Please note that the workshop is held in English!

Power games and micro­political competence in academia

Are you navigating the ‚shark tank‘, just trying to survive, do you feel like a ‚shark‘, or are you actually 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 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 people 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 power processes and the „games“ played in your own environment.

In the workshop, moreover, you have the opportunity to 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 gain perspective on how to further enhance your personal micropolitical competence pursuant to the workshop.

Online Workshop


Friday, 3 November 2023
09:00 AM - 04:00 PM


Dr. Veronika Fuest





Target Group

Female researchers of all disciplines at the University of Bonn

Registration Deadline

11 October 2023

Number of Participants

max. 12

Eine Wissenschaftlerin und ein Wissenschaftler arbeiten hinter einer Glasfassade und mischen Chemikalien mit Großgeräten.
© Pexels / Tima Miroshnichenko

Topics and Methods


  • science system and organization (focus on Germany)
  • micropolitics, power games, power resources
  • typical 'arenas'
  • roles / game positions (workshop)
  • room for maneuvre and micropolitical tools (workshop)

The following methods are used:

  • brief introductions to concepts and models
  • practice-oriented inputs
  • individual reflections and small group work
  • working on one‘s own cases or on case studies (in the workshop).


No, all costs are covered by the Gender Equality Office.

Yes. If an event is booked up, we will put you on the wait list. You will be moved up and notified if another person withdraws before the event begins.

There is limited accessibility in the rooms of the Gender Equality Office, though not all events take place here. If you need help accessing the event location, please get in touch with the contact person listed on the event page so we can assist you on the day of the event.

If you need to make use of childcare services during an event, please contact the University of Bonn Office of Family Services.

In order to be able to participate in events offered by the University of Bonn Gender Equality Office, you must be employed by, studying at, completing a doctorate or doing research at the University of Bonn, or be a member of an affiliated research organization.

If you need a certificate confirming your participation in one of our events, please contact our office via email at events(at)

If you wish to receive credits for your participation as part of the Doctorate plus program, please get in touch with the contact persons listed on their website to find out how many units each event covers.

If you wish to receive credits for your participation as part of the Doctorate plus program, please get in touch with the contact persons listed on their website to find out how many units each event covers.

Contact and Organization

Avatar Pottek

Dr. Martina Pottek

+49 228 73-6575

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