"Political skill...consists of: 1) social astuteness, 2) genuineness and sincerity, 3) social capital and networking, and 4) social influence and control."
-- from Handbook of Workplace Spirituality and Organizational Performance
以下摘自Political Skill At Work (Gerald Ferris, Sherry Davidson & Pamela Perrewe, 2005)一书的介绍和评论：
The word "politics" has a bad reputation in the workplace, with connotations of manipulation and dark dealings. But this volume finds that political skill at work really means the ability to influence others in many situations--an ability we all need at times....especially when you want o get a job during the interview. :)
The book defines political skill as the "ability to understand others at work and to use that knowledge to influence others to act in ways that enhance one's personal and organizational agendas". Being a political animal doesn't mean you're insincere, however. The authors of Political Skill at Work say "the most essential aspect of political skill is genuineness or sincerity" that helps others trust you.
The authors--Ferris and Perrewe are management professors, Davidson is a research scientist and consultant--describe not only how to develop political skill but also how to use it for enhancing work effectiveness, maximizing job performance and career success, improving your reputation, and managing job stress. The book includes a "political skills inventory" test that readers can take to gauge their current skills, as well as development strategies to improve their scores.
Descriptive rather than instructive, April 7, 2006
By Jon K. Palmer (Houston, TX USA)
This book appears to offer guidance and advice about how to develop political skill for use in the workplace. Unfortunately, it spends the bulk of its time convincing us how and why political skill is important.
If what you're looking for is a good discussion on why you might look harder at developing political skill, this book will convince you to do just that. If you're looking for a book about how to develop or enhance that skill, look for another book.
Journal of Management
Development and Validation of the Political Skill Inventory
For years, scholars and practitioners alike have acknowledged the existence and importance of politics in organizations. Indeed, theory, research, and practice all have considered the types of strategies and tactics people employ in efforts to behave politically. What we know less about are the characteristics that enable one to exercise influence inways that lead to success. Some have referred to such qualities as interpersonal style, "savvy", "street smarts", and "political skill". However, to date, there has been little effort to move beyond conceptualization to instrument development. Ferris et al. (1999) provided an initial effort when they reported on the development of a concise, unidimensional measure of political skill. Their work helped establish some support for the construct, but it called for more comprehensive attempts to fully explore the content domain of political skill and consider its potential multidimensional implications.
The purpose of the present research is to report the results of three studies designed to develop a multidimensional Political Skill Inventory (PSI), with item content that more broadly and representatively samples from the full domain of the construct. Furthermore, this research offers a more fully developed conceptualization regarding the dimensions underlying this construct, confirmatory validation of this factorial structure, and evidence of convergent, discriminant, and criterion-related validity.
Overview. A perspective shared by many academicians is that organizations are inherently political arenas (Mintzberg, 1985). In this regard, it is assumed that although performance, effectiveness, and career success are determined in part by intelligence and hardwork, other factors such as social astuteness, positioning, and savvy also play important roles (e.g., Luthans, Hodgetts, &Rosenkrantz, 1988; Mintzberg, 1983). As one of the first to use the term political skill in the scholarly literature, Pfeffer (1981) argued for a political perspective on organizations. He suggested that political skill is needed to be successful, and he called for research that would develop a more informed understanding of the construct. Mintzberg (1983) suggested that political skill referred to the exercise of influence through persuasion, manipulation, and negotiation.
Social and Political Skill
by Gerald R. Ferris, Pamela L. Perrewe, & Sherry L. Davidson
Bill Clinton has it, Al Gore and Newt Gingrich do not. What is this quality? It is political skill, and it may be one of the most critical competencies for leaders to possess, since it will make the difference in their effectiveness.
With the high rate of leadership failures today attributed to poor interpersonal or social competency, leaders need to develop astuteness in reading and understanding people and using such knowledge to influence others in order to achieve personal and organizational goals. They need to develop political skill.
How to we recognize politically skilled leaders? They possess four competencies:
1. They have social astuteness. They are adept at reading people and situations at work in order to be well positioned to situationally adapt their behavior. Individuals possessing political skill are astute observers of others, and are keenly aware of the moods and feelings of those around them. They comprehend social interactions accurately and understand the behavior of others in social settings. They also have strong sense of discernment and high self-awareness. Socially astute individuals often are seen as clever and masterful in dealing with others. They have an accurate understanding of social situations, their own behavior, and the interactions that take place in these settings.
2. They have interpersonal influence. They use their savvy and astuteness to exercise influence over others to attain goals. They have a convincing personal style that not only influences those around them, but also elicits the desired responses from others. They adapt appropriately and calibrate their behavior to meet the situational requirements. Interpersonal influence requires the flexibility to adapt your behavior to different targets of influence in different conditions in order to achieve your goals.
3. They have networking ability. This allows them to build vast networks which they cultivate over time, amassing an amazing amount of social capital that they can draw upon to maximize their effectiveness. Individuals with political skill develop and use diverse networks of people. Individuals in these networks tend to hold resources seen as valuable and necessary for successful performance. Using their astuteness and subtle style, politically skilled individuals easily develop friendships and build strong, beneficial alliances and coalitions. Finally, individuals high in networking ability ensure that they are well positioned to create and take advantage of opportunities. They are often highly skilled negotiators and dealmakers, and are adept at conflict management.
Politically skilled individuals enjoy a favorable impression among those in their network, resulting in tangible benefits, such as gaining a favorable reaction from others, enhancing their access to important information, and increasing cooperation and trust from others. They know when to ask others for favors, and they are willing to serve and do favors for others. In addition, they inspire others to be committed to them. They possess high social capital that enhances their reputation and their ability to be influential.
4. They reflect apparent sincerity in their interactions and intentions. They convey their efforts to influence others in ways that inspire confidence and trust, and contribute to perceptions of genuineness and authenticity. Others perceive them as having high levels of integrity, authenticity, sincerity, and genuineness. They are, or at least appear to be, honest, open, and forthright.
This dimension of political skill strikes at the heart of influence, because it hones in on the perceived intentions of the behavior. The perceived intentions or motives of others alter the interpretation of the behavior. For example, behavior is perceived as “positive” if the intentions are seen as altruistic, and “negative,” if the intentions are perceived as self-serving. Your influence attempts will be the most successful when you possess no ulterior motive.
Because their actions are not interpreted as manipulative, individuals high in sincerity inspire trust and confidence. Their motives do not appear self-serving. Indeed, others would say that they appear as “straight shooters,” who are exactly what they claim to be.
Former NYC mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani is an example of someone who is politically skilled and is perceived by others to be sincere and genuine. This perception inspires the trust and confidence needed for effective influence.
We live and operate in a world of perceptions and impressions, and the ability to convey the right impressions, and thus be influential in interpersonal interactions, is vital to your effectiveness. Furthermore, you must come across as genuine and a real, authentic person in your efforts. Indeed, the downfall of many leaders is that they appear to be insincere, disingenuous, and out to promote their own self-interest, even at the expense of others. Therefore, we’ve witnessed increased cynicism toward leaders, as many leaders have used their position and influence to promote their own cause, as they manipulate images and impressions for their own benefit.
Social astuteness and interpersonal influence allow people to orchestrate impressions, and position themselves well to create and take advantage of networking opportunities, particularly when they do so with a style that is genuine and sincere.
Politically-skilled leaders inspire trust and confidence in followers and orchestrate the efforts and contributions of followers in strategically coordinated and effective ways. They position themselves and their followers effectively in order to create and take advantage of opportunities through networks and social capital. This set of political competencies just might represent the most important set of skills one can possess in contributing to job and career effectiveness.