Nichol's resignation:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/story/2008/02/12/ST2008021201428.html


Power, Conflict, and Coalition (Ethics) Within the Political Frame of Organizations

February 1, 2003 – U.S. space shuttle Columbia crash during descent

It was concluded that the “Columbia’s loss resulted as much from organizational as from technical failures. Organizational breakdowns included ‘the original compromises that were required to gain approval for the shuttle, subsequent years of resource-constraints, fluctuating priorities, schedule pressures, mischaracterization of the shuttle as operational rather than developmental, and lack of an agreed national vision for human space flight’ (Columbia Accident Investigation Board, 2003, P.9).”



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January 28, 1986 – U.S. space shuttle Challenger crash during ascent

After pleas from the engineers at Thiokol (makers of the O-rings on the shuttle) to delay the launch for fear of freezing weather, NASA and senior managers at Thiokol decided to proceed with the launch. NASA managers and Thiokol managers were both feeling political pressure from within their own organizations.

NASA pressures – After concerns of overspending, NASA had promised that space travel would eventually pay for itself with an “ambitious plan: twelve flights in 1984, fourteen in 1985, and seventeen in 1986.” NASA was falling behind. Actual flights were five in 1984 and eight in 1985.

Thiokol pressures – Thiokol (based in Utah) had won the sole contract to build the rocket boosters for the shuttles thirteen years earlier. The chairman of the Senate Aeronautics and Space Committee, and the NASA administrator were both insiders in the “tightly knit Utah political hierarchy.” Thiokol was “reluctant to risk their billion-dollar contract by halting shuttle flight operations long enough to correct flaws in the booster joint design (McConnell, 1987, p.7).”


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Political assumptions

Five propositions for the political frame
1. Organizations are coalitions of assorted individuals and interest groups.
2. Coalition members have enduring differences in values, beliefs, information, interests, and perceptions of reality.
3. Most important decisions involve allocating scarce resources – who gets what.
4. Scarce resources and enduring differences put conflict at the center of day-to-day dynamics and make power the most important asset.
5. Goals and decisions emerge from bargaining and negotiation among competing stakeholders jockeying for their own interests.

Example of the five propositions as they played in the Challenger incident
1. Organizations are coalitions. NASA was part of a complex coalition of contractors, Congress, the White House, the military, the media, and the American public.
2. Coalition members have enduring differences. NASA wanted more funding, while the public wanted lower taxes. Astronauts wanted more safety, while NASA wanted to maintain its flight schedules.
3. Important decisions involve allocating scarce resources. Time and money were both in short supply.
4. Scarce resources and enduring differences make conflict central and power the most important asset. NASA was Thiokol’s only customer (=power).
5. Goals and decisions emerge from bargaining, negotiation, and jockeying for position among competing stakeholders. Thiokol managers feared if they acknowledged problems with their products, it would “erode the company’s credibility”.

Organizations as Coalitions

Coalitions of various individuals and interest groups. Each group has different objectives and resources.

Power and Decision Making

Alliances in an organization need power to accomplish their common goals.
Structural theorists say - Power --> authority --> decisions.
Human resource theorists say – Influence --> mutuality --> collaboration (= participation, openness, and collaboration substitutes power).

Authorities and Partisans
  • Authority is a form of power.
  • Scarce resources cause group needs to collide.
  • Authorities are entitled to make decisions on partisans.

“If partisans are convinced that existing authorities are too evil or incompetent to continue, they risk trying to wrest with control – unless they regard the authorities as too formidable. Conversely, if partisans trust authority, they will accept and support it in the event of an attack.”

Sources of Power
  • Position power (authority)
  • Control of rewards
  • Coercive power
  • Information and expertise
  • Reputation
  • Personal power
  • Alliances and networks
  • Access and control of agendas
  • Framing: control of meaning and symbols

Distribution of Power: Overbounded and Underbounded Systems
  • Overbounded system – Power is highly concentrated and everything is tightly regulated.
  • Underbounded system – Power is diffuse and the system is very loosely controlled.

