People, power and politics - Marketing Strategy

When addressing the issue of implementation there are nopanaceas.How ever, not all staff will be equally supportive of a given marketing strategy. Hence it is wise to consider the likely levels of support and resistance that may exist relative to a given project. Piercy (1997, p. 591)sets out general categories into which staff can fall .

Influences over issues

Key players’ matrix.

Those with influence, often the appropriate decision-making unit(DMU), need careful consideration. Common tactics include:

  • Converting or isolating opposition.
  • Upgrading the status of influential supporters.
  • Recruiting the active involvement of non-involved supporters.
  • Negotiation and trade-off with vested interest.

In short, the success of any programmer requires sufficient influence and support. This becomes more complex when the project generates high levels of change.The issue of supporters and their influence tends to relate to the dreaded, but vital concept of internal office politics. Within the organization,political behavior can be either desirable or undesirable.
Often this depends on your perspective. Good strategies can flounder on the rocks of political self-interest and behavior. Kakabadse(1983) identifies seven common approaches to playing the political game:

  1. Establish who the interested parties are – the stakeholders.
  2. Consider their comfort zones. What do they value, fear or tolerate?
  3. Work within these comfort zones.
  4. Use networks – those interested or influential.
  5. Identify ‘gatekeepers’ and adhere to the norms of the network.
  6. Make deals for mutual benefit.
  7. Withhold and withdraw. Consider withholding information and know when to withdraw from areas of conflict and dispute.

Arguably, political behaviour is an essential part of strategyimplementation.This view requires management to identify key players and consider their potential reaction to strategic initiatives. Remember, the art of politics is about influencing people when you cannot rely on direct authority.By considering the political dimension related to the project it is possible to gauge resistance and support, develop justification and counter-argument in advance of critical decisions .Additionally, you may be able to develop influence via various power bases.For example, controlling resources, having access to people and controlling the flow of information. These can all assist in playing the political game.


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