Please write 1 paragraph about your reflective views and understanding of the political theory.
for your reference:
As a refresher, the Collegial Theory is particularly suited for a group or an organization that is small and has a common agreeable purpose. As organizations grow in size and complexity, formalized rules and regulations can become effective governing tools. As long as these tools capture a significant essence of an organization, the Bureaucratic Theory remains relevant. Remember the Bureaucratic Theory requires an organization to have clear goals and precise processes (including resources) to accomplish organization goals.
When these prerequisites are no longer true as the United States and the rest of the world move from the Industrial Age to the modern service or information era, another governance theory would become necessary. This type of theory show allows organizations to function even as they face continuous pressures for changes, have unambiguous goals, and unclear technology. This is the essence of the Political Theory.
The supportive foundation of the Political Theory is the disciplinary study of Political Science. The word “science” itself connotes that there are good scientific aspects of politics. In fact, I would argue that the Political Theory may be the only best way organizations can function when the Collegial or Bureaucratic Theories are not appropriately applicable.
The Political Theory permits an organization to operate under ambiguous conditions. Take the US Federal Government as an example to illustrate this point. Because the US is a pluralistic society, we cannot agree on what the purposes are of the Federal Government. Therefore, the Bureaucratic Theory cannot work. Yet we expect our Federal Government to do something good for the nation and internationally. What would that good be? Knowledge of that would constitute an important start. But can it be known?
Hypothetically, if we were to solicit opinions from 300 million Americans about what the Federal Government should accomplish as a worthy goal for the nation, and each American gives about 5 answers, we will get about 1.5 billion answers to just one question alone. What happens when there are multiple desired goals expressed? How could the Federal Government sort out all of these goals, to prioritize them, and to figure out the appropriate courses of actions to accomplish them. Can we see now how the “squeaky wheel gets the grease” principle starts to make sense? Can we see its pitfalls? Can we see how the Federal Government needs to be wiser in its choice of goals and how to accomplish them, in light of realistic financial and time constraints? We certainly do not want our government to waste valuable time, efforts, and money into activities that do not serve to the nation's best interests. Yet, we see and are frustrated by frequent examples of it. How should our Federal Government operate? Not based on the Collegial Theory. Not Bureaucracy. The answer: the Political Theory.
Please remember that the Political Theory is not just applicable to governmental agencies, even though I use one as an example above. This theory is applicable to almost all modern complex organizations, including for-profit companies, that now have to take into consideration psychological, educational, sociological, political, organizational, and non-economic variables affecting them. For example, Microsoft is worried about the public viewing it as predatory and other non-economic factors. Wal-Mart develops a caring attitude toward peripheral social problems and gender salary inequities when it moves into a small town and displaces local businesses. Kathy Lee Gifford cried on public TV denying that her clothing company takes advantage of child labor in third world countries even she knows all other businesses do it for the same economic reasons. The University, as a non-profit public agency, has to worry about balancing its books, how to contribute toward the state's economic welfare, and to respond to criticisms for its own self-renewal. These are not easy environmental conditions but paint a realistic milieu. Do you know what to do as a leader or a follower in that kind of an organizational set-up?
Here are some characteristics of the Political Theory. Basic Image: Chaos. Existence of political interest groups and coalitions; unpredictable decentralized power; “the squeaky wheel gets the grease” principle; no central of authority since it varies and changes.
Basic Foundations: Social Conflict Theory; Interest Group Theory; Open Systems Theory.
Process of Decision Making: Negotiations; bargaining and political influences and persuasion; quid pro quo; diffused and decentralized.
Concern for Change: Primary and significant.
Conflict Resolution: Conflicts are considered normal and are handled by collective bargaining, majority vote, or consensus (not very often these days).
Sources of Power: Unclear and varies. The sources of power could be reward and referent and to a lesser extent legitimate.
Role of Leaders: Expected to persuade; can assist in deliberation of complicated issues and possible resolutions; not exactly a key player.
Role of Followers: Varies and unpredictable. There are no guarantees that the concerns of all subordinates, followers, peers, or outside constituents will be taken seriously, if at all.
Advantages: The most major advantage is that the Political Theory allows an organization to function. Decisions can also to be made in the absence of clear goals and technology. There is no need to involve everyone, only their representatives. Coalitions, even weaker ones, can preserve on-going balance of power. The political process is known to be tedious, time-consuming, and unpredictable, often resulting in no action. This kind of “inefficiency” can provide organizational stability in a cynical way.
Disadvantages: The disadvantages are many One is that it allows a complicated organization to function and to reach some worthy goals.
In the Political Theory, there is usually little or no accountability on outcomes performances (since when have you seen a report on whether our homeland is now more secure due to our national efforts?).
There is no protection of the weak, and certain groups, by tradition or lack of opportunities or resources, are left out.
The range of decision making alternatives are limited by political considerations only. Political actions are more likely to occur for major or critical matters, like the 911 attacks.
The Political Theory is not concerned with efficiency and in many instances not even effectiveness. Its main interest is to give the impression that something has been done.
The Political Theory may not realistic nor wise since sounder decisions need to be made more rationally or when heads are cooler rather than in the heat of political controversy, which is often the case.
The Political Theory also does not put sufficient emphasis on long-term decision making or its consequences. It will only do what it takes to please an immediate situation or demand for action on a short-term basis.
Finally, the Political Theory fails to its consider organizational or bureaucratic structures that are working well and how it can use them to channel its political processes and efforts.