Fortunately, most of the positions I have held, those I worked for and with seemed to operate in this same way. But there have been a couple of places I have worked where nothing was ever as it seemed. Downright cloak and dagger at times; and at others childish, spiteful games and strategies.
I cannot comprehend what this offers a person or why a business would choose to allow this type of stuff to go on. I can see no benefit to the business or it's operation by this.
But, then again, I am not a "game" player or a schemer or user in other areas of my life either.
Have you worked for places where this happens? Has it directly effected you? Have you practiced these methods yourself, and what was the outcome?