Edward Elgar 2004. 288 s. ISBN 1 84376 784 8
‘. . . a fascinating, sophisticated and insightful discussion of the dilemmas and quandaries that confront us in organisational politics. Chris Provis’ book deserves a wide readership for its realistic and sensitive approach to how we can respect people as autonomous decision makers, while still recognising their susceptibility to ethically questionable influences when confronted by conflicts of obligation. The extended case study is an excellent vehicle for the practitioner to engage in searching personal reflexivity. . .’
– Karen Legge, University of Warwick, UK
Organisational politics raises important theoretical and practical questions: what obligations of loyalty do I have to my organisation, or to friends and colleagues? How honest should I be in what I say and in the impressions I give? This path-breaking book confronts these and other such questions. In doing so, it examines dilemmas that many people face daily. The book suggests that there is no routine or automatic way to approach such issues, but that widely accepted ethical principles can often help us deal with them, if we bear in mind some basic points about people’s behaviour in organisations.
The book avoids undue technicality. Although informed by philosophical discussions of abstract ethics, its argument is based on detailed and systematic analysis of examples in organisational settings. The focus is on addressing ethical issues of practical importance for people who work in organisations.
The book will especially interest scholars involved with research and teaching in business ethics, and other areas of applied ethics. Practitioners in management will also find that the book addresses many real concerns. Academics in a number of other areas ranging from general management to moral philosophy and social theory may also find points to consider.
Contents: Introduction Part I: Issues and Processes 1. Politics, Definitions and Ethics 2. Human Nature, Behaviour and Ethics Part II: Dilemmas, Loyalties and Authority 3. Ethics, Prudence and Politics 4. Authority and Norms in Organisations 5. Legitimacy, Consent and Fairness 6. Individuals, Groups and Loyalties Part III: Communication, Expectations and Obligations 7. Ethics and Judgement 8. Communication, Influence and Ethics 9. Impression Management and Reality 10. Influence, Expectations and Legitimacy 11. Groups and Positions 12. Conclusion References Index