Module Code: MN5009QA

Module Subject: Leadership & Leading

Assessment 2: Individual Paper (2,500 words): Academic analysis of Power, Politics and Conflict in organisations, including reflective statement (30%)


Discuss the impact of power, politics and conflict on organisations and employees; students will have an opportunity to learn how power works in organisations and to examine some of the political tactics employed in various situations; the difference between constructive dissent and confrontational conflict and how both can be handled to best effect. Following on from last term’s analysis of leadership theory which is part of the psychology of business leadership, the next stage of our MN5009 Module is to examine the role power, politics and conflict play in leading organisations.


You are required to explore the role of Power, Politics and Conflict in relation to what happens in real organisations. This is an individual assignment of 2,500 words in which you will demonstrate your understanding and application of the concepts of Power, Politics and Conflict to an organisation.

Using relevant academic theory studied on the module you must critique your understanding of power, politics and conflict in organisations and write a paper outlining your arguments and findings. You should apply and reference Machiavelli’s – The Prince in detail, as well as the other academic articles studied on the module such as:

  • Power and Politics in Organisational Life by Abraham Zaleznik, published in Harvard Business Review
  • Power Politics and Leadership in the Workplace by Thomas D Cairns, published in Employment Relations Today

The Report (2,500-words):

Examples of power, types of power e.g. French and Raven’s 6 Bases of Power; how power is used and misused in business, and the conflict this can cause are essential discussions  under the theme Power, Politics & Conflict which will be of relevance in this  report. Your report  should  be divided  into sections,  with titles,  headings  and subheadings  as appropriate:  You must use academic referencing for the material studied on the module.

  1. Introduction (approx 200 words). You need to state the aims and objectives of your report. Introduce the key concepts, ideas, theories/theorists  you will use in relation   to power, politics and conflict. Identify which real-life examples you will use from industry in the application of these theories.
  2. Academic Analysis (approx 1,600 words), this is where you will analyse the three concepts we have studied:
    1. Power – Discuss the concept of Power in leadership and business. Drawing on text used in the module apply the key concepts to the case study e.g. Machiavelli’s The Prince , French and Raven’s 6 Bases of Power
    2. Politics – what is meant by organisational  politics?  How could you reference the theory? and what role does organisational  politics play in the real-life organisational example(s) you have chosen?
    3. Conflict – What is the nature of the conflict? How was it created and what impact does it have on the outcome for the organisation?
    4. Linking Theory to Practice – How can you use your real-life organisational examples to demonstrate how the theory on Power, Politics and Conflict is reflected in real business life?
  3. Conclusion (approx. 200 words). Bring together the ideas and theories you have discussed in relation to the real-life business examples. State how you have achieved the aims and objectives of the report. You should identify the core issues in relation to Power, Politics and Conflict. Write how the assignment has helped you understand the theory and how this is applied in a business setting.

Reflective Statement (approx 500 words):

Explain what you have learned on the module with regard to Power, Politics and Conflict.

  1. Academic – what specifically (use citations) have you learned about Power? Politics? Conflict? 
  2. Practice – what skills have you learnt? e.g. critical analysis? Academic writing skills?
  3. Personal – what have you learnt about yourself in relation to what you have studied on the module? e.g. knowledge, skills, abilities, increased confidence, type of leader? How will you use ‘power’ in your job and career?


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