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Power, authority and decision making - Essay Example

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Power, authority and decision making

Of most important is that, in every definition there is an element that elaborates power as ‘a social actor being able to overcome resistance in achieving a desired objective’. Moreover, it is a force that is exercised from one actor to another a situation that enforces change on behaviour (Greene, 2000). Apparently, power may consist of anything that builds and maintains control of man over a fellow man. It tends to be defined as a force despite the fact that one with the power is the initiator or a responder. Thus, power is understood as a relational phenomenon in that persons exert power over others, and that power of an individual to do something constitutes a social relationship that is comparable to another person (Etzioni-Halevy, 1979). In light of this, power has been a crucial aspect of human civilization since time in memorial. In essence, power is physical, political or social. Additionally, in terms of business, power dynamics have the tendency to influence decisions and transactions of people heavily. Consequently, the definition of power could be challenging as it is understood and interpreted in various ways. Hence, power emanates from position or authority, which is capable of influencing people both positively and negatively. For this reason, the concept of power is placed in various categories for emphasis for simplicity and understanding (Wrong, 2002). Coercive Power Coercive power is the ability to use threat to make people do what one desires. In essence, it forces people to submit to one’s demand for fear of losing something. According to Wrong 2002, power in terms of coercion can take many forms. For instance, in the political arena modern state imprison those people who do not act in accordance to the legal mandates (Fairholm, 2009). In regard to history, majority of nations of the world joined in the boycott of Iraqi Oil in the hope of forcing the Iraqi government to honour the peace agreement that had been put forward in order to end the Gulf War of 1991. In the social arena, coercive power entails pushing someone into a behaviour one would not engage in. It is worth noting that most of the coercive power is associated with physical violence. Coercive power is most efficient, when the threat of violence or punishment associated to it, is sufficient enough to make the responder consent to the demand. Coercive power is advantageous in situations of impending danger, assuring internal cohesion, over and above, disputes that are of great value to the initiator. For instance, the European countries used extreme and often brutal, coercive power to launch their rule over Africa, and other regions such as Asia. Conversely, even thought the power may be impressive in specific situations, it might be useless in some situations especially when the responders to the power choose not to agree to the given threat (Wey 2009). Legitimate Power Legitimate power is derived from the authority of a person’s rate and position in a commanding chain. It is used in day to day life and its increases according to the responsibilities that are entitled to somebody. Never the less, legitimate power can be decreased in case the person who has the responsibility fails to fully meet them. The duration of this type of power is short lived as the person can only use it as he, or she holds a particular position. Additionally, the power given to this particular individual distinguishes him or her ...Show more


Power, Authority and Decision Making Name: Institution: Abstract This paper articulates on the impact of power, authority and decision making in the world. It analysis the various kinds of power and authority that are in practise, giving their advantages and disadvantages…
Author : coleman57
Power, authority and decision making essay example
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