Navigating the shark tank. Power Games and micropolitical competence in academia

This workshop takes place in English on 25&26 January, 2024, between 9 a.m. and 12.30 a.m. Registration is required for both parts of the workshop.


Are you navigating the ‘shark tank’ just trying to survive, do you feel like a ‘shark’, or are you placed in a peaceful ‘goldfish pond’? Concerning social interactions, research environments may vary a great deal!

In Germany and elsewhere researchers are embedded in specific hierarchical constellations. Regardless of their position at the top, middle or lower levels of their organization, sometimes they meet irritating and even incomprehensible behavior and outcome: formal regulations may be bypassed, expertise and institutionally defines responsibility may turn out to be unimportant when decisions are taken, rival camps may impede reasonable cooperation, etc. Some processes involving power games are perceived as unproductive, frustrating or even annoying. However, experience also tells us that difficult situations can be mastered by analyzing the dynamics of key situations and of the players’ interests involved, by skillful communication and, generally, by a power-conscious approach.

The theoretical approach of micropolitics and its conceptual enhancement provide a framework to systematically grasp manifestations of the everyday uses of power in organizations. However, micropolitics is not just about people in leadership positions or about power-abuse. In fact, self-interest is pursued at all organizational levels and may be ethically motivated. Individual or collective strategies are used to exert informal influence or to avoid control by others. Of central interest is the question of power resources, also from a diversity perspective.

The subject matter of the lecture can enrich your (virtual) tea kitchen talks with an important shadow topic in your own organization. Above all, you can deepen your understanding of the power processes and the ‘games” played in your own environment. In the workshop, moreover, you can reflect on your own power resources and roles in micropolitical games – as ‘victims’ or ‘agents’ – supported by a systematic and unbiased approach. You can identify strategies to pursue your goals more effectively and to gain perspective on how to further enhance your personal micropolitical competence.


Speaker: Dr. Veronika Fuest


Date/Time 25.01.2024 09:00 - 26.01.2024 12:30
Location Online

OrganisatorCareers in Research and Academia | Hannah Jacobmeyer
Website | E-Mail
SpeakerDr. Veronika Fuest
Dr. Veronika Fuest is a certified consultant (systemic transactional analysis) and trainer with multidisciplinary academic qualifications and extensive experience in collaborative research projects at various scientific institutions.

Target group Junior professors, Newly appointed professors, Postdocs, Doctoral candidates
Registration start 06.09.2023 14:57
Registration deadline 15.01.2024 14:00
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