Games at Work: How to Recognize and Reduce Office Politics, by Mauricio Goldstein and Philip Read (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2009)
Goldstein and Read analyze the all-too-common games that undermine the morale and effectiveness of organizations. "Gotcha" (identifying and communicating other people's mistakes), "Marginalize" (exiling people who don't "fit"), and "No Bad News" (suppressing negative information) are among the interpersonal games they consider. They also describe games played by leaders, including "Kill the Messenger" (blaming the person who brings you bad news) and "Token Involvement" (pretending to consult with people after you've made up your mind).
The authors know how hard it is to stop game playing once it becomes part of an organizational culture, but they offer solid advice on how to try. Recognizing which game is being played is key. That makes it possible to short-circuit the game by calling attention to it or choosing not to play the expected "role." Anyone who has spent time in organizations will be familiar with some of these games. Games at Work is a helpful guide to countering their destructive power.