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Ch 8: Power and Politics Bases of Power

6 Pages

Business Administration
Course Code
BUS 272
Christopher Zatzick

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Chp 8: Power and Politics Bases of Power Power - A capacity that A has to influence the behaviour of B, so that B acts in accordance with A's wishes o There is a potential for power is someone is dependent on another, but it doesn't have to be imposed Six Bases of Power: 1. Coercive Power - Power that is based on fear o Rests on the application (or threat) of physical sanctions o Most often used, often condemned, and difficult to control 2. Reward Power - Power that achieves compliance based on the ability to distribute rewards that others view as valuable 3. Legitimate Power - Power that a person receives as a result of his or her position in the formal hierarchy of an organization o Includes acceptance by members of an organization 4. Expert Power - Influence based on special skills or knowledge o Relies on trust that all relevant information is given honestly and completely o Some individuals try to protect their power by withholding information 5. Referent Power - Influence based on possession by an individual of desirable resources or personal traits o Develops out of admiration of another and a desire to be like that person 6. Information Power - Power that comes from access to and control over information Evaluating the Bases of Power People will response in one of three ways: 1. Commitment: Person is enthusiastic about request and takes initiative to carry it out 2. Compliance: Person goes along with request grudgingly and puts in minimal effort 3. Resistance: Person opposes request and avoids it by refusing, stalling or arguing Coercive power = resistance, decreased satisfaction and increased mistrust Reward power = compliance Legitimate power = compliance, does not generally result in increased commitment, does not inspire individuals to take initiative Expert and Referent power = commitment Dependency: The Key to Power General Dependency Postulate The greater B's dependency on A, the greater the power A has over B Dependency is inversely proportional to the alternative sources of supply o This is why organizations develop multiple suppliers, why monopolies have control What Creates Dependency? 1. Importance o The things you control must be perceived as important, or they won't want it o What is important varies among organizations and over time 2. Scarcity o Possession of something plentiful won't increase power o Individuals might refuse to show others how to do a job to increase importance 3. Nonsubstitutability o The fewer substitutes there are, the more power comes from controlling a resource Influence Tactics Tactics people use to increase their power: 1. Rational Persuasion: Using facts and data to make logical presentation of ideas 2. Inspirational Appeals: Appealing to values, ideals, and goals when making a request 3. Consultation: Getting others involved to support one's objectives 4. Ingratiation: Using flattery, goodwill, and being friendly prior to making request 5. Personal Appeals: Appealing to loyalty and friendship 6. Exchange: Offering favours or benefits in exchange for support 7. Coalitions: Getting support of others to provide backing when making a request 8. Pressure: Using demands, threats and reminds to get others to do something 9. Legitimacy: Claiming the authority or right to make a request Most effective: rational persuasion, inspirational appeals, consultation, using more than one tactic as long as they are compatible Least effective: pressure Effectiveness depends on direction of influence o Rational persuasion is only tactic that is effective across organizational levels o Inspirational appeals work best with subordinates o Pressure used to achieve downward influence o Personal appeals and coalitions effective with lateral influence Effectiveness depends on sequence of tactics used, skill in using them, and culture of organization o Combination of soft tactics and rational tactics better than combination of hard tactics Political Skill - The ability to influence others in such a way as to enhance one's objectives o People with this are more effective in using tactics o More effective when stakes are high o Able to exert influence without others detecting Organizational culture will determine which tactics are considered appropriate Empowerment: Giving Power to Employees Managers and researchers disagree on definition of empowerment o Some believe it is about delegating decision making within a set of clear boundaries  Starts from top: responsibilities delegated, people held accountable, goals assigned o Others believe it is a process of risk-taking and personal growth  Starts from bottom: consider needs, trust in employees Degrees of Empowerment Job Con
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