Conflict in Organizations

Conflict can undermine effectiveness
Conflict, also, can encourage new ideas and approaches to problems.
  • Horizontal conflict – in the boundary between departments or divisions
  • Vertical conflict – at the border between levels

Morgan: Chapter 6


A factory worker may realize that his or her rights as a citizen are in conflict with their rights (or lack thereof) as an employee. Morgan wrote ". . . he is expected to forget about democracy and get on with his work." In this chapter, Morgan describes organizations as political systems - organizations have issues of authority, power, and labor/management relationships. While politics is often seen as negative, Morgan reminds us that politics are an essential and necessary part of organizations. For Aristotle, politics was a means to create order out of diversity. Politics, according to Aristotle, prevented totalitarian rule.

Editor's Note: "Politics" by Aristotle can be viewed at this link. Aristotle wrote this in 350 BC. Aristotle's political philosophy explores such topics as: citizenship, the distribution of power, types of government, rules of governance, and education. It has been translated by Benjamin Jowett. Aristotle begins book 8 with the following sentence, "NO ONE will doubt that the legislator should direct his attention above all to the education of youth; for the neglect of education does harm to the constitution." Aristotle may have been onto something here....
http://www.constitution.org/ari/polit_00.htm

Morgan identified the most common varieties of political rule found in organizations. They are: autocracy (power held by one individual or a small group), bureaucracy (rule based on written rules), technocracy (rule through knowledge), codetermination (rule based on mutual interests of two opposing groups), representative democracy (rule by elected officials), and direct democracy (rule by the people).

Morgan stated that much can be learned about an organization if one focuses on interests, conflict, and power. Interests are our predispositions. One way to look at these predispositions in the workplace is to examine task, career, and extramural interests. These interests are often in confilct with one another. It is no wonder, that the organizations are political - as these interests can be in conflict among other members of the organization.

Morgan stated that when these interests collide, conflict is often an inevitable outcome. This conflict can be interpersonal, personal, or between rival groups and coalitions. Morgan noted the conflict can be real or it can be perception and that it often arises due to demands on limited resources. These conflicts can be difficult to examine as it (conflict) becomes ingrained in the culture of an organization.

Morgan stated that, "Power is the medium through which conflicts of interest are ultimately resolved. Robert Dahl, a political scientist, defined power as getting someone to do something that they may not have ordinarily done. Morgan presented fourteen (14) sources of power that are among the most important.
They are: formal authority, control of scarce resources, use of organizational structure, rules, and regulations, control of decision processes, control of knowledge and information, control of boundaries, ability to cope with uncertainty, control of technology, interpersonal alliances - networks - and control of informal organizations, control of counterorganizations, symbolism and the management of meaning, gender and the management of gender relations, structural factors that define the stage of action, and the power that one already has.

Typically "formal authority" is the power one has based on his or her position within an organization. Morgan noted that this authority is driven by charisma, tradition, or the rule of law. The "control of scarce resources" is significant in that organizations depend on scarce resources for their very survival. The one who controls these resources has significant power within an organization. The "use of organizational structure, rules, regulations, and procedures" is also a significant source of power. Structural change often has a political component in the way that power is redistributed. The person who can safely navigate the rules of an organization often can use this knowledge to his/her political advantage.

The "control of decision processes" is significant if one can influence who makes what decision and when. Morgan stated that by knowing the facts, eloquence, commitment, and determination can be used to control the decision making process. Power also comes to those who can "control knowledge and information" and who can "control technology." Technology becomes important especially when considering the points of data (information) access. Those with control of information usually are perceived as better suited to make decisions. The individual who can "control boundaries" can often control the interactions and influences of various elements within and external to an organization. Morgan uses the Watergate scandal as an example. What did the President know and when did he know it? Hmmm...perhaps only his aides knew for sure. The individual with the "ability to deal with uncertainty" often has significant power within an organization. This individual who can deal with external and internal uncertainty can position themselves as significant to the overall health of an organization and thus a valued member.

Individuals can derive power in organizations from alliances and networks formed through relationships with mentors, affiliation with groups or organizations outside work, friendships, talk around the "water cooler," or membership in professional groups and associations. An employee also may derive power by being a part of a "counterorganization," such as a trade union, lobbying group, or social movement. Morgan cites the example of consumer rights advocate Ralph Nader as someone who became a significant influence on American companies as an outsider.

