5 Basis of Power

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Category: Business and Industry

Date Submitted: 09/27/2012 06:59 PM

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Power , with regards to leadership is quintessential to management. Defined in terms of business, management and for the purposes of this assignment, power is a gauge of an individual’s potential to get others to do what he or she wants them to do, as well as to stay away from being coerced by others to do what he or she does not want to do. There are five bases of power; coercive, reward, legitimate, referent and expert. It is important to realize that power is not just implemented by management and leadership. Indeed power usage sways from employees and subordinates to leaders constantly, with one or more of the bases of power being utilized accordingly. Successful leadership realizes this and balances power accordingly and comprehends the relationship between dependency and power.

Coercive power is a compliance based tool in so much that the concept is that an individual is forced to do something that otherwise they have no desire to do. Coercive power while it can be useful can lead to abuse unhealthy work environments. The marketing manager in Employee 1 scenario uses a coercive technique almost passive aggressively by baiting positive consequences (yearly bonus). Employee 2 also uses a form of coercive power to get the compressed work week he desires.

Reward power is the ability to grant individuals things that they want and to remove the things that they do not. Reward power, at its core stems from the idea that human beings are more apt to accomplish something if they are getting outcomes for having done so. In the assignment, the marketing manager utilizes reward power over Employee 1 by reminding them that there is a bonus for having a superior performance evaluation. Because of this, Employee 1 is highly motivated because he plans on using his bonus for a vacation.

Expert power is the ability to influence someone regarding a course of action because of precise understanding, know-how, or proficiency. In an organization it is because of expert power...