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Management Concepts & Organisational Behaviour - Organisational Power & Politics

Defensive Behaviour as a part of Organisational Politics - Organisational Power & Politics

   Posted On :  19.05.2018 09:45 pm

Individuals in the organisation engage quite often in reactive and protective defensive behavior with the objective of avoiding action, balances or change.

Defensive Behaviour as a part of Organisational Politics
 
Individuals in the organisation engage quite often in reactive and protective defensive behavior with the objective of avoiding action, balances or change. Each of the objectives of defensive behaviour is illustrated in the following lines.
 

Avoiding Action

 
Here are six popular ways to avoid action.
 
Over conforming
 
Rigid Adherence to politics, rules and precedents to avoid action in a particular case.
 
Buck Passing
 
Transferring responsibility for action or decision making to some one else in the organisation.
 
Playing Dumb
 
False pleading of ignorance or inability to avoid an unwanted task.
 
Depersonalisation
 
To avoid becoming personally involved, people are treated as objects and numbers. This distancing from them avoids problems and the need for considering their idiosyncrasies and impact of events on them.
 
Stretching and Smoothing
 
Stretching is prolonging task. Smoothing refers to covering up fluctuations in effort or output. Both are designs to give semblance of being busy and productive.
 
Stalling
 
Being supportive publicly while doing little or nothing privately.
 

Avoiding Blame

 
The following behaviours are intended to avoid blame, or actual or anticipated negative results.
 
Buffing
 
Documenting activity to projection image of competence and thoroughness
 
Playing Safe
 
Taking only profitable projects, having risky decisions approved by superiors, qualifying judgements and taking neutral positions in conflict situations- all are to evade situations pregnant with unfavourable outcomes.
 
Justifying
 
Developing explanations to minimize responsibility for negative result and/ or apologizing to demonstrate remorse.
 
Scapegoating

 Shifting the blame for negative results on external factors.
 
Misrepresenting
 
Manipulating of information by distorting, embellishing and selectively representing it.
 
Escalation of Commitment 

By throwing good money (additional resources) after bad money (poor decisions and failing courses of action) to demonstrate confidence in the past actions and consistency over time.
 

Avoiding change

 
When people feel threatened by change they resort to the following behaviours
 
Resisting Change: This is a catch-all phase under which many defensive bahaviours are covered.
 
Protecting Turf: Fencing the job territory to avoid encroachment. Immediate consequence of defensive behaviours is reduced organisational effectiveness. Their long-term consequences are organisational stagnation, detachment from organisational environment, highly politicized organisational culture and low morale.

 

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