Morgan notes that some leaders are adept at managing power through "symbolic management." Such leaders create a message through imagery (leaders who refer to a work group as a "team," for example), theater (a company president may reinforce the message that he or she is in charge, for example, through the choice of an ornate desk), and gamesmanship (a leader whose every action is calculated).

The author has an interesting section devoted to the role that gender plays in organizations: "Many organizations are dominated by gender-related values that bias organizational life in favor of one sex over another." Viewed through this lens you may be able to observe behavior by which the less powerful seek to cope with such inequity. Among the "female strategies" he cites "the daughter," a woman who seeks out a man higher up in the organization to act as a mentor or sponsor; among "male strategies" he cites as an example the "good friend," a man who seeks to become a confidant or source of advice to women in the organization.

An individual's place in an organization and his or her access to power also may be impacted by the "deep structure of power" in society and the historical moment in which he or she lives. Morgan cites factors such as "economics, race, and class relations" as being part of this structure. Interestingly, Morgan follows this caution with a section that details what individuals can do to increase the power they already possess: they may broker it as "social credit" among their peers (Manager A backs Manager B hoping for payback in the future), or they may help a subordinate gain power (thus, possibly indebting that person to them). He adds to this observation an important reminder that gaining a sense of power often has a transforming effect on people's attitudes: small victories often inspire people (and communities) to pursue larger ones.

Frames of reference. An organization viewed as a political system uses a pluralist frame of reference. Morgan outlines three frames of reference and notes each leads to a different management approach.


Unitary
Pluralist
Radical
Interests
influenced by the belief
that the goals of the organization are greater than
the goals of individuals
recognizes that there
are competing forces in organizational life, views
an organization as a "loose coalition"
argues that most organizational
structuresexploit individuals (strongly influenced
by Marxist philosophy)
Conflict
treated as an exception and as a "source of
trouble"
conflict is inherent in organizations
conflict is inherent in organizations and mirror social
inequities
Power
power is not recognized as having a strong
role in organizations

"authority, leadership, and control" characterize
managerial orientation
understanding power - who has it and
how they got it - is key to managing the
organization
power is destructive and reflects society's inherent inequities
impact on
managers'
attitudes
may stress "team" approach as a way of avoiding
conflict
focusing on managing "conflict in ways that
will benefit the overall organization ... or will
promote his or her interests within the organization"
emphasis on radical change to the organizational
structure

Morgan notes that managers handle conflict in five different ways (and may employ different approaches to different situations). He cites the results of a survey of managers to give examples of situations in which each approach was productive:

"Accommodating" - a good stance to take if you realize you are wrong!

"Avoiding" - recognizing that a problem would be best solved by someone else in the organization.

"Collaborating" - if consensus is an important goal.

"Competing" - in a "do or die" situation for your organization ("e.g., emergencies)

"Compromising" - in a situation in which two powerful groups do not have overlapping goals.


Test Yourself: Modes of Political Rule

Match the following personalities/organizations to the Modes of Political Rule (Autocracy, Bureaucracy, Technocracy, Codetermination, Representative Democracy, and Direct Democracy) they advocate(d). (According to Morgan, 2006, p. 153).

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Cohen & March: Leadership in an Organized Anarchy


“Since leaders receive credit for many things over which they contribute little, they should find it possible
to accomplish some of the things they want by allowing others to savor the victories, enjoy the pleasures
of involvement, and receive profits of public importance” (Cohen and March, p.24).


The Ambiguities of Anarchy

Cohen and March identify four ambiguities faced by college presidents: the ambiguity of purpose, the ambiguity of power, the ambiguity of experience, and the ambiguity of success. According to Cohen and March, these ambiguities challenge ordinary theories of leadership, and thus deserve examination.

The Ambiguity of Purpose
It is difficult to produce clear-cut goals on an institutional level for multiple reasons. First, examining past goals does not often help to inform the success of future goals. Second, inconsistencies tend to appear when a university develops one set of objectives. Third, the objectives of higher education and individuals institutions are constantly changing, and college presidents have to respond to these changes as they occur.

