Was talking to a friend who is executive at large major multinational corporation.
Man, the politics sound absolutely awful.
I asked him - "How much time are you spending on internal politics?"
"Maybe 50% of my time."
"Damn. That's no good. What a waste of your talent."
He shrugs. "That's reality. You've got to deal with it."
We talk about it more. He said if he was in final charge, he could clear house of it. But he can't in the current culture.
Why doesn't this exist in small business?
I think because there's nothing worth fighting over.
In a large company, if you do $100 million in revenues with an 18% profit margin, you made $18 million. If two division chiefs get into some petty bullshit and it costs them one-tenth of their margin - say, they only make 16.2% in margins and thus they lose $1.8 million in profits...
...well, no one really can put it quite on that, can they? Either way, salaries get paid, benefits are delivered, the company is still reasonably successful, etc, etc.
In a small organization, if there's scheming happening instead of work getting done, you're dead. Out. Finished. In a large organization, there's enough resources that you can fight each other and the business will still run; in fact, the winner of the political struggle might move up the ladder.