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Organizational Power and Influence

Course Number:



David Krackhardt,




Organizational Behavior and Theory

Course Description

Power is the ability to get things done. It is fundamental for taking action in organizations and in society. Organizations are political institutions, and effectively mobilizing resources to get things done is essential if a manager is to be effective in their job.

In this course we want to understand what power is, how it is acquired and how to use it to accomplish personal and organizational goals. Managers and members of organizations have different interests and resources. They are interdependent. When interdependent organizational actors with different interests need to attain certain goals, this can not be done without working with and through others. Consequently, we need to find ways to influence others to act in ways which they might not choose to do otherwise. This creates political pressures and processes requiring political  action, creating power dynamics in organizations.

In this course, we want to explore organizational power and politics to help you to learn to more effectively manage in an organization. We will examine several issues including:

What is power?

Who gets power and how do they hold on to it?

How do you feel about power? What is the role of personality?

What factors determine how power is distributed in an organization?

Diagnosing political processes in an organization

Developing influence in organizations

The impact on us of power and powerlessness 



Lecture: 100min/wk and Recitation: 50min/wk