The Ambiguity of Power
“A person has power if he gets things done, if he has power, he can get things done” (p.17).
University presidents face the issue of yielding a great deal of power for one individual at an institution, but at the same time yielding less power than is actually assumed of them by others at the institution. However, presidents often use this dichotomy to their advantage. Presidents tend to admit, or take advantage of, the power that they possess. At the same time, they are quick to explain the limits of their power. Because presidents are often viewed as figureheads, when a university’s climate is positive, the president is applauded and when a university’s climate is negative, the president is criticized. Presidents themselves attempt to control these views by claiming their lack of power or responsibility during bad times and by capitalizing on their power and influence during good times. This tactic is not restricted to college presidents; any individual can use ambiguity to his/her benefit depending on the situation.

The Ambiguity of Experience
A simple learning paradigm for a university president:
  1. A president faces a choice of a plan for action.
  2. The president has a probability of choosing an action.
  3. The president observes and assesses the outcome of the chosen action.
  4. The probability of the president repeating the action in the future depends on whether or not it met the intended goals.
This learning paradigm results in a subjective experience, based on outcome and feedback. However, it is difficult for presidents to follow this four-step model because the outcomes of their actions often involve factors outside of the president’s control and we live in a rapidly changing world where institutional conditions are unstable. Therefore, it is sometimes impossible to know whether the outcome occurred because of the action taken by the president or as a result of some extraneous factor. This uncertainty of reasons for outcomes can lead to false learning; a president might think that he is learning from his actions and gaining a greater understanding of higher education, but in reality he might be gaining a false confidence.
Note: I tend to believe that the same could be said for any administrator.

The Ambiguity of Success
Administrative success is often determined by professional promotion or by examining a profit and loss statement. The largest issues with these criteria are:
  • as administrators advance in position and age, promotion becomes less possible (perhaps an individual has already reached his/her highest employment potential)
  • criteria for determining success becomes less stable or accepted over time
  • the administrator realizes that outside factors impact his/her performance
These issues are further illuminated when examined in terms of the success of a college president. It is rare for a president to be promoted past the position of presidency; he/she may accept offers of presidency at different institutions, but promotions out of this position are few and far between. Measurements of success are rarely stable for presidents due to the changing nature of higher education, and the overall current climate of the college is not attributable solely to presidential action. A president faces the difficult challenge of needing to act in a responsible and appropriate manner, yet at the same time knowing that outside factors have a great influence on the institutional climate and thus presidential success is largely outside of his/her control. A suggested response to this challenge is to face responsibilities head-on and find enjoyment in the presidential role in hopes of feeling relevant and important.

Leader Response to Anarchy

According to Cohen and March, the leaders of organized anarchy face the same four ambiguities as college presidents. In order for a leader in either of these roles to be successful, he/she needs to have humility. A university president typically only significantly affects the institution during his/her term because the climate can easily shift under new leadership. Different presidents have different agendas, and certain “goals” that seemed vital under one president might not garner as much attention under new leadership. When presidents think of themselves as too important/influential, they often become afflicted by fear of error. This fear results in a “play it safe” attitude, which can lead to less overall impact and a lack of enjoyment on the part of the president.

The Elementary Tactics of Administrative Action

“Five major properties of decision-making in organized anarchies that are of substantial importance to the tactics of accomplishing things in colleges and universities” (p.22):
  1. The actual issue isn't always of great importance; it's often more about personal feelings and the symbolic nature of the issue.
  2. The system is sluggish; if something takes a great deal of coordination, it is unlikely to occur.
  3. "Any decision can become a garbage can for almost any problem"; it is more about timing than about the actual issues.
  4. When the system is overloaded, decisions are less frequently made through a formal process.
  5. "The organization has a weak information base."

Eight tactical rules for influencing university decisions:
  1. Spend Time
  2. Persist
  3. Exchange Status for Substance
  4. Facilitate Opposition Participation
  5. Overload the System
  6. Provide Garbage Cans
  7. Manage Unobtrusively
  8. Interpret History

The Technology of Foolishness

Our cultural construction of intelligent choice assume that purpose exists, that consistency is necessary, and that rationality is the basis of decisions. This cultural construction also shape theories of organizational choice, with a large assumption being that goals exist and decisions are made based on these goals. One of the problems with this is that human choice influences the creation of goals and goals are ever-changing (especially in higher education).

