The first part of your paper (approximately three pages) should utilize the five assumptions of the political frame on p. 184 of Bolman and Deal. This section should therefore include a brief introduction followed by five sub-sections — one for each of the five assumptions. (Using APA format, your sub-sections should be emboldened and flush left.) In each sub-section, cite (using quotes or paraphrases) the book, explain those quotes or paraphrases briefly, and illustrate how each assumption is or is not present in your organization. So, please begin each sub-section by quoting Bolman and Deal’s assumption, then explain it briefly, then apply it to your organization in a paragraph or two.
But here is the challenge: make sure that you clearly identify the different coalitions in your organization in the first assumption. (For example, at a university the various coalitions include faculty, staff, senior administration — and perhaps we could include the board and student groups. Or, some of the coalitions in a business include marketing, sales, customer service, engineering, production, and accounting.) You will need to identify how your coalitions strive for the same scarce resources — money, personnel, equipment, space, etc. If you cannot demonstrate how they are going after the same scarce resources, you will not be able to demonstrate political dynamics. Do you see how important the first assumption is?
As you proceed, trace those coalitions and their political dynamics throughout the entire paper – from one section to the next.
Before you proceed with your paper, make sure you can answer these questions:
1. What are the most significant coalitions (groups of people, not individuals) in my organization?
2. What scarce resource(s) are the coalitions competing for?
3. How do the coalitions manifest conflict in going after that scarce resource(s)?
If you are currently unemployed or you work for a small organization (with three to five employees, for example), then you will need to choose a larger organization for which you have worked in the past. You are welcome to email your instructor if you want feedback early on (regarding the structure of your paper). But that is not a requirement.
The second part of the paper (approximately two to three pages) should list at least four, but no more than six, concrete recommendations for how to manage successfully within your specific political environment. In other words, how should a manager work through the political realities you outlined in the first part of your paper? Ground your recommendations in concepts from Bolman and Deal chapters 9-11, or elsewhere as appropriate. Hint, hint: turn to p. 382 and look at the strategies for managing in a political environment. (For example, one recommendation for your paper could be “Map the Political Terrain,” which would be your sub-section title.) Use as many of those as you like. For each recommendation, provide a solid paragraph or two regarding how you would implement that strategy in your own context. Again, those recommendations should address the political dynamics you raised in the first part of your paper.
Include a title page, an abstract (which states the detailed, concrete conclusions of your paper, not what you plan to do), section titles, a title page, and a references page.