Influence of Politics and Power
In contemporary business organizations that incorporate multiple shareholders, leaders, supervisors, and employees, the complexity of action coordination depends on a variety of influential factors. They include organizational politics and power, which construct how a company operates and how it approaches the management of its performance on a corporate level. Thus, corporate culture mainly depends on the distribution of power and the characteristics of politics in an organization.
Verizon Wireless is an American telecommunication company that has expanded over all states and specializes in providing high-quality telecommunication services to millions of users. According to Gregory (2017), Verizon’s corporate culture is based around striving for performance excellence and service quality, which derive from effective leadership and power distribution. Such a direction of the company’s corporate culture contributes to its competitive advantage. The latter is closely connected with the employees’ contribution to decision-making on multiple organizational levels, including brand development. At this point, “the cultural emphasis on high quality sustains a strong brand image that attracts customers in the wireless telecommunications services market and addresses competition as a major factor in the external business environment” (Gregory, 2017, para. 2). Therefore, the performance of Verizon Wireless on the market depends on its corporate culture, which, in turn, is influenced by corporate politics and power distribution.
As it has been mentioned before, the employees of Verizon have an opportunity of active participation in corporate decision-making via the means of their knowledge and expertise. Consequently, the employees of the company have expert power over the organization due to the knowledge and skills they generate as specialists in their respective fields. However, it is the leadership that has created such a corporate culture that prioritizes employees and enables their execution of expert power. Ultimately, such an influence benefits both the employees and the company, since both achieve their goals.
As for politics, it might be viewed from two angles, namely, external politics and organizational politics. Verizon Wireless works under the guidance of multiple governmental regulations that tie the company to the current political environment in the state. However, on an organizational level, politics is considered to be the “behaviors that are outside those in which the organization has taken a specific position for or against” (Oladosu Omisore & Nwaneka Nweke, 2014, p. 171). In other words, organizational politics involves actions of individuals that occur as a result of the lack of resources and are motivated by selfish intentions of pursuing one’s individual interests but not the interests of the organization as a whole. As for the case of Verizon Wireless, the corporate culture of this company is not adversely impacted by politics. The promotion of employees is conducted under the guidance of transparent rules. Moreover, the culture developed in the corporation “promotes virtue ethics as a framework for decision-making and problem-solving processes” (Gregory, 2017, para. 9). Thus, the management of the company, as well as its employees, do not engage in political behavior on an organizational level.
Sources of Power
The many actors involved in the organizational cooperation might be both receivers and producers of power, depending on the source of power. In scholarly literature, several sources of power and their bases are identified. In particular, coercion is one of the sources of power, which is related to the ability of an individual who has such an authority to impose threats on others with the aim of making them behave in a certain way (Oladosu Omisore & Nwaneka Nweke, 2014). If a manager tells an employee that if he or she does not perform in the desired way, he or she will be punished then the manager uses the power of coercion. Another source of power is legitimacy; it derives from the assumption that the individual who influences others possesses rights to measure values (Oladosu Omisore & Nwaneka Nweke, 2014). For example, a company CEO has a right to fire or employ individuals, as well as control their corporate performance. The employees obey this power because it suffices the organizational hierarchy.
Also, the reward is a source of power, using which one can motivate others and encourage them to perform in the interests of an organization. Indeed, when promised to obtain a raise in case of successful completion of a project, an employee will contribute more to the work process, thus exposing themselves to the power of reward. Information might be a source of power when a person has access to knowledge or data that expands their performance opportunities. These four sources of power constitute a group of sources that depend on an organizational level.
On the other hand, there are sources of power on a personal level that do not depend on a person’s position in the organizational hierarchy. Indeed, expertise is a source of power that is available to all employees of a company. Their knowledge and skills in their professional field allow them to influence the organization’s goal achievement and overall outcomes. Similarly, the last source of power that is originated on a personal level is referent power. This source of power might be used by charismatic leaders to influence the employees with the help of their character traits and experience. The influenced individuals follow a leader possessing referent power and copy their model of behavior in an organization (Oladosu Omisore & Nwaneka Nweke, 2014). Thus, power is distributed across all levels of organizational structure and significantly influences the overall outcomes of a company.
Verizon Wireless might use different sources of power to motivate and encourage high-quality performance in their employees. Transparency of leadership decision-making might enable the influence of referent power and promote efficiency in corporate culture. Also, to improve the culture in the company, the management might use legitimacy and rewards as the power to enforce both high standards of performance and the feeling of being appreciated for employees’ contributions. Since Verizon Wireless is a company that is particularly dependent on interaction with its customers, favorable corporate culture is vitally important to the cultivation of trustworthy and reliable corporate relationships.
Leadership Behavior and Culture
The managers of a company are entitled to legitimate power due to the authority given to them by their hierarchical position. However, authority as the right to influence employees does not necessarily imply power, which is the ability to influence others (Oladosu Omisore & Nwaneka Nweke, 2014). Therefore, it is important for a large company like Verizon Wireless to facilitate the style of leadership that possesses the power but influences the employees based on legitimacy, reward, and reference. At the same, it is important to encourage employees’ expertise power further to build a solid knowledge capital within the company (Gregory, 2017). In the modern highly competitive world, information and human capital are the most valuable assets that lead companies towards their goal achievement. Thus, leadership should develop a transparent and highly professional organizational culture free of politics. The only way to avoid politics in corporate performance is to ensure the availability of resources, the most important of which is human capital.
The role of leadership expands beyond the mere organization of the company’s achievement of business goals and involves the solving of such issues as a company employee and job satisfaction. For the employees to retain and contribute their best assets to the company, leadership must develop a certain type of behavior. It should cultivate the recognition of devotion to the process by means of reward power, assimilation of individual professional interests with the organizational ones, and the continuous improvement of the workplace conditions and opportunities (Gregory, 2017). When these goals are achieved by the management of a company, the level of employee and job satisfaction will be high.
Such complexity of leadership behavior implies significant alterations in organizational structure and performance since responsible departments need to be established to control and facilitate the actions aimed at the solving of job satisfaction issues. As the case of Verizon Wireless shows, the encouragement of teamwork, values-driven foundation, and excellence in performance are the necessary constituents of favorable corporate culture, where employees’ satisfaction is high (Gregory, 2017). Thus, specific training interventions, guidelines of professional conduct, and employee committees need to be integrated into the company’s structure and performance to ensure leadership’s inclusion in the problem-solving process.
Gregory, L. (2017). Verizon’s organizational culture of quality in performance. Web.
Oladosu Omisore, B., & Nwaneka Nweke, A. (2014). The influence of power and politics in organizations. International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences, 4(7), 164-183.