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MGHD27H3 Study Guide - Machiavellianism, Whistleblower

Management (MGH)
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Chapter 12: Power, Politics, and Ethics
What is Power?
Power: The capacity to influence others who are in a state of dependence
Power is not always perceived or exercised, the target is dependant on the holder, it
can flow in any direction in an organization, and it applies to both individuals and
Legitimate Power
oLegitimate Power: Derives from a persons position or job in the
oEx. Military has chains of command, differentiating uniforms, etc. designed
specifically to emphasize legitimate power, Universities downplay it a little
oPeople socialized to accept legitimate power- this is the reason that it is so
Reward Power
oReward Power: The power holder can exert influence by providing positive
outcomes and preventing negative outcomes often backs up legitimate
oManagers are given the chance to recommend raises, do performance
evaluations, and assign preferred tasks to employees, giving them reward
Coercive Power
oCoercive Power: Available when the power holder can exert influence using
punishment and threat also supports legitimate power
oManagers can dock pay, block promotions, etc. (Enron execs who disagreed
with Jeff Skilling were sent overseas and given brutal performance reviews)
oGenerally ineffective and can provoke considerable employee resistance
Referent Power
oReferent Power: Exists when the power holder is well liked by others
oWe usually seek their approval, ignore their failures, and see them as role
oStems from identification with the power holder
oAnyone in the organization may be well liked, therefore referent power is not
limited to higher level executives
Expert Power
oExpert Power: Power derived from having special information or expertise
that is valued by an organization
oThose with this power have great influence in organizations and are valued
highly, therefore every effort is made to retain such employees
How Do People Obtain Power?
Extraordinary Activities: excellent performance in unusual or non-routine (non-
daily) activities, taking greater risks, and managing substantial changes
Visible Activities: Publicizing extraordinary activities to get them noticed

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Relevant Activities: work must be relevant to the solution of organizational
Cultivating the Right People
oOutsiders: establishing good relationships with key people outside the
organization can lead to increased power within the organization board
members of different companies may have access to financial progress which
they can share with you
oSubordinates: Up and coming subordinates, who may be future managers,
should be recognized they are usually given more lenient guidelines to work
oPeers: ensures that nothing gets in the way of future acquisition of power;
organizations often reward good team players with promotions on the
assumption that they have demonstrated good interpersonal skills
oSuperiors: Liaisons with key superiors is one of the best ways of cultivating
power; can serve as mentors and provide useful introductions to the right
Empowerment: Putting Power Where it is Needed
Empowerment: Giving people the authority, opportunity, and motivation to take
initiative to solve organizational problems.
Having authority to solve an organizational problem means having legitimate power
Having opportunity means freedom from bureaucratic barriers that block initiative
Motivation involves hiring people who will be intrinsically motivated by power and
opportunity and aligning extrinsic rewards with successful performance
People who are empowered have strong self-efficacy
Empowering lower-level employees and those with face-to-face interaction with
clients can help create repeat business as they can make decisions on the spot to
satisfy customers
Leads to job satisfaction and high performance
Puts power where needed to make organization more effective, does not give excess
power as this can lead to abuse and ineffective performance (lack of power also
Influence Tactics- Putting Power to Work
Influence Tactics: Tactics that are used to convert power into actual influence over
Assertiveness ordering, nagging, setting deadlines
Ingratiation using flattery and acting friendly, polite, and humble
Rationality using logic, reason, planning and compromise
Exchange doing favours or offering to trade favours
Upward appeal making formal or informal appeals to superiors for intervention
Coalition formation seeking united support from other organizational members
Bases of power determine the influence tactic you use
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