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Organization's Power - Essay Example

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Organization's Power

"A has power over B to the extent that he can get B to do something that B would not otherwise do" (Dahl 1961 p. 202-203). Dahl chose to analyze decision-making on key issues only, and, furthermore, did not state objective criteria for the selection of such "key issues" (Dahl 1961). He held that he was able to identify subjective interests in the form of dominant policy preferences made visible by patterns of political participation in concrete key issue decision-making. Peter Bachrach & Morton S. Baratz (1962; 1963; 1970) fervently criticized this one-dimensional approach, asking whether a sound concept of power could be predicated on the assumption that it was totally embodied and fully reflected in "concrete decisions".
Power is a term, which is defined in different ways by different theorist because power can be used as a means of influence in different ways. Way back, Max Weber has defined power as "Power is the probability that one actor within the relationship will be in position to carry out his own will despite resistance (Weber, 1947, P.152). Nord has defined power in the context of mobilization of energy and resources to achieve one set of goals as against other set of Goals. He defines power as follows. " Power is the ability to influence flows of the available resources towards certain goals as opposed to other goals. Power is assumed to be exercised only when these goals are at least partially in conflict with each other (Nord, 1978, P.675). Robbins has defined power in more elaborate way when he says" Power refers to a capacity that A has to influence the behaviour of B, so that B does something he or she would not other wise do. This definition implies 1) A potential that need not to be actualized to be effective 2) A dependence relationship, and 3) That B has some discretion over his or her behaviour" (Robbins, 2003, p.366). Thus Power has been defined basically as the capacity to do something or get intended results from others. Power, through personal and lacks legitimacy, is a crucial factor in influencing the behaviour in organizational situation. Thus, power is one of the essential components of practically every organization. Power is required in the organization for the effective performance of activities of the people. In its absence, there may be chaos, which is undesirable because (i) People become upset and insecure in the presence of Chaos, and (ii) Chaos precludes the synergistic benefits that are gained from effective organizations. Thus, many benefits of modern organizations cannot be obtained without the viable exercise of power in some form. People may be willing to obey the power, although without any legitimacy. It has been observed that a person may like success more than he dislikes being controlled by another's power. Power is commonly recognized as the basis of authority and responsibility. In one way, authority can be viewed as one of the prerequisite of power. If the source of authority system in the form of formalization is traced it may be found in power. Power is also the basis of Responsibility. Responsibility is the obligation to carryout any function or discharge of duty. In formal organizations, responsibility is fixed on the basis of allocation of activities through the process of organizing. But the basis root of the responsibility is ...Show more


Power refers to the potential or actual ability to influence others in a desired direction. As an exchange relationship, power occurs in transactions between an agent and a target. The agent is the person using the power, and the target is the recipient of the attempt to use power…
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Organizations Power essay example
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