The CIO, though often underestimated, holds a lot of responsibility in a company. Essentially, the information domain plays a central role in the progress of a business. In fact, the role of the chief information officer affects information technology a great deal. Nevertheless, the CIO does not have the power to set and execute certain information management policies. On the other hand, information technology is insufficient without an empowered CIO. A prime role of the CIO in this regard is to ensure accountability for information in an organization. Therefore, any IT malfunction is bound to have grave implications in business. This is what happened to overstock.com when there was a delay in posting of new items for over five weeks.
This caused the CIO of overstock.com to send a memo to all business partners blaming them for the ineffectiveness of their technological structures. This action by the CIO overstock.com exposed the technology shortcoming that the company was facing, which was classified as organizational politics. Therefore, this paper will explore organization politics and while incorporating others factors that were demonstrated by the action of Overstock.com’s CIO, an opinion on the matter will also be given on good organizational politics while stating the reasons. The paper will also give a detailed analysis on the advice available to Shawn as the company CIO.
Many definitions have been developed on organizational politics. However, this refers to a situation where individuals or group of individuals’ engage in goals and objectives that serve their interests without considering the effects that their behaviors or actions have on others in the organization. Therefore, organization politics can be used to delineate the manipulative, self-serving and scheming behaviors of individuals in an organization. Usually organization politics emerges due to the following; personal conflicts, there are other instances where individual compete for leadership positions or power, scarcity of resources, information access, coalition building and many others. With this overview, of organizational politics let discuss the overstock.com scenario (Vigoda-Gadot & Drory, 2006).
In every organization, every position has the responsibility and powers that are accorded anyone who assumes the post in the organization should undertake and assume while applying professionalism that is expected of him or her. In reference to this overstock.com’s CIO, in the organization structure, is expected to make sure that all the technological matters in the organization are in line with the organizations expectations, and goals; therefore, it is his or her sole responsibility to that makes sure inventory update is done, and all the structure of any of the online programs is efficiently functioning.
It is evident that overstock.com has been experiencing a series of technical hitches are neither directly nor indirectly related to the suppliers, like where there are missing orders and failure to update the inventory that the suppliers have in their possession thus offering ineffective information to customers . This inefficiency of the company site can be attributed to ineffective design by the old architecture failure to develop the program perfectly suits the organization.
The information department, which is headed by the CIO, is expected to be the most efficient department since all other departments depend on it in their operations; therefore, this department should be well equipped to all circumstances so as to support the organization to run all the operations smoothly. The CIO has the responsibility to provide solutions even in the gravest situation and always have a contingency in case the planned program fails; therefore, it was a failure of the department of information which is headed by the CIO and this directly lays all the responsibility of the failure. Instead of him owning up the mistakes, since if there was proper maintenance of the architecture structure all the problems could have been prevented, the CIO opted to shift the blame to the suppliers. In my opinion, these organizational politics were not good since the suppliers do not have any involvement in designing the structure. Therefore, these organizational politics were bad, but from the management point of view, it was to their advantage. After the detailed analysis of the issue at hand, now let’s turn our attention on the options that were available to the overstock.com CIO (Vigoda-Gadot, 2005)
The organization structure clearly outlines the responsibility of every stakeholder in the organization; therefore, the concerned party should take their responsibility to undertake the duties the allocated and not shift those responsibilities or consequences to perform such responsibilities to other stakeholders. In reference to this, I would advise the CIO retract the memo that he earlier sent to the supplier and instead send a memo offering apologies to suppliers for an attempt to link them in the whole event of technical hitch that overstock .com faced. The CIO also needs to understand that it is not healthy when one politicizes an expertise role that is directly outlined in the organization structure issue. This only brings more confusion to the issue thus leaving the stakeholders in a position of not having the capability to address the situation in an effective manner (Ray French, 2011).
In conclusion, every employee needs to apply professionalism that is correspondent to their ability to in performing every duties and this will reduce the circumstance where employees engage in organization politics