Political Lens Essay example

Submitted By Sara-Eve-Gélinas
Words: 1852
Pages: 8

Political Lens Analysis of Dynacorp Case

This paper will be analyzed by political lens to define the exact underlying systemic issues in the organization. The political lens contains two very important elements: interests and powers. Moreover the model of political action includes several main approaches: finding allies, building a network and negotiating. In the case, although the new structure had a clearer organizational chart, it latently included so many cross-functional departments that some stakeholders sometimes showed different and conflicting interests in personal. Also, the inefficient network obstructed the development of Dynacorp.

Interests and Power
Interests state what people really desire. In the political perspective, interests contain two parts: individual interests and collective interests. Individual interests act as one’s own personal interests (Ancona et al., 2005:M-2,34) while collective interests devote to sharing the same interests in the same group or category. In order to understand those various types of collective interests, to find the exact group of stakeholders is an effective approach since each stakeholder group shares the common interests and same awareness. In fact, in Dynacorp, there existed both individual interests and collective interests so as to make the organization to conceal some systemic issue.

Furthermore, power exists when interests appear. The definition of power in Pfeffer’s is “a kind of potential ability to influence behavior, to overcome resistance or to force people to do what they may be resistant to do” (Ancona et al., 2005:M-2,36). There are five sources of power: personal characteristics, expertise, track record, formal hierarchical position and informal network position. Apparently, some people and groups in Dyancorp revealed several types of power among the five. After clarifying the concepts, the interests and power will be explained in great detailed with data from case as follows.

First of all, Dynacorp changed its structure into five departments, -R&D Development, business-unit operations, customer operations in U.S. and other two customer operations respectively in Europe and LA/Asia-, from previous three main departments, -marketing, engineering and manufacturing. As a result, those five departments represent five major stakeholders. The new structure led to such a huge range of stakeholders that some political problems came out since each stakeholder has their own interests. In another words, some revealed the same interests with others, some however, showed different interests, even clashing with other departments.

In business-unit operations (BUs), the company assigned many people from old engineering division into the new BU department. According to the case, those people had always focused on product development, so their interests would be more inclined to product-based. Now, they became in charge of a whole cross-functional business unit with other fields including marketing and manufacturing. They must share the same awareness of interests with other people. But sometimes, they always thought they were the main energy of Dynacorp so that they might focus on their individual interests more often than the collective interests in the team.

In terms of power, those leaders from old engineering department have the power source of scarce and valued expertise, which was showed in the case of ‘strategic design at Dynacorp’, -“one manufacturing manager mentioned that engineering people always grumbled manufacturing guys being idiots” (Ancona et al., 2005:M-2,30). The engineering departments in the old structure must be the most powerful groups in Dynacorp, since they might think they were strong-skilled people and could always diagnose problems for the products. However, organization changed so that they were set apart for different departments allied with people from other departments in BUs and especially in back-end. As a result, these situations…