Sensible foolishness: Can imitation be a predictor for future success?
Does coercion have to be viewed in a negative light? Can it promote individuality?
Can rationalization serve to assess the feasibility of changing goals?
Play and reason: Playfulness is the relaxation or suspension of rules in order to explore new rules. However, because consistency is viewed so highly, many leaders lack the ability to challenge their own beliefs for fear of seeming inconsistent.

Clark: The Organizational Saga in Higher Education


Introduction

Clark defines an organizational saga as "... a collective understanding of unique accomplishments in a formally established group." In his paper, he looks at three colleges - Antioch, Reed, and Swarthmore - as examples of higher education institutions in which a saga played an important role in transforming each school into a "beloved institution" by a group. Such sagas are rooted in fact, according to Clark, but, over time, have been "embellished through retelling and rewriting." There are three essential components to an organizational saga, it is "... (a) rooted in history, (b) claims unique accomplishment, and (c) is held with sentiment by the group."

Sagas play an important role in human experience because they help individuals find meaning in their everyday lives, meaning that helps them rationalize their commitment of time and energy to an enterprise. Some Utopian communities, religious cults, and political organizations are illustrations of organizations whose sagas have a powerful, often lifelong affect on believers. However, Clark also points to organizations, such as professional sporting teams, that inspire sagas that are inherently fragile and often short-lived due to teams' changing fortunes and the media's waning interest.

In higher education sagas tend to have staying power, he argues, because they take hold over decades and become enmeshed in many parts of the organization. Such sagas, find "... protection in the webbing of institutional parts. ... and can be relegated to the past only by years of attenuation and decline."

Development of Saga

Clark explores two stages in the development of sagas: initiation and fulfillment.

Initiation
According to Clark, the conditions surrounding the beginning of each of the three colleges' sagas were quite different.

Reed College: A saga of "strong purpose" in the founding of a college. Clark describes the founding of Reed in 1910 by William T. Foster, an educational reformer and Reed's first president, who wanted to break ties with the orthodoxy of eastern colleges which he deemed "corrupt in practice."

Antioch College: A saga of a college reborn amidst "a crisis of decay." The author describes an "institutional renovation" of the college in the 1920s, some sixty years after its founding, led by college trustee and later president Arthur E. Morgan.

Swarthmore College: A saga of a college neither in crisis nor decline, but "ready for evolutionary change." Clark describes how Swarthmore's "financial health, liberal Quaker ethos, and ... institutional ambition" allowed President Frank Aydelotte to introduce curriculum changes in the 1920s that transformed the college.

Fulfillment
While the conditions surrounding the initiation of a saga vary, Clark argues that sagas in higher education flourish due to a predictable set of factors including personnel (such as faculty), programs, a social base (such as alumni), or imagery.

Personnel - The author notes that senior faculty are among the three groups of "believers" who can be key in perpetuating the saga. He describes how "faculty believers" at all three colleges defended the sagas as presidents changed and new professors joined their ranks. Other groups of "believers" include a social base (alumni) and the student subculture (student body).

Programs - Clark notes that for a program to be at the core of a saga it must be recognized by both insiders and outsiders as distinctive. At Reed, for example, "not reporting grades to the students" becomes a symbolic action that sets Reed apart from other colleges and perpetuates its saga.

Social Base - The author notes that alumni are a unique "believer" group in that their distance from the day-to-day life of the contemporary college allows them "... to hold beliefs enduringly pure ...."

Student Subculture - These "believers" carry " ... a developing saga from one generation to another."

Imagery of Saga - The saga also may be expressed through statues, ceremonies, copy in the college admissions viewbook, or the official history.

Editor's Note: While Clark notes that sagas surrounding professional sports teams are often fragile, it is interesting to think about how college athletic teams may have more durable sagas because they are supported by a diverse groups of "believers" - senior faculty, the student body, and alumni. The poisoning of symbolic oak trees at Auburn University by an University of Alabama fan in February 2011 made the national news:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/02/19/AR2011021902212.html

Conclusion

"In an organization defined by a strong saga," Clark writes, "there is a feeling that there is the small world of the lucky few and the large routine one of the rest of the world." Schools can draw on their sagas in their efforts to recruit new students and to help prevent turnover among faculty and staff. The study of sagas may lead to new insights about the ability of organizations "to enhance or diminish" people's lives.

