Power,politics and culture at Uber Technologies Inc Position paper


How Power,politics and culture influence Uber Technologies Inc  


Power and politics greatly influence an organization’s culture. In business, the
culture can make or break an organization’s productivity. In this assignment,
you’ll analyze the ways power and politics have influenced an organization’s
culture. You’ll apply best practices you learned in course resources and your
own research to make recommendations for improving this
organization’s culture.
Using the same organization from the first two assignments, imagine the CEO
has now requested your task force investigate the influence of power and
politics on the corporate culture. You have been asked to prepare a position
paper that presents and supports your recommendations to
improve the culture.
Prepare for this assignment by delving into the organization’s culture and identifying the resources you, the task force leader, will use to create your
research-supported position paper. Use at least two quality resources such as
the course textbook, company website, business websites (CNBC, Bloomberg,
etc.), resources from the Strayer Library, and/or outside sources.
Note: Wikipedia and web-based blogs do not qualify as credible resources.
Develop your position paper, addressing the following components:
1. Influence of Politics and Power
Explain how politics and power-play may have influenced the
organization’s culture.
2. Sources of Power
Explore the sources of power and describe how management could
use this influence to benefit your department and improve
organizational performance.
3. Leadership Behavior and Culture
Make recommendations that support how the study of power and
politics could influence leadership behavior and improve the
organization’s culture.
4. Leadership Influence
Discuss the importance and complexity of leadership behavior. How
does it influence organizational structure and performance?
5. Executive Summary
Prepare an executive summary that presents your recommendations
for ways in which the organization could build a stronger culture.
Note: An executive summary is a condensed version of your full
report. It should summarize briefly all the main points in concise
paragraphs. It should be written clearly and should use
language appropriate for the audience

Sample paper

 Power,politics and culture at Uber Technologies Inc Position paper

Executive Summary

Power, politics, and culture are dynamic forces facing the organization. Power and politics combine to shape the culture of an organization, which in turn determines performance. Politics and power play have influenced Uber Technologies Inc. in major ways. The need to build a personal reputation was a key factor driving the former CEO to engage in malfeasance. This is because of the expectations of higher profit levels. The leadership at Uber also engaged in manipulation to gain an advantage in the market over other companies. All this relates to power and politics. Organizational leaders may attain powers rom five sources. The five are coercive power, legitimate power, referent power, expert power, and reward power. All these are significant ways in which a leader may draw power. For instance, a leader may use rewards to influence employees to engage in certain behaviors. The study of power and politics could influence leadership behavior and improve Uber’s culture. Knowledge on power and politics enables leaders to understand better the interplay between power and politics. It enables leaders to gain a better understanding organizational politics. With regard to leadership influence, complexity of leadership behavior enables organizational leaders to handle different situations that require them to adopt different and usually competing behaviors

How power,politics and culture influence Uber Technologies Inc  

Influence of Politics and Power

Politics and power have had significant influence to the corporate culture at Uber Technologies Inc. Organizational leaders purport to make rational decisions while in reality politics and power play a critical role in influencing the decisions (Mangi, Pardesi, & Kanasro, 2013). Most business organizations operate as political structures. The leadership structure within organizations revolves around levels of authority, effectively setting the platform upon which individuals exercise their power. According to Mangi, Pardesi, and Kanasro (2013), power is the ability of an individual within a social construct to be able to fulfill his/her own will even in the face of objections from others. Organizational leaders hold the ability to influence employees without confrontation from the employees. This means organizational leaders significantly help in setting the organizational culture.

Organizational politics involve pursuing personal interests at the expense of achieving organizational goals. Employees pursue organizational politics with the aim of achieving selfish gains. At times, organizational politics may involve looking at the interest of groups (Omisore & Nweke, 2014). Organizational leaders may engage in organizational politics with either positive or negative agendas. Organizational politics become increasingly important on each higher level of management and as competition intensifies. Landells and Albrecht (2017) identify five major categories of political behavior in organizations. In the first category, organizational leaders build relationships that they intend to use in the future. The second category involves attempts to understand the decision-making context (Landells & Albrecht, 2017). The third category involves seeking ways to manipulate or undermine others. The fourth category involves controlling resources and decision-making. The last category of political behavior is building a personal reputation.

