Commenting on Power and Politics

December 19, 2010
School of Business, Bengaluru

“How can a person play positive politics in the office such that not only he, but also the entire organisation is benefitted?”

A trick question? Can there be such a thing as positive politics?

Not easily fazed, the students immediately responded in a manner, however, that showed maturity and clarity of thought.

“It is not easy to play politics in an organisation,” they answered. “This drives you away from the goal and work, and ultimately puts you in a spot in front of your superiors.”

Power and Politics

The students clarified further, adding an important point.

“Politics cannot be positive or negative, it is objective in nature.”

Perhaps they spoke from experience. Before joining Amrita, Aswin, their student team leader, was employed at Infosys Technologies, a software firm known for its emphasis on ethics in the workplace.

The students were making a presentation in their Organisational Behaviour class, as part of the curriculum for the dual-degree MBA-MS program, they were enrolled in.

These first-year students, upon graduation, will receive an MBA degree from the Amrita School of Business and an MS degree from the State University of Buffalo at New York.

The topic of presentation was Power and Politics; student groups interviewed industry executives and many others for their views on the topic.

Power and PoliticsThe groups then made posters to graphically depict their understanding; and shared their insights with the rest of the class in 20-minute presentations. The question-answer sessions that followed, saw students quiz each other with questions such as the one above.

“The central idea of this exercise was to have students get a complete understanding of what people think about power and politics today,” shared Apoorv Singhal, who also completed his degree in Bachelors of Business Management (BBM) at Amrita, before enrolling for this dual-degree program.

How did Apoorv define power and politics?

“I quoted my mentor who said that one plays power games and politics when one is being driven by factors other than the desire to change things for the better.”

The students’ professor, Dr. Vatsal commented on the students’ efforts.

“They made wonderful posters. This exercise will help them in their careers ahead when they will want to graphically portray certain concepts. After all, a picture is worth a thousand words.”

“I am proud of the students’ work. They put in a lot of energy and showed much dedication to completing this exercise. We will display these charts in our workshops so that people can learn from these beautifully-illustrated concepts.”

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