IGaD-Theme evening (online): Power and Micropolitics in Academia


Concerning social relations, 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 organisation, sometimes they meet irritating and even incomprehensible behavior and outcomes: formal regulations may be bypassed, expertise and institutionally defined 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 persons in leadership positions or about power-abuse. In fact, self-interests are 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 games played and the power processes in your own environment.

The aim of the lecture is to develop one's own reflective attitude towards micropolitical influence. After the lecture, a discussion round is planned.

Speaker: Dr. Veronika Fuest
Date: May 2, 2022, 5-7 p.m.
Event language: Englisch
Registration: here, max. 100 participants
Location: online via Zoom
Costs: none

The event is aimed at female students, PhD-students, postdocs, professors and other interested women at RWTH Aachen University.