The political frame is mostly applicable and relevant in an organization that competes with a group for limited time and resources. Within an educational organization, the frame mostly comprises of assorted individuals with varying views, interests, perceptions, and beliefs of the aforementioned group and its current position. In such a setting, conflicts mainly arise from because of different needs and the desire for power (Bolman & Deal, 2017). The people begin to work in secrecy and negotiate with competing interests to attain their personal objectives. It is worth noting that the frame utilizes coalition buildings and networking to create individuals with unclear missions or hidden agenda. In essence, the political frame emphasizes the significance of power to achieve power and puts politics at the center of decision making within the organization.
The political frame is significant in an educational organization in that it permits the understanding of authority and the special place that power occupies in influencing conflicting decisions. For example, a university director may make a decision based on a government directive or the demand by the majority of the stakeholders that may include but not limited to the board of directors, the donors, and the student fraternity (Bolman & Deal, 2017). The director makes the decision based on the influence of the stakeholders or the perceived needs of the organization that then creates an urgent need for consideration. In this particular frame, the director or the board of directors will certainly consider the interest of the parties involved, their perceived influence, and ability of the decision reached to solve or lessen any arising conflict. Despite the input and the subsequent consideration of the available or the suggested options, the final say rests with the ultimate authority, which in this case is the board of directors.
The political frame gives a lot of influence to the person or people in the position of power. Therefore, in some organizations, the people with power occupy the top-most position in the decision hierarchy. It is possible that within an organization the group objectives will not be the primary interest of each member. In most cases, individual interests or goals will take precedence, particularly if such individuals occupy positions of power. Personally, I bear a strong belief that there is need to understand these dynamics, circumstances because a time will definitely arise when power or authority will provide the only means for a person to reach their goals within an organization. Noteworthy is the fact that that the mentioned circumstances may arise merely because of the simplest of misunderstandings and power may then provide the most effective way to reach the group goal effectively.
The ultimate decisions, therefore, depends on the person with the most power. That is why any system, education, government or otherwise, has checks and balances. In an educational organization, for example a university, the chancellor or the vice-chancellor does not have all the power or authority, and that prevents them from practicing dictatorship or dictatorial tendencies when dealing with arising matters (Bolman & Deal, 2017). The other centers of power such as the students' body and the university board of directors exist to provide a balance of power, which is healthy for the smooth, efficient, and effective running of the organization. The existence of the primary leader, such as a chancellor or the vice-chancellor, is important. The group should recognize and subsequently respect such a leader, but there should be a council of executives or the board of directors or other representatives. Such should have the all-needed input when making conflicting issues or discussing contentious issues.
The political frame explains the power of influence and control, and it asserts that there is great importance of having power in any group or organization in entirety. It emphasizes the significance of power in leadership, especially when given to the right individuals with the right mindset. Additionally, it stresses the need of applying negotiations and the unity of purpose. The political frame cautions against the dangers of the conflict of power and posits that it is often dangerous, retrogressive, and unproductive. However, when structured, balanced, and organized power is beneficial in achieving the objectives of the group, which in this case in an educational organization (university or college). Proper application of power and utilization of negotiation skills are essential in accelerating decision process and attaining organizational objectives.
Why, When, and How to Use Political Framework
As the leader of the organization, it is important for me to understand the political frame to provide direction for the group. In most cases, certain or a few people at the top will fail to agree on an issue prompting politics to kick in, meaning that independent interest will take priority over the organization's goals. As a leader, I will strive to understand the underlying the interest and the beliefs of the conflicting parties with the view of solving any impending issues and then making the right decisions to steer the organization in the right direction. Proper internalization and understanding of each individual's agendas and beliefs, the greed upon hierarchy and the power structure is beneficial in finding a sound solution. When someone in power takes charge then they will have the opportunity to discard polarizing ideas, delegate responsibility, and then make the final decision, which is consistent with the objectives of the organization.
In my leadership efforts within an educational organization, I will also utilize strong negotiation and a bit of the manipulation techniques as provided for in the political frame to achieve the desired goals. In this regard, I would strive to include the desired gains and needs to set reasonable, agreeable goals for the entire group, which will serve to minimize any conflicting interest. Nevertheless, I perceive myself as exceedingly competitive and that means that I would be successful if a take a slightly manipulative approach. The latter approach will enable me to gain the support of the group to ensure that my personal gains and interest, and those of the group are attained (Bolman & Deal, 2017). Closely related to that is the fact that I would apply healthy negotiations but with combine it with a bit of stubbornness until the group achieve what I believe is right for the organization. At first, I will not invoke or seek power, but rather gain pertinent understanding of the matters or issues at hand, particularly the groups involved and their motives. Getting to know the people is important since it determines the best manner to excise power or authority. Notably, the political framework provides an impeccable opportunity for understanding circumstances and the people that inform then, and then acting accordingly. Learning the people and its tendencies lays the foundation for the application of the political framework.
Distinctive Strengths and Limitations of the Political Frame
The political frame has various benefits. First, the negotiation aspect ensures that it takes into consideration the interests and the beliefs of the individuals and the parties involved. Naturally, in any department or a given level of an organization people tend to different in terms of beliefs and interests, meaning that the organization may not be in a position to accommodate all of them. The political frame accords the leader the opportunity to make a decision based on his or her assessment of the situation, and in most cases, the decision tends to be in line with the objectives and the policies of the organization in question. Secondly, the frame saves time in that it gives the leader the authority to make a decision without necessarily considering the perspective of the parties involved. Closely related to that is the fact that the negotiation process provides for the inclusion of divergent views, which is important for utilizing the most productive decision (Bolman & Deal, 2017). Finally, the existence if the checks and balances eradicate, largely, the existence of dictatorship or the dictatorial tendencies. Despite all the mentioned advantages, the frame also has its shortcomings. First, the fact that the higher authority has the final word may promote dictatorship and subsequent jostling for power because of the prestige associated with authority in that regard. Secondly, there exists rampant conflict in needs and interest that may not be productive of the organization. Finally, it may lead to coercion or rampant abuse of power that in the end may demoralize the workers or those in that occupy the lower levels of the organization.
Bolman, L. G., & Deal, T. E. (2017). Reframing organizations: Artistry, choice, and leadership. John Wiley & Sons.
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