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Powerlessness Corrupts Corporate Environments.


Powerlessness Corrupts Corporate Environments.

Being ignored, left out, overlooked or the last to know are highly corrosive and demoralizing. In response, men and women alike tighten up and become over-controlling of whatever small territory they have, the essence of petty bureaucrats – Rosabeth Moss Kanter wrote in a Wall Street Journal post on Oct1, 2015

Power corrupts, as Lord Acton famously said, but so does powerlessness. “The procedures don’t allow this”, “It will take months to process”,“submit more forms”, and “the boss is not available to sign on it” are some many bureaucratic responses that gets to our nerves in the corporate world. Unfortunately you’re forced to live by them because you are powerless.

In some cases you contemplate if you should offer favours or pull strings to get things moving, at least at a normal pace. In corporate Ghana, sometimes you’re compelled to do so.

Powerlessness is particularly rampant in the middle class. The lower-level staff understands that they are powerless and are usually not frustrated by it. However, the middle-class are those agitated by this inability to make decisions and take actions without consultating a higher power.

Frustrated powerless workers in the organisation are capable of not giving their best to the organisation. They do not believe in management and do not trust them either. They are quick to indoctrinate new staff with the ills of the organisation and incite them against management in the process. In short, productivity and morale suffers.

To rescue the situation, middle-class staff should be given some fair level of power to minimize the ills they are capable of engaging in at the workplace. A remote check and periodic assessment of the use or abuse of these powers will determine who should be assigned power.


Ever been frustrated by the bureaucracies within your own organisation? What are your first temptations? Share with me in the comment box

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