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Lecture

Textbook notes-Chapter 12-Power, Politics and Ethics


Department
Management (MGH)
Course Code
MGHD27H3
Professor
Andrew Davidson

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CHAPTER 12 t POWER, POLITICS, AND ETHICS
WHAT IS POWER
Power: the capacity to influence others who are in a state of dependence
1) notice that power is the capacity to influence the behaviour of others
îZ(ZZP}(}Á]v}vZ}ÁZ}o}v[]uZ}}
relationship exists b/w the 2
3) power can flow in any direction in an organization
THE BASES OF INDIVIDUAL POWER
- power can be found in the position that you occupy in the organization or the resources that
you are able to command
1) legitimate power: }Á]À(}u}v[}]]}v}i}]vv}Pv]}v
- it works cuz ppl have been socialized to accept its influence
2) reward power: power derived from the ability to provide positive outcomes and prevent
negative outcomes
- concept of reinforcement and backs up legitimate power but any individual can exert
influence others with praise ect
3) coercive power : power derived from the use of punishment and threat
- support of legitimate
- lower level organizational members can also apply their share of coercion
4) referent power: power derive for being well liked by others
1) stems from identification with the power holder
2) anyone can be well liked
5) expert power: power derived fro having special info or expertise that is valued by an
organization
- common in lower level members in scientific and technical areas
- women perceived higher in expert power than men
HOW DO PEOPLE OBTAIN POOWER
Doing the Right Things
1) extraordinary activities
- excellent performance in unusual or nonroutine activities
ex. occupying new positions, managing substantial changes, taking great risks
2) visible activities
- identifying visible activities and publishing them
3) relevant activities
- pl care about the things you are doing
Cultivating the Right People
1) outsiders
- good relationships with key ppl outside ones organization can lead to increase in power in the
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organization
- sometimes this power is just a reflection of the status of the outsider but adds to ones internal
influence
2) subordinates
- an individual can gain influence if shes closely identified with certain up and coming
subordinates
3) peers
- ensuring that nothing gets in the way of }v[ future acquisition of power
- (À}µvlYX(}(]vP]vZlu]u
4) superiors
- liaisons with key superiors probably represent the best way of obtaining power through
cultivating others
- mentors can provide special info and useful introductions to other right ppl
EMPOWERMENT t PUTTING POWER WHERE IT IS NEEDED
Empowerment: giving ppl the authority , opportunity, and motivation to take initiative and solve
organizational problems
- motivational part of the empowerment equation suggests hiring ppl who will be intrinsically
motivated b power and opportunity and aligning extrinsic rewards with successful performance
- leaders who express confidence in subordinates abilities
- ppl who are empowered have a strong sense of self efficacy , the feeling that they are capable
of doing their jobs well
- À]vZu}Áuv(}i}](]}vvZ]PZ(}uvµ]}v[uv
providing employees with a maximum amount of creative power
- it puts power where its needed to make the organization effective
INFLUENCE TACTICS t PUTTING POWER TO WORK
influence tactics: tactics that are used to convert power into actual influence over others
1) assertiveness: ordering, nagging, setting deadlines, and verbal confrontation
2) ingratiation: using flattery and acting friendly, polite, or humble
3) rationality t using logic, reasons, planning and compromise
4) exchange t doing favours or offering to trade favours
5) upward appeal t making formal or informal appeals to organizational superiors for
intervention
6) coalition formation t seeking united support from other organizational members
- bases of power influence tactics you might use
- use of influence is also dependent on just whom you are trying to influence subordinates,
peers, or superiors
- subordinates are more likely to be the recipients of assertiveness than peers or superiors
- rationality is most likely to be directed toward superiors
- exchange, ingratiation, and upward appeal are favoured tactics for influencing both peers and
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subordinates
- for men: using rationality as an influence tactics was associated with receiving better
performance evaluation, earning more money, and experiencing less work stress
- ineffective influence style is a shotgun style that is high on all tactics with particular emphasis
on assertiveness and exchange
- women who used ingratiation as an influence tactics received the highest performance
evaluations (from male mangers)
WHO WANTS POWER
- power seekers are neurotics who are covering up feelings of inferiority, striving to compensate
for childhood deprivation or substituting power for lack of affection
- some power seekers feel weak and resort primarily to coercive power to cover up
- n Pow is need to have strong influence over others , ppl who are high in n Power in its pure
form conform to the negative stereotype depicted above Æ sexually exploitive, abuse alcohol,
and show a great concern with status symbols
most effective managers have:
1) high n Pow
2) use their power to achieve organizational goals
3) adopt a participative or coaching leadership style
4) relatively unconcerned with how much others like them
- MaClelland calls such managers institutional managers cuz they use their power for good of
organization rather than for self taggrandizement
- they are more effective than personal power managers, who use their power for personal gain
- afflictive managers who are more concerned with being liked than with exercising power
- institutional managers are generally superior in giving subordinates a sense of responsibility,
clarifying organizational priorities, and instilling team spirit
- need for power can be a useful assets, as long as its not a neurotic expression of perceived
weakness
- ppl who want power but v[ get it cuz they are locked in a low level job or faced with
Æ]ÀµovPµo]}vYXÇ}P]v}v}ov](ZÇ(]oUZÇ(oZoov
become alienated from their work
CONTROLLING STRATEGIC COTINGENCIES - HOW SUBUNITS OBTAIN POWER
subunit power: the degree of power held by various organizational subunits such as
departments
strategic contingencies: critical factors affecting organizational effectiveness that are controlled
by a key subunit
Æ how departments gain power
Æ the work other subunits perform is contingent on the activities and performance of a key
subunit
Æ if some subunits are dependent on others for smooth operations, they are susceptible to
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