Chapter 9

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Published on 28 Jul 2011
School
Ryerson University
Department
Human Resources
Course
MHR 405
CHAPTER 9
POWER AND INFLUENCE
Power: the ability of one party to change or control the behaviour, attitudes, opinions,
objectives, needs or values of another party
Influence: the process of affecting the thoughts, behaviors and feelings of others
Political behaviour: influence attempts that are for personal gain and are not officially
sanctioned by an organization
Powerlessness: a lack of power
INDIVIDUALS SOURCES OF POWER
1. Legitimate power: is power that is based on a person holding a formal position. Others
comply because they accept the legitimacy of the position of the power holder
2. Reward power: is power based on a persons access to rewards. Others comply because
they want the rewards the power holder can offer
3. Coercive power: is power that is based on a persons ability to punish. Others comply
because they fear punishment or some negative consequences. This sort of power is
sometimes necessary in the case of supervision. Research shows that coercive power and
legitimate power tend to increase employee perceptions of stress
4. Referent power: is power that is based on a persons attractiveness to and friendship with
others. Others comply because they respect and like the power holder.
5. Expert power: is power based on a persons expertise, competence, and information in a
certain area. Others comply because they believe in the power holders knowledge and
competence. Like referent power, expert power does not come with the position but has to
be earned
6. Information power: is power that is based on a persons access to important information.
Others comply because they want the information the power holder has.
POWER IN THE BOSS-EMPLOYEE RELATIONSHIP
Expanding Power through Empowerment
Empowerment is defined ascreating conditions for heightened motivation through the
development of a strong sense of personal self-efficacy”.
The driving idea of empowerment is that the individuals closest to the work and to the
customers should make the decisions
A number of dimensions comprise the essence of empowerment. Employees feel empowered
when they feel their work has meaning, when they feel competent and when they feel they
have the power of self-determination
Barriers to Empowerment
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Document Summary

Power: the ability of one party to change or control the behaviour, attitudes, opinions, objectives, needs or values of another party. Influence: the process of affecting the thoughts, behaviors and feelings of others. Political behaviour: influence attempts that are for personal gain and are not officially sanctioned by an organization. Individuals sources of power: legitimate power: is power that is based on a person holding a formal position. Others comply because they accept the legitimacy of the position of the power holder: reward power: is power based on a person"s access to rewards. Others comply because they want the rewards the power holder can offer: coercive power: is power that is based on a person"s ability to punish. Others comply because they fear punishment or some negative consequences. This sort of power is sometimes necessary in the case of supervision.