discussion questions 331
- Take a look at some videos from Jeffrey Pfeffer of Stanford University. He is considered one of the leading experts in the world on power and influence. Find a video from Dr. Pfeffer on power or influence that you find useful and share the link with your classmates. Do you think he practices what he preaches? In other words, does he exhibit expert power?
- For the discussion, we will take a bit more lighthearted approach and look at some examples of how organizational politics is portrayed in movies or TV as well as video games.
Notable TV series that focus on workplace life include Suits, Mad Men, Silicon Valley, House of Lies, Ugly Betty, and The Office. You can probably think of few more recent ones. In terms of movies, Office Space, The Social Network, and Jobs are some examples of popular movies that revolved around corporate life.
For your first post in the first week of this module, try to find a good example of a recent TV series or movie that you watched that you thought was a good example of any of the concepts from this module. Give a short synopsis of the story involved and how it reflected concepts from the background readings. If you can find a YouTube clip from this show or movie, share the link with your classmates. Also, discuss how realistic the TV show or movie was—did it seem similar to what you might find in real life?
Just as office politics is a common theme in movies and TV, there are a surprising number of video games with an office politics theme. Do a search on “office politics games,” “office simulators” or similar searches and see if you find any games that look interesting or are relevant to this module. Some of these games are even available for free—special kudos to any of you who try the game out yourselves. But at least include a short description of the game you found and a link to a video or webpage that illustrates the game.
- Earlier you looked at a video from leader/organizational power guru Jeffrey Pfeffer. Part of your Module 4 materials are an article by Robert Cialdini and a video for which he provides some narration. As you might have guessed by now, Pfeffer and Cialdini are two of the most famous and popular authorities on power, influence, and persuasion.
In addition to experiencing Cialdini’s presentation style from his narration in the Background video, view some of his other videos on YouTube. Find at least one that discusses persuasion. Post the link to the video and share your thoughts.
After viewing at least one of Cialdini’s videos on persuasion, discuss the following in your first post during the first week of the class:
- Who do you think is more persuasive given what you’ve read about persuasion for this module—Pfeffer or Cialdini?
- In what ways do you think these gurus are similar or different?Your second task for the discussion is to actually go out and try to use some of Cialdini’s techniques from his videos or the background readings. You can try them on a coworker, a family member, or even a salesperson that you are trying to coax into giving you a better deal. Did it work? How did these tactics work compared to what you tried for the Module 3 disussion? Would you try this technique again? Share your story with your classmates sometime during the second week of the module.