Management of IT Politics


Smooth IT Implementation needs political goodwill in an organization. Thus, power and politics play an essential role when striving for resources and influence, needed to successfully perform their job roles and responsibilities. Power, like conflict, exists in most organizations just like in all human interactions. Thus, it can positively or negatively impact on the outcome of intended initiative. On the negative side, power can influence manipulation, harassment or abuse. On the other hand, power can help achieve control and ultimate success. How power and conflict are used and managed, controls how power and conflict should be realized. Thus, a strong mechanism should exist in aligning power with change efforts within an organization. A network of power players across the management echelon in an organization such as senior management and other staff who possess strong expertise and integrity to drive the change needed in the organization should be integrated in change leadership team (Gallivan, 2004). This ensures that all the players on board received support in recognizing the change the organization needed.

This paper discusses the role of power and politics in implementing IT project change in an organization. In understanding how this approach is achieved, the writer points out how power influence the stakeholders and employees and the contribution it has in effecting IT project change in an organization. Finally, the paper outlines the mechanism of managing power, and eventually succeeding in smooth execution of IT project.

Politics in Implementing IT Project Change

Change has been significant in altering the organization structure and the way people perform their duties. When change is introduced in an organization, it exudes organization’s politics which can either contribute or affect the outcome of IT project implementation. Politics in most organizations is centered on power. Power proves important in an organization when motivated for resource acquisition and execution of relevant activities. The organization’s power and politics is diversified i.e. it is centered on seniority and responsibilities of an individual. However, in most organizations, the role of stakeholders and employees contributes largely in influencing organizations politics and power structure.


Stakeholders assert much command during project cycle processes. This is in the sense that, they influence the direction and outcome of the project. Stakeholders range from sponsors, advocates and champions (Finney, 2003). As a result of providing resources and continuous support for project implementation, the decision they make tends to affect how the final project is implemented in the organization. The influence asserted by stakeholder drives the organization to have clear objectives of the proposed project implementation and subsequent change. Besides, stakeholders enhance political backing in ensuring all necessary organization support deemed applicable for effective project execution is granted. According to Finney (2003),sponsors’ roles in oversight committees and long term interests in the project provides decisions which directly influences the IT project implementation; this is achieved in terms of resource allocation, change implementation strategies or managerial aspects.


Politics regarding employees can either successfully encourage or hinder a proposed IT change in an organization. This is because; employees are often threatened by a new change introduced in the organization (Gronau and Rohloff, 2008). This is because, politically, they tend to reason that, a new project introduced will translate into more work, alter their job description and incorporate more responsibilities. So, this instills fear in them because they don’t understand what new tasks will be created, whether training support will be given and the effects of pay.

Consequently, the politics of rebellion is also evident among employees. Although employees do not necessarily resist change, they politically resist the implications that are being planted on them. Employees want to feel that they exert control of their lives, and when change is introduced they view it as a threat in strengthening their control in the organization.

Mechanism of Managing Politics in IT Project Implementation

According to Gallivan (2004), managing organization politics in IT project implementation reduces conflict and makes organization achieve the desired change process. Effective strategies to dispel fear and create the culture of accommodating within the organization, can positively contribute to smooth IT project implementation (Gronau and Rohloff, 2008).

One of the major processes of thwarting political bureaucracy is that, an organization should involve and harmonize all the stakeholders in the organization. Harmonizing in this sense can involve incorporating clear and compelling vision that shows how people and organization can gain progress by the proposed change. The management should present a vision to its employees, grounded on reality and the vision of organization (Gallivan, 2004). This should be asserted with organization support to minimize control but few senior individuals in the organization.

Also, the organization has to build a strong, committed leadership team that includes top management. Besides, instituting change coalitions that present diverse representation from every level of an organization, can serve as an effective way in spreading information, thus this will ensure transparency and involve participation.


Power and politics is an integral aspect of all organizations, thus it plays a central role in effecting managerial work in terms of IT project implementation. The awareness of the role of politics and power in the perception of people to alter change can be a requisite for project managers, organizations and other stakeholders involved, to thwart resistance and enhance suave project execution in the organization.

Reference List

Finney, R. (2003) The Politics of Information and Projects. ITMWEB White Paper. Web.

Gallivan, M. (2004) Examining IT professionals’ adaptation to technological change: the influence of gender and personal attributes, ACM SIGMIS Database 35(3) pp. 28-49

Gronau, N. and Rohloff, M. (2008) Information Systems Implementation: The Big Picture, Ceara, Proceedings of the 2008 ACM symposium on Applied computing, Symposium on Applied Computing

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