From the review above, politics and power play could have played a critical role in shaping the organizational culture at Uber Technologies Inc. The former CEO could have been driven by the need to build a personal reputation. According to Landells and Albrecht (2017), building a personal reputation involves trying to gain credit for work well done. The desire to build a personal reputation by driving profitability high could override the need to engage in ethical conduct. Another political behavior is manipulating and undermining others. Landells and Albrecht (2017) noted that manipulating others for personal gain was the third most frequent political behavior. Former Uber CEO used manipulation to gain access to Alphabet’s car radar technology, and in the process violating intellectual property rights (Mehrota, 2017).

Sources of Power

Organizational leaders may obtain their power from various sources. The organizational leaders may draw power from one or more of these sources. When one or more sources are used in combination, organizational leaders are in a position to obtain more power. There are five sources of power available for leaders. These are coercive power, legitimate power, referent power, expert power, and reward power (Banner & Gagné, 1995).

Organizational leaders  five sources of power

Reward power

Reward power comes from being in a position to issue rewards to those in lower ranks (Banner & Gagné, 1995). Organizational leaders hold the power to reward employees and get them to achieve organizational goals or objectives. For example, organizational leaders are in a position to give bonus, award promotions, raise salaries, and give other rewards such as paid holidays. Through these rewards, organizational leaders are in a position to influence the behavior of employees. While using reward power, it is important for employees to have expectations of receiving a reward once desired behavior occurs. The rewards should be attractive to employees. Employees are more likely to repeat behavior if there are rewards for exuding the behavior. The management at Uber Technologies Inc. can utilize reward power to influence employee behavior. By giving attractive rewards basing on performance, more employees would feel encouraged to work harder.

Legitimate power

Legitimate power is the formal authority bestowed upon an organizational leader. Legitimate power is because of the position that the leader holds (Banner & Gagné, 1995). It relates to the right of office and the fact that the organizational leader has the right to make key decisions concerning the running of the organization. The entire workforce must respect the organizational hierarchy, which determines the powers of each individual. Organizational leaders hold the right to give their juniors orders. The juniors should in turn implement the orders. The leadership at Uber Technologies Inc. should use legitimate power to stamp authority at the organization. The leadership should emphasize on the need for employees to observe the ethical values outlined by the organization when making decisions.

Coercive power

Another form of power is coercive power. Coercive power comes from a leader’s ability to withdraw certain privileges or rights (Banner & Gagné, 1995). The organizational leader has the power to punish employees if they fail to act in a particular manner. The ability of the leader to mete out punishment when employees fail to show desired behavior gives him/her power over employees. For instance, an organizational leader may issue an employee with a warning letter for engaging in wrongful conduct. This could help in shaping the corporate culture at Uber Technologies Inc.

Referent power

Another form of power is referent power. This comes from being in a position to develop interpersonal relationships with others and gain respect from them (Banner & Gagné, 1995). Organizational leaders can gain referent power if they are charismatic enough to influence others and gain trust from them. Employees can also develop referent power from having strong connections with those in upper levels of the organization’s hierarchy. Referent power can be critical in changing the corporate culture at Uber Technologies Inc. A CEO who holds referent power may be able to influence employees to change behavior and adopt positive work values. The last source of power is expert power. Expert power comes from a leader’s or an employee’s possession of knowledge in a particular field (Banner & Gagné, 1995). Employees with expert power in a particular field are indispensable by the organization due to contribution they make to the organization’s success. Possession of expert power can positively influence an employee’s chances of gaining legitimate power.

Related: Uber Technologies Inc Professional Development Proposal

Leadership Behavior and Culture

The study of power and politics could significantly influence leadership behavior and improve the organization’s culture. The study of power and politics could enable organizational leaders to understand how power could have positive and negative implications to the organization (“Organizational Behavior,” 2010). While powerful organizational leaders can be able to align the employees’ efforts with the organization’s mission, too much power can corrupt leaders. Powerful leaders can be able to influence the employees into achieving the organizational goals. On the other hand, too much power can encourage unethical practices as leaders feel they can corrupt their way out of difficult situations (“Organizational Behavior,” 2010). The study of power and politics can enable organizational leaders to avoid falling to the negative consequences of power. The study of power and politics can enable organizational leaders to gain a better conceptualization of power. This is critical in ensuring leaders apply power in organizations to bring about positive changes.

