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Chapter 12


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University of Ottawa

Chapter 12I What Is PowerPower is the capacity to influence others who are in a state of dependence This does not necessarily imply that a poor relationship exists between the power holder and the target as most friendships involve reciprocal influence processes Power can flow in any direction in an organization although members at higher levels typically have more power Power is a broad concept that applies to individuals as well as to groups II The Bases of Individual PowerPower can be found in the position that you occupy in the organization or the resources that you are able to command Legitimate power is dependent on ones position or job The other bases reward coercion referent and expert power involve the control of important resources A Legitimate Power Legitimate power derives from a persons position or job in the organization It constitutes the organizations judgment about who is formally permitted to influence whom and it is often called authority As we move up the organizations hierarchy we find that members possess more and more legitimate power Legitimate power works because people have been socialized to accept its influence Even across various cultures employees cite legitimate power as a major reason for following their bosss directions B Reward Power Reward power exists when the power holder can exert influence by providing positive outcomes and preventing negative outcomes It corresponds to the concept of positive reinforcement It is often used to back up legitimate power C Coercive Power Coercive power is available when the power holder can exert influence by the use of punishment and threat Although it too is employed as a support for legitimate power its use by managers is generally ineffective and can provoke employee resistance D Referent Power Referent power exists when the power holder is well liked by others It is potent because it stems from identification with the power holder and represents a truer or deeper base of power than reward or coercion Second anyone in the organization may possess referent power E Expert Power
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