All leaders involve in political behavior to stimulate others – sometimes ineffectively. Political behavior and organizational politics focus on efforts to protect to enhance
- goals, and
- Preferred outcomes.
The driving forces of political behavior comprise;
- Disagreements over goals,
- Different ideas about the organization and its problems,
- Different information about the situation, and
- The need to allocate scarce resources.
Leaders and employees are more likely to act politically when decision-making processes and performance appraisals are contingent and complex, and competition for scarce resources is strong. Even though individual dissimilarities may contribute to political behavior, such behavior is typically more intensely influenced by aspects of the circumstances. Political behavior is higher when leaders reward it. Because performance of employees is not easily measured, the allocation of scarce resources is based on complex criteria.
To reduce problems with politics in performance appraisals, leaders should develop goals and standards that are a clear and explicit as possible, link specific actions and performance results to rewards, conduct structured, professional reviews, including specific examples of observed performance and explanations for ratings given, offer performance feedback on an ongoing basis, rather than once a year, acknowledge that appraisal politics exists and make this topic a focus of ongoing discussions throughout the organization.