Organizational Behavior - MHR 405
Amir Ali Golbazi
Power & Inﬂuence
Introduction to Power, Inﬂuence, & Political Behavior
POWER, INFLUENCE, & POLITICAL BEHAVIOR: RELATIONSHIPS & DIFFERENCES
Power is deﬁned as the ability or potential of one party to change or control the behavior, attitudes, opinions, objectives,
needs, or values of another party. Inﬂuence is the process of actually exercising this power by affecting the thoughts,
behaviors, and feelings of others. Political Behavior is inﬂuence attempts that are for personal gain and are not ofﬁcially
sanctioned by an organization.
THE ORGANIZATIONAL POWER CONVERSION GIRD (OPCG): AN ORGANIZING FRAMEWORK
Power can lead to both sanctioned
and non-sanctioned (Political
Behavior) inﬂuence attempts. Although
access to power does not mean a
person is inﬂuential. This is mainly due
to the fact that most do not know their
source of power or not know what
inﬂuence tactic to use.
WHY ARE POWER, INFLUENCE, AND POLITICAL BEHAVIOR IMPORTANT TO STUDY?
This is mainly due to the increasing uncertainty and change in borsht internal and external environments of organizations,
as well as the the disagreement of choices. During such times people are more likely to exercise their power, inﬂuence,
and political behavior. Thus these are important in effective Power based on position and mutual agreement that
leadership and when they cease to exist and the manager isLegitimate Power the power holder has the right to inﬂuence another
powerless which is a lack of power, they become bossy which person.
has negative effects on the organization. Power based on a person’s ability to control the rewards
Reward Power that another person wants.
Power based on a person’s ability to cause an
Individual Sources of Power and their Effects Coercive Power unpleasant experience.
French and Raven identiﬁed ﬁve sources of power including
legitimate, reward, coercive, referentand expert poe.r An elusive power based on interpersonal attraction
Information access has been added as the 6 source. Referent Power
Expert Power Power based on a person’s specialized knowledge or
skills that another person needs.
Information Access to and control over important information.
ORGANIZATIONAL BEHAVIOR MHR 405 CHAPTER 9 AMIR ALI GOLBAZI 1 LEGITIMATE POWER
This is based upon the position and mutual agreement that the power holder has the right to inﬂuence another person.
For instance thinking that a leader has the right to direct you, means that you have accepted his legitimate power.
However it must be noted that this is not enough to inﬂuence. It is important that employees themselves believe of the
legitimate power of the leader.
This is based on a persons ability to control the reward of another person. This ultimately leads to better performance in
organizations as long as employees see a relationship between reward and performance. This only works when the
person values the reward being offered which is known as valence.
This is power based on the ability for someone to case an unpleasant experience for another. This is when you know that
your manager can create worser working conditions for you and you are in fear of this. This is not bullying but giving giving
warnings and disciplinary actions as an effective managerial role. For instance the threat of probation in university if your
GPA drops below a certain average is exercising Coercive Power.
This is a power based on positive interpersonal interactions between employee and manager. When employees feel
accepted. This is also when a leader displays Charisma which is a trait giving a leader referent power over followers.
This is based on a person’s specialized knowledge or skills that another person needs. This is power than also has to
earned. There are three criterion which allow the fostering of this power. One, expertise knowledge given is accurate, two,
knowledge involved is relevant and useful, and three, the perception of the expert in the eyes of a subject is crucial. This is
also known as the power of the future.
This is access and control over important information. The beautiful thing about this is that anyone can withhold this
power, from subordinate to leaders in an organization.
Organizational Conditions that enable Power & Inﬂuence
Anyone can be inﬂuential during certain organizational conditions. Some of these conditions are outlined below:
1) Degree to which one controls critical resources
2) Degree to which one can reduce uncertainty
3) Degree to which one’s role is central or imprint to the organization’s success
4) Degree to which one is difﬁcult to replace or non-substitutable
The key to all of these is Dependency.
CONTROL OVER CRITICAL RESOURCES INCLUDING INFORMATION
When someone hold or control important resources such as staff, budgets, ofﬁce space and equipment, in which a
another person desires, they hold power.
Being central is basically being important to the organization’s success. However centrality can change in accordance with
This is the extent to which a groups performs a function that is indispensable to an organization and for which there is no
ABILITY TO HELP ORGANIZATION TO COPE WITH
If a group or individual has the ability to aid an organization in
coping with uncertain situations, than that unit has power.
Using Power Ethically
Ethical Behavior is acting in ways that are consistent with
one’s personal values and the commonly held values of the
organization and society. To determine this there are three
questions to ask:
1) Does the behavior produce a good outcome for people
both inside and outside the organization
2) Does the behavior respect the rights of all parties?
3) Does the behavior treat all parties equitably and fairly?
For an certain action or decision to be deemed ethical, it must
meet all the above criteria.
ORGANIZATIONAL BEHAVIOR MHR 405 CHAPTER 9 AMIR ALI GOLBAZI 2 Empowerment
Power can be shared by leaders to their subordinates by Empowerment which is when employees make more of their
own decision through an increased sense of self efﬁcacy, self determination, impact and meaning in their work. The idea
behind empowerment is that individuals closest to the work and customers should make the decisions, therefore taking
advantage of the employee’s skills and thus increasing the overall organizational value.
CORE DIMENSION OF EMPOWERMENT & INTERPERSONAL TRUST
There are four dimensions of empowerment.
Self Efﬁcacy is a sense of personal competence and conﬁdence.
Meaning gives employees a sense of value in the purpose of what they are doing. This is when they feel like they “own” a
Self Determination exist among the workforce when employees’ sense of personal choice, freedom, and control over
their work is relevant. This is similar to the concept of Autonomy as in chapter 5.
Impact is the ﬁnal dimension which is a mutual belief that one’s job makes a difference and is often related to self