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Lecture 10

MHR 405 Lecture Notes - Lecture 10: Organizational Commitment, Resource Allocation, Job Satisfaction

Human Resources
Course Code
MHR 405
Sathy Sritharakumar

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Chapter 10: Power and Influence in the Workplace
Definition of Power
Capacity of a person, team, or organization to influence others
Involves unequal dependence, potential to change attitudes and behaviour
Countervailing power: capacity of a person, team, organization to keep a more powerful
person/group in the exchange relationship
Model of Power in Organizations
Legitimate Power
Agreement that people in certain roles can request certain behaviours of others
Zone of indifference: range of behaviours for deference to authority
Norm of reciprocity: feeling of obligation to help someone who has helped you
Information control: the right to distribute information to others
o Creates dependence, frames situation
Other Sources of Power
Reward power
o Control rewards valued by others, remove negative sanctions
Coercive power
o Ability to apply punishment
Referent power
o Capacity to influence others with identification and respect for the power holder
Expert Power
Capacity to influence others by possessing knowledge/skills that they value
Helps organizations cope with uncertainty
People gain power by using expertise to: prevent, forecast and abstract environmental changes
Contingencies of Power
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Increasing Nonsubstitutability
Substitutability: availability of alternatives - more power when few/no alternatives
Reduce substitutability through: monopoly over resource, controlling access to resource,
differentiating the resource
Other Contingencies of Power
o Degree and nature of interdependence with powerholder
o Higher centrality when many people are quickly affected
o You are known as holder of valued resource
o Increases with face time, display of power symbols
o Freedom to exercise judgement
Power of Social Networks
People connected to each other through forms of interdependence
Generate power through social capital - goodwill and resulting resources charged among
members in a social network
Three power resources through networks: information, visibility, referent power
Social Network Ties
Strong ties
o Close-knit relationships (frequent interaction, high sharing, multiple roles)
o Offer resources more quickly, less unique
Weak ties
o Acquaintances
o Offer unique resources not held by us or people in other networks
Many ties
o Resources increase with number of ties
o Limited capacity to form weak/strong ties
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