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Examples of Power - Essay Example

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Power Complexities in Organizations Name University Power Complexities in Organizations Introduction Change in organizations is affected by many factors with power held by any group really affecting decision making and management in any organization. When one person or group has power, they have the ability to make things happen, either by himself or he gets someone to do it for him…
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Examples of Power
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Examples of Power

If not used properly, problems may arise within an organization. Paul Merchant defines power as the ‘possession of authority and influence over others... a tool that, depending on how it's used, can lead to either positive or negative outcomes in an organization.’ Power relates to the ability to influence or control another’s behavior and action (Zolkiewski). Office politics results to power in a workplace. There are many types of workplace politics and some people enjoy being a part of those in power, while a lot of hate it, given that politics in the workplace being not easy to deal with. Latif, Abideen and Nazar wrote, “in any organization, it is not very difficult to find a person or group(s) indulging to influence decisions to either keep or supplement their personal interests… organizational politics can work either for or against an organization, but sometimes it is dysfunctional due to its potential power to disturb firm’s efficiency and effectiveness” (Latif et. al. 2011). Power is related to control over valued resources and transforms individual psychology such that the powerful think and act in ways that lead to the retention and acquisition of power (Magee and Galinsky, 2008). Organizational processes are influenced by institutionalization of power in organizations. Boonstra and Gravenhorst (1998) stated “that power in formal organizational structures and existing organizational arrangements have been changing dramatically… global competition and deregulation have led many companies to search for new forms of organization. Responsibilities, power, and accountability are being channeled to executives in charge and new forms of employment relations being developed”. Power groups can influence managers and executives (David P. Mills, Ronald M. Cervero, Christine A. Langone and Arthur L. Wilson, 1995) to exclude certain people in an organization from participating in decision making. Paul Merchant identifies five types of power, namely, legitimate power, expert power, referent power, coercive power and reward power. Rosa Krausz (1986) added another type of power to the five, and that is, interpersonal competence. Legitimate power, also known as positional power, is acquired from the position a person holds in an organization's hierarchy. People in organizations who have higher positions who give orders are normally followed by subordinates. In a work place, we normally follow the order given to us by people occupying higher positions than us. Expert power acquired from possessing knowledge or expertise. These people are where other coworkers go to as they are seen as experts in certain fields and can help them in situations in the workplace. While working on a research, we have many people working in a group. Though we work together, each of us have our own expertise. The person we see as having the greatest knowledge about a topic is normally acknowledged as the leader of the group because we know that he can direct the activity better. Referent power is derived from the interpersonal relationships a person cultivates with other people within the organization. This power arises from charisma (Lourdes Munduate and Kilian M. Bennebroek Gravenhorst, 2003), one who influences others through admiration, respect and trust (Marilyn M. Kennedy). Merchant said that this power is derived ... Read More
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