The study of power and politics could enable leaders to know the different sources of power. This is important since it can enable leaders to understand how they can gain power and influence employee behavior (“Organizational Behavior,” 2010). For instance, organizational leaders can learn how they can use the power of rewards to influence employee behavior in achieving organizational goals. Another importance of the study of power and politics is in equipping organizational leaders with tactics to influence power. The study of power and politics enables leaders to understand some of the tactics they can apply to influence employees. Some of the tactics that leaders can apply to influence employees are rational persuasion, consultation, rational appeal, coalition tactics, legitimate tactics, and among others (“Organizational Behavior,” 2010).

Another key aspect concerns impression management. The study of power and politics enables leaders to know how they can build an impression either in online platforms or in real life (“Organizational Behavior,” 2010). There are three types of impression. These are behavioral impressions, verbal impressions, and nonverbal impressions. Behavior impression management concerns how the leader interacts with others. Verbal impression is about the tone of the voice, speech, and choice of words (“Organizational Behavior,” 2010). Nonverbal impression concerns the choice of clothes and personal demeanor. All these are critical leadership aspects that help in shaping organizational culture. Lastly, the study of power and politics enables leaders to gain a better understanding as well as their role in organizational politics.

Leadership Influence

Complexity of leadership behavior refers to the often-competing demands and roles faced by organizational leaders (Sperry, 2013). Behavioral complexity is an aspect that enables leaders to engage in different behavioral aspects. Complexity of leadership behavior enables organizational leaders to handle different situations that require them to adopt different and usually competing behaviors. Complexity allows the organizational leader to adopt opposing behaviors and retain his/her integrity (Lawrence, Lenk, & Quinn, 2009). The organizational leader must deal with demands from multiple sources. There are also competing roles in management, for instance, the competing roles of mentors and directors. A good organizational leader should not apply a single leadership style (Sperry, 2013). This is because no single leadership style can be applicable for all kind of leadership situations in the organization. Complexity of leadership behavior can allow organizational leaders to adapt their leadership styles to the different situations they encounter at work rather than applying a single style across different situations.

Complexity of leadership behavior influences organizational structure and behavior in various ways. Complexity of leadership behavior allows the organizational leader to develop and maintain an organizational focus (Lawrence, Lenk, & Quinn, 2009). In addition, the leader is in a position to develop and maintain flexibility in the structure. Leaders who have behavioral complexity are in a position to maintain continuity of operations on one hand and implement change in the organization on the other hand (Lawrence, Lenk, & Quinn, 2009). Complexity of leadership behavior has significant influences to organizational performance. High complexity of leadership behavior leads to better organizational performance due to the various factors discussed above. For instance, a leader who shows behavioral complexity is able to adapt his/her leadership style to fit the prevailing situation.


Banner, D. K., & Gagné, T. E. (1995). Designing effective organizations: Traditional & transformational views. Thousand Oaks, Calif: Sage Publications.

Landells, E. M., & Albrecht, S. L. (2017). The positives and negatives of organizational politics: A qualitative study. Journal of Business and Psychology, 32(1), 41-58. doi:10.1007/s10869-015-9434-5

Lawrence, K. A., Lenk, P., & Quinn, R. E. (2009). Behavioral complexity in leadership: The psychometric properties of a new instrument to measure behavioral repertoire. The Leadership Quarterly, 20(2), 87-102. doi:10.1016/j.leaqua.2009.01.014

Mangi, A. A., Pardesi, Y. Y., & Kanasro, H. A. (2013). Significance of power and politics: Its influence on organizational behavior towards efficacy. International Research Journal of Arts and Humanities, 41(41), 221.

Mehrota, K. (2017, Sept. 26). Uber, Kalanick sued by investors for scandal-related losses. Bloomberg Technology. Retrieved from https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017- 09-26/uber-kalanick-sued-by-investors-for-misleading-over-scandals

Omisore, B. O., & Nweke, A. N. (2014). The influence of power and politics in organizations. International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences, 4(7): 164- 183.

Organizational Behavior. (2010). UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA LIBRARIES PUBLISHING EDITION. Retrieved from http://open.lib.umn.edu/organizationalbehavior/

Sperry, L. (2013). Effective leadership: strategies for maximizing executive productivity and health. United Kingdom, UK: Routledge.

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