Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The Accumulation, Utilization, and Protection of Political Capital by Senior Executives of for Profit Organizations
by Lam, Cong (Jawn), Ed.D., Pepperdine University, 2020, 297; 28151687
Abstract (Summary)

As a business grows in scope, scale, and complexity, the organization will require more managers and leaders to make those critical decisions. Simultaneously, as individuals become more efficient managers and more effective leaders, their private desires for more responsibility and control often will increase commensurately. There will always be fewer seats at the top. This is where the game of office politics becomes conspicuously consequential. So here lies one of the greatest curiosities for professional development. The skills required for success as a mid-level manager are necessary but not sufficient to propel an individual to higher leadership tiers of the organization. One skill that many attributed to proficient executives is political acumen. The concepts of power and politics permeate social interactions at all scales, and in few other contexts is it more immediately consequential as it is in the workplace. As important as this topic is, the academic body of knowledge has not has not yet clearly defined a structure to guide practitioners in navigating the tumult that is organizational politics nor developed a framework to direct researchers in uncovering the mechanics of this process.

This study seeks a possible explanation of the mechanisms used by effective leaders to achieve their visions despite their competition. This study will investigate the social strategies and tactics used by senior executives to build, wield, and protect their social power in the setting of organizational politics.

Using the grounded theory method, the result of this study is an explanatory model which depicts the process used by senior executives to manufacture their political capital.

The key finding of this study is that the answer to how power is built is more than any single construct can contain. It is not the control of a single resource. It is not the outcome of a single transaction. It is not the product of a position of influence. Power is held by those who intentionally mobilize those mechanisms repeatedly and continuously.

The model produced from this study demonstrates in granular detail the process by which power is built.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Schmieder-Ramirez, June
Commitee: DellaNeve, James, Cooper, Christie
School: Pepperdine University
Department: Education
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 82/4(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Organizational behavior, Management, Business administration
Keywords: Influence, Leadership, Office politics, Organizational politics, Political capital, Power
Publication Number: 28151687
ISBN: 9798684671722
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