Class Notes


Agenda February 23rd
•(15 minutes) Housekeeping: March 2nd event; shift in groups with Nicole dropping; Reminder of Dessert on March 3rd; Shift of the international group project—no meeting on May 4th—will be online on Bb; case review
•(15 minutes) PP overview—note HR posting
•(30 minutes) Organizational saga—in case writing teams
•(15 minutes) BREAK
•(45 minutes) Political Frame Project

The class started with the Professor’s remarks on the Housekeeping items. Afterwards, Pam Eddy presented her power point on the Political Frame:


These are the highlights of the presentation: Bolman and Deal’s chapter on the Political Frame, although predictable, is very useful to the analyses. We often think of politics as negative, however it provides the platform that provides conflict.
Whenever we talk about politics, we talk about power. The professor posed three very interesting questions regarding this issue:
1. What sources of power do various organizational members hold?
2. Under what conditions is power exercised?
3. How is power legitimized?

One example of a source of power is hierarchy – as in Weber’s analyses: power is based on formal authority. Pam Eddy gave the example of a survey conducted in which the researchers asked “Do you think you are a leader?” and “Why?” Half of the respondents that responded affirmatively said it was because of the position they hold, which was discouraging. On the other hand, it meant that the other half responded that they were leaders not due the fact of the position they hold! The source of power is really important. If those people who responded "yes" were leaders only because of the position they hold, they might be inefficient.

The coalition of diverse individuals and interest groups is a very important discussion when we consider politics. There are different types of coalition; examples are diversity and faculty unions. As in the recent Wisconsin case in which teachers’ unions are under threat, we see other union coalitions such as bus drivers supporting the teachers. http://chronicle.com/article/With-Unions-Under-Threat/126379/

Another example of "Source of Power and Coalition" is Eric D. Fingerhut's resignation after just four years on the job as chancellor of the Ohio Board of Regents: http://chronicle.com/article/Ohio-Chancellor-Steps-Down/126480/

Morgan, 1997, in Images of Organizations, teaches us about several sources of power. But first, Professor Eddy posed the question: Do we have power? A student in the class noted that we don’t possess power; however, the professor suggested that we do have more power than we think. Power of knowledge: we can control some decisions in our own little world (as we noted in Egypt as they joined together with one objective). Other important examples of sources of power are control of information, technology, the use of structures, rules, and regulations, symbolism and the management of meaning.

Professor Eddy noted the importance of conflict to make change, to stimulate and germinate new ideas. Nevertheless, when reducing conflict is necessary considerable factors such as, physical separation (sit beside rather than across from someone you are in conflict with) and try to stay calm (sometimes staying calm when someone else is shouting in a meeting is a source of power).

When we think of organizations we think of them as gender neutral, but often they are not. In higher education, 77% of college presidents are male. What barries exist that prevent women from becoming presidents? How do we get power within gender? It is crucial to train women for higher-level positions. However, men also get hurt in the discussion, it goes both ways.

During the second part of the class we discussed the creation of the organizational saga for our group case study.

During the final part of the class we participated in a Political Frame Project in which the class was divided in four groups (1. K-12 High School Administrator; 2. K-12 Teacher; 3. College Administrator; 4. College Teacher). We had to determine a plan of action for a dual enrollment policy for high school students from the public school to take classes at the college. The discussion was about whose perspective dominated the discussion. Later, Professor Eddy noted how important our background are to our perspectives. She highlighted how our personal experiences can cloud how we think and react to opinions and ideas and how being aware of that is important. Moreover, she asked if the decisions that resulted from our group discussion was political. Money and funding seemed to be common themes sounded during the discussion.

At the end, Professor Eddy encouraged us to, during the next week, watch our social interactions and ask ourselves: 'Where am I noticing the source of power?' As she noted earlier in her Power Point presentation, every Source of Social Relation is a Source of Power: “Power and control are embedded in all social relationships and organizational practices, and are constructed and reproduced in everyday interactions”.

What are the Sources of Power in the following video? For the reporter, the governor, demonstrators, and Democrat Senators?