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Discuss the impact of power, politics and conflict on organisations and employees


Individual Paper (2,500 words): Academic analysis of Power, Politics and Conflict in organisations, including reflective statement (30%)


Discuss the impact of power, politics and conflict on organisations and employees; students will have an opportunity to learn how power works in organisations and to examine some of the political tactics employed in various situations ; the difference between constructive dissent and confrontational conflict and how both can be handled to best effect.


ASSESSMENT 2 BRIEF: Individual paper

Following on from last term’s analysis of leadership theory which is part of the psychology of business leadership, the next stage of our MN5009 Module is to examine the role power, politics and conflict play in leading organisations.

Throughout this theme, we study examples of power, types of power e.g. French and Raven’s 5 Bases of Power; how power is used and misused in business, and the conflict this can cause.

For this assessment you are required to explore the role of Power, Politics and Conflict in relation to what happens in real organisations. This is an individual assignment of 2,500 words in which you will demonstrate your understanding and application of the concepts of Power, Politics and Conflict.

Using relevant academic theory studied on the module you must critique how power, politics and write a paper outlining your arguments and findings. You should reference Machiavelli’s – The Prince in detail, as well as the other academic articles studied on the module.

You should also provide a 500 word self-reflective statement on what you have learned about Power, Politics and Conflict and how this may help you in your future career.

The Report (2,500-words):

The Report will be divided into sections, with titles, headings and subheadings as appropriate: You must use academic referencing for the material studied on the module

1. Introduction (approx 200 words. You need to state the aims and objectives of your report. Introduce the key concepts, ideas, theories, theorists you will use in relation to power, politics and conflict. Identify which real-life examples you will use from industry to apply the theory to.

2. Academic Analysis (approx 1,600 words), where you analyse the three concepts we have studied:

-          Power – Discuss the concept of Power in leadership and business. Drawing on texts used in the module apply the key concepts to the case study e.g. Machiavelli , French and Raven’s 5 Bases of Power

-          Politics – what is meant by organisational politics? How could you reference the theory? and what role does organisational politics play in the real-life organisational example(s) you have chosen?

-          Conflict – What is the nature of the conflict? How was it created and what impact does it have on the outcome for the organisation?

-          Use relevant Harvard Business Referencing

-          Linking Theory to Practice – How can you use your real-life organisational examples to demonstrate how the theory on Power, Politics and Conflict is reflected in real business life?

3. Conclusion (approx. 200 words)

Bring together the ideas and theories you discuss in relation to the real-life business examples. State how you have achieved the aims and objectives of the report. You should identify the core the issues in relation to Power, Politics and Conflict. Write how the assignment has helped you understand the theory and how this is applied in a business setting.

4. Reflective Statement (approx 500 words)

Explain what you have learned on the module with regard to Power, Politics and Conflict.

a)    Academic – what specifically have you learned about Power? Politics? Conflict? 

b)    Practice – what skills have you learned? e. g. critical analysis? Academic writing skills?

c)    Personal – what have you learned about you in relation to what you have studied on the module? e.g. knowledge, skills, abilities, increased confidence, type of leader? How you would use ‘power’ in your job and career?

Wagner, J.A. & Hollenbeck, J.R. (2015) Organisational Behaviour: Securing Competitive Advantage. Oxon: Routledge.

Additional Textbooks :

Fairhurst, G.T. (2007) Discursive Leadership: in conversation with leadership psychology. Thousand Oaks: Sage.

Gill, R. (2006),  Theory and Practice of Leadership. London: Sage  

Grint. K. (2010) Leadreship: a very short introduction. Oxford:  OUP.

Grint, K. (2000) The Arts of Leadership. Oxford: OUP.

Kouzes, J.M., and Posner, B.Z. (2008) The Leadership Challenge, (4th edn). San Francisco: Jossey Bass

Pedlar, M., Burgoyne, J., and Boydell, T. (2004) A Manager’s Guide to Leadership. Maidenhead: McGraw-Hill.

Sadler-Smith, E. (2016) Hubris in business and management research: a 30-year review of studies. In: Garrard, P and Robinson, G (eds) The intoxication of Power: Interdisciplinary Insights. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan pp.39-74. 

Sadler-Smith, E, Akstinaite, V., Robinson, G. and Wray, T. (2016) Hubristic leadership: A review.  Leadership (0) 1-24.



The Leadership Quarterly


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