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MHR 405 (330)
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Chapter 9

Chapter 9

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Ryerson University
Human Resources
MHR 405
Louis Pike

Chapter 9 Power and influence Introduction to power and influence in organizations What are the differences between power, influence and political behavior? Power is the ability of 1 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, behavior, and feeling of others Political behavior is the influence attempts that are for personal gain and are not officially approved by an organizations Why are power, influence and political behavior important to study? Power and influence have become central elements in effective leadership Failures to understand power and politics can be costly to nonsupervisory employees o They need to learn about power and organizational politics, so that they successfully manage the predictable political behavior in organizations Rosabeth Moss Kanter developed a scholarly approach to determine who has power and who feels powerless o Powerlessness is a lack of power Some common symptoms of supervisory powerlessness are Bossiness Overly close supervision Inflexible adhere to the rules A tendency to do the job oneself rather than training employees to do it Focusing on budget cutting Punishing others What are the symbols of power? www.notesolution.com Actions such as the ability to negotiate on someones behalf or to get early access to important info indicate that the supervisor is powerful and has influence Recognizing symbols of power can be particularly useful in finding a mentor Exhibit 9.1 on pg 273 An organizing framework for understanding power and influence in organizations Power can come from 6 sources such as o The power to reward and punish (coercive power) o It can also come from being authorized by a boss Both of these sources require the use of influence tactics in order to create outcomes such as compliance, commitment or activepassive rejection of the influence attempt Individual sources of power and their effects French and Raven identified 5 sources of power o Legitimate power It is power that is based on a person holding a formal position Others obey because they accept the legitimacy of the position of the power holder For example, if you find yourself thinking My supervisor has a right to expect me to carry out his instructions, you are responding to a perception that he possess legitimate power When someone gets promoted to a position of manager, he has been given a potential source of legitimate power Legitimate power does not guarantee influence, it is up to the employees to believe that manager has the right to tell them what to do o Reward power It is power based on a persons access to rewards Others obey because they want the rewards the power holder can offer www.notesolution.com
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