Bases of Power in an Organization Leadership in an organization can be defined as the approach and manner in which directions are provided, plans implemented and workers motivated. The bases of power can be said to be the ways and methods which the managers of an organization use in order to influence the behavior of the employees.
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Power is categorized into five bases according to French and Raven in 1960. Dependency, on the other part, is reliance of an organization on certain employees or even an employee relying on the organization. Overreliance of an organization on different individuals or a few workers is usually highly discouraged. This is because an organization can fail due to an individual’s failure. In the given scenario, the organization is dependent on the employee 2 because he is the only one who can prepare the company’s financial statement.
The five bases of power are legitimate, reward, coercive, expert and referent (David, 1992). Legitimate power can also be referred to as positional power. This is because it is the position an individual holds in the given organization’s hierarchy. In this case, a manager’s power over the junior workers is given a priority. It gives the power to the managers to issue orders to the junior workers. In our scenario the employee 1 works in the marketing department where the marketing manager ensures and encourages employees to work even beyond the required 40 hours a week.
He keeps on reminding the workers to work hard in order to receive the yearly bonus. Reward power is another base of power which arises from the person’s ability to influence the allocation of resources and incentives in any given organization. The incentives can be in the form of positive appraisal, promotions and salary increment. People with this kind of power in an organization tend to influence other employees’ behavior. This kind of power works best if used well, though it is also demoralizing to the employees if favoritism is used and this diminishes the output.
In our scenario above the employee 3 was rewarded with the reward power by corporation A. In this case the employee has just brought a new idea to the organization which the team members were unsure of, though they tried and it worked (Dean, 2003). Due to the enthusiasm of the employees, the employee 3 was selected to lead the team. The reward power is well demonstrated in this situation. Coercive power is the power that is derived from an employee’s ability to influence other employees through sanctions, threats and punishment.
This can lead to junior employees working hard even in extra hours to meet deadlines so that they can avoid punishment from the boss. This kind of power helps the boss to control behaviors of the organization and its norms. In the scenario above, the employee 1 works hard in the office. He stays in the office till late night and even on weekends to ensure the work is complete and accurate. Expert power is another type and base of power that is based on the knowledge and experience. Expertise of an employee in a specific area is particularly beneficial in an organization.
Experience in a certain area of the organization is paramount. The employees’ opinions and ideas are highly regarded in the organization; hence they easily influence other workers’ behavior and working patterns. This kind of power becomes the stepping stone that connects to other bases of power. This is because experience is truly vital for proper running of business. In our scenario above the employee 2 is the only certified public accountant (CPA) in the organization who works in the accounting department.
He is the only one with the knowledge to prepare financial statements for the company and due to this he successfully negotiated with the accounting manager for him to work a compressed work week (Murphy & Ebook Library, 2012). Referent power is the power that is derived from a person’s ability to form inter-relationship with others in the organization. This type of power is obtained when other people respect and like the worker. Through this their output is influenced by the employee through their admiration to the worker, their trust and respect.
It is also obtained through the relationship with the people who matter in the organization, like the CEO. The Employee 3 can also be said to have been elevated to lead the team due to the admiration and enthusiasm he got from other employees. Reference David v. (1992). International Business Communication. New York: NY: HarperCollins. Murphy, F. , & Ebook Library (2012). Community engagement, organization, and development for public health practice. New York: Springer Pub. Dean, T. (2013). Network+ guide to networks
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