Michael’s workplace Essay
Michael needs to consider a number of dependencies. His instincts have already told him that his very state of employment might be dependent on taking the job in China. He also needs to be prepared to maintain work relationships in the United States, as he is dependent on those relationships to 1) maintain his level of effectiveness as a manager and 2) to maintain a positive presence in the United States. Michael should be cognizant of the dependencies he has at home. The standard of living and style of living will be different in China than they are in the United States.
In order to function effectively, he will need the full support of his entire family to adapt to a new social environment. In addition, he will need to consider the possibility that his wife may not be able to find immediate employment upon moving overseas, if she is able to find work at all. Hachey (2004) states that “life can be tough for the spouse of private company employees who work overseas,” (p. 84) indicating that many of the problems that face such couple arises from bored or disgruntled spouses that feel neglected because the working spouse spends too much time away from home.
Although his children are at an age that Michael assumes can move easily from one place to another, he should also consider them in this move, particularly in terms of education and culture. While they do not have the same power as his wife might have to affect his eventual decision to remain in China, unhappy and unruly children can make it difficult for him to do his job in a new and unfamiliar environment. Do Michael’s colleagues demonstrate legitimate or illegitimate political behavior? Explain.
According to Jex (2002) political actions will occur between individuals in an organization when there is competition for resources, particularly when few rules exist to govern behavior. When an organization’s policies are ambiguous, the people involved in setting them may make these policies appear political. However, not all political behavior is bad. Jex (2002) indicates that political behavior is common during periods of change, such as is occurring with the shift in leadership at Michael’s company. Legitimate power and legitimate political behavior comes with authority to make the request.
When Michael’s colleagues approached him to talk about the position in which they were all interested, they were not using legitimate political actions. However, when M. Lafleur approached Michael to leverage him into the managerial job in China, he was acting from a legitimate political position. What should Michael do about the China opportunity? Why? Unless his wife is in an equally advanced place in her career and can provide equal or better opportunities for the family by remaining in the country, it would seem advisable for Michael to take the China opportunity.
Rather than just being concerned that he might be unemployed if he does not take the job, however, he should also consider whether Lafleur’s offer of going to China might not be a genuine opportunity for advancement, since some companies prefer that a person at high levels of a multinational corporation to have experience doing business in more than one country. That is, Lafleur may be thinking in the long term and be positioning Michael to take on a position at a higher level even than President of U. S. Operations.
What should Michael do about the open position for President of U. S. Operations? If Michael is being offered the position in China, there’s no question that a purpose existed behind it. He was offered the position because 1) the boss wanted him to take the position and continue working with the firm, 2) the boss wanted him to refuse the position and remove himself from the company, or 3) the boss was positioning Michael to determine his suitability at a higher position after gaining some international experience.
It is clear that the open position for President of U.S. Operations. Does Michael have any power in this situation, and if so, what type(s) of power? Michael believed that he had power because he played golf with the CEO. However, he had not created alliances for himself, reducing the actual power that he had at the company. While he is not being encouraged to leave, he is not necessarily being asked to stay, either. Although Michael has reasonable “position power” in terms of having a job with authority to speak and act in a certain way, he does not have a great deal of personal power.
Personal power comes from the manner in which an individual uses innate traits to interact with his or her business associates (McIntyre, 2005). If Michael has characteristics that can be used to develop personal power, he has not chosen to use it in his current position. That being said, Nancy Clifford Widmann and Amy Dorn Kopelan, writing in Peebles (2005) think that Michael has good bargaining power, stating that the boss recognizes his talent and is offering him what will be an instrumental position due to concern over losing him.
Although they admit that Michael will have to go to China to take advantage of that bargaining power, Widmann and Kopelan indicate that doing so will increase his position power. How can Michael improve his political edge? Provide at least two or three solid suggestions, including power tactics, for Michael to use. Michael must increase his network of business associates. By increasing the number of people who can support him in his business endeavors, Michael can also increase his personal power if he interacts with them in a positive fashion.
If Michael increases his alliances with the United States office, then he will be able to carry it to his next position, as well. In addition to increasing his network, Michael needs to ensure that he has support from the new President of the U. S. Operations. If Danielle is being positioned to take that job–and it seems that she may have been moved into the office to bring her into that position–then he must seek to ally himself with her.
Because she appears to have the ear of the Paris office, allying himself with Danielle can work to his benefit. References
Hachey, J. (2004). The big guide to living and working overseas: 3,045 career building resources (4th ed.). Toronto, Ontario: Intercultural Systems. Jex, S. M. (2002). Organizational psychology: A scientist-practitioner approach. New York: John Wiley & Sons. McIntyre, M. G. (2005). Secrets to winning at office politics: How to achieve your goals and increase your influence at work. New York.
University/College: University of California
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 19 April 2017
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