Andrew J. DuBrin

Video Labs: Chapter #12-Power, Politics, and Influence

Empower Your Customer-Facing Employees


Empowerment of group members is presented on pages 253-256 of the textbook. This Harvard Business School video focuses on empowerment as it relates to customer contact workers. The five key points are as follows: (1) Change the organizational context (move from top-down to bottom-up). (2) Get rid of unnecessary work (busywork interferes with serving customers). (3) Streamline the processes you do need (again, free up customer contact workers to serve customers); (4) Get real-time data from the frontline (use data to analyze what customers really want). 5. Promote cross-collaboration (multilevel and multigenerational cooperation in understanding customer preferences). Run Time: 2:38

Playing Positive Office Politics


The subject of office (or organizational) politics is covered in pages 256-263 of the textbook. The video explains that negative types of office politicians, including a Spy, Bully, Gatekeeper, and Buck Passer can be found in most offices. It has been estimated that 42 percent of a manager’s time is spend dealing with conflict, and much of that conflict stems from office politics.


A variety of principles and techniques, or rules of engagement, can help keep office politics positive in your work environment. Expand your influence by finding ways to work cross-functionally, thereby expanding your influence. Size up your company culture to determine the best political tactics. Find mentors to guide you with respect to office behavior. Ask higher ups for advice, and do not become a gossip. Remember the power of reciprocity, or the fact that most humans expect to be repaid for acts of kindness, such as showing appreciation for them publicly. You will be less upset with office politics if you recognize that such behavior is only human. When people engage in negative office politics it is often because they feel insecure. Run Time: 4:10

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Playing Positive Office Politics


Office (or organizational) politics are described on pages 270-276 of the textbook. To begin, the presenter observes that every office has its share office politics.  Her program for dealing with politics centers on ten key points. Run Time: 4:50