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.
Here are six popular ways to
Rigid Adherence to politics, rules and precedents
to avoid action in a particular case.
Transferring responsibility for action or decision
making to some one else in the organisation.
pleading of ignorance or inability to avoid an unwanted task.
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 is prolonging task.
Smoothing refers to covering up fluctuations in effort or output. Both are
designs to give semblance of being busy and productive.
supportive publicly while doing little or nothing privately.
The following behaviours are intended to avoid blame, or actual or
anticipated negative results.
Documenting activity to projection image of
competence and thoroughness
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.
Developing explanations to minimize responsibility
for negative result and/ or apologizing to demonstrate remorse.
the blame for negative results on external factors.
Manipulating of information by distorting,
embellishing and selectively representing it.
Escalation of Commitment
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
Tags : Management Concepts & Organisational Behaviour - Organisational Power & Politics
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