Negotiating Within Boundaries: A Story of Power and Politics

Abstract

In January 2019, Gautam Sachdev was appointed as plant HR manager for Tulip Industries, a manufacturing company in Haridwar, India. After fifteen days on the job, he was assigned to negotiate an incentive scheme with the union. Gautam was initially confident in managing this “routine task,” as he had conducted similar negotiations in his previous jobs. However, as the sequence of events unfolded, Gautam realized this situation’s complexities. He was faced with the challenge of managing and balancing the power dynamics in the organization. Initially, he struggled to garner the confidence of his subordinates, but through his efforts and sincerity, he was able to gain their support. Nevertheless, there were several power base frontiers and negative politicking dynamics that Gautam needed to decipher and develop strategies to decode.

This case allows students to vicariously experience the frustrations and deadlocks that an individual can encounter, despite their sincere efforts to negotiate. It encourages students to process the multifaceted nature of power and politics in an organizational setting and learn strategies to manage them. The case also demonstrates the use of different influence tactics by various hierarchies of the organization.

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