Textbook Notes - Chapter 12

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Management (MGH)
Joanna Heathcote

MGTB27 / 01 Week 6 Chapter 12 Power, Politics, and Ethics (pg. 390 417) - Enron filed for bankruptcy in December 2001 due to unethical corporate behaviour of using shady accounting practices to hide losses and making Enron appear as though they were in excellent financial health What is Power? - Power is the capacity to influence others who are in a state of independence - Power has the capacity meaning that it does not always have to be exercised - Target of power is dependent on the powerholder does not imply that a poor relationship exists between the two (e.g. your friend has power to influence your behaviour) - Power can flow in any direction in an organization but often times, members at higher organizational levels have more power than those at lower levels - Power is a broad concept that applies to both individuals (e.g. marketing manager has power over subordinates) and groups (e.g. marketing department is the most powerful department) The Bases of Individual Power - Psychologists John French and Bertram Raven explains that power can be found in the position (legitimate power) that you occupy in the organization or the resources (reward, coercive, referent, and expert power) that you are able to command - If organizational members do not respect your position or value the resources you command, they will not be dependent on you, and you will lack the power to influence them Legitimate Power - Legitimate power L854Z07/07L;0/1742,5078438548L9L4347M4-L3,347J,3L],9L43 - Often called authority where the organization assigns people who can formally influence others (when moving up organizational hierarchy, members posses more legitimate power) - Organizations differ greatly in the extent to which they emphasize and reinforce legitimate power (e.g. extreme military; downplayed university lecturers, professors, deans) - Legitimate power works because people have been socialized to accept its influence (e.g. experiences with parents, teachers, and law enforcement officers) Reward Power - Reward power is power derived from the ability to provide positive outcomes and prevent negative outcomes (corresponds to Chapter 2, positive reinforcement) - Reward power often backs up legitimate power where managers are given the chance to recommend raises, do performance evaluations, and assign preferred tasks to employees - Rewards without legitimate power may include: compliments, praise, and flattery Coercive Power - Coercive power is power derived from the use of punishment and threat - Often a support for legitimate power where managers might dock pay, assign unfavourable tasks, or block promotions - Lower level organizational members can apply their share of coercion by a work-to-rule campaign (slows productivity by only doing the minimal work required and nothing more) - When managers use coercive power, it is generally ineffective and can provoke considerable employee resistance (from Chapter 2, punishment to control behaviour is problematic) Referent Power - Referent power is power derived from being well liked by others www.notesolution.com MGTB27 / 02 Week 6 - Referent power is especially powerful since it stems from identification with the powerholder (e.g. charismatic leaders have referent power) and anyone in the organization may be well liked without regarding their position or authority (e.g. janitor is well liked) - Friendly interpersonal relations often permit influence to extend across the organization, outside the usual channels of legitimate authority, reward, and coercion (e.g. a production manager is friendly with the design engineer so they may ask for a favour in the future) Expert Power - Expert power is power derived from having special information or expertise that is valued in an organization (we tend to be influenced by experts or those who perform their job well) - Expert power corresponds to difficulty of replacement since they have such high expertise - Expert power can occur in lower-level organizational members where they have long experience in dealing with company affairs (e.g. experienced secretaries in organizations) - Expert power is a valuable asset for managers and of all the powers, expert power is most associated with employee effectiveness - Research shows that women managers are more likely to be high in expert power than men Recap: coercion is likely to produce resistance and lack of cooperation, legitimate power and reward 54Z07,70OLN0O\94574/:.0/.425OL,3.0ZL9K9K0-4888ZL8K08,3/referent and expert 54Z07,702489OLN0O\94J0307,9097:0.422L92039,3/039K:8L,821479K02,3,J078,J03/, How Do People Obtain Power? - Rosabeth Moss Kanter, an organizational sociologist provides answers on how people get power. Two of the answers are: doing the right things, and cultivate the right people Doing the Right Things - Some activities such as extraordinary, highly visible, and especially relevant to the solution 4147J,3L],9L43,O574-O028,707LJK9079K,349K0781474-9,L3L3J54Z07 - Extraordinary Activities o Excellent performance in unusual or non-routine activities may obtain power o Activities may include occupying new positions, managing substantial change, and taking great risks (e.g. establishing a new customer service program) - Visible Activities o Extraordinary activities will fail to generate power if no one knows about them o People with an interest in power will be able to identify activities and publicize them o E.g. innovative surgeon whose techniques are reported in the New England Journal of Medicine will enhance his influence in the hospital - Relevant Activities o Extraordinary, visible work may fail to generate power if no one cares o If nobody sees the work as relevant to the solution of important organizational 574-O028L9ZLOO349,//944308L31O:03.0 o E.g. English professor wins Pulitzer Prize may not gain power in a small college that is financially struggling and hurting for students (does not contribute to solution) Cultivating the Right People - Kanter explains that developing informal relationships with the right people can prove a :801:O20,3841,.6:L7L3J54Z07,98349ZK,9\4:N34ZL98who \4:N34Z - Outsiders o E89,-OL8KL3JJ44/70O,9L438KL58ZL9KN0\5045O04:98L/0430847J,3L],9L43.,3O0,/ to increased power within the organization o E.g. assistant director of hospital who is friends with the president of the American Medical Association may find that they hold more power by association www.notesolution.comMGTB27 / 03 Week 6 o Organizational members on the board of directors of other companies may be able to acquire critical information about business conditions that could be used in their firm - Subordinates o Kanter notes that an individual can gain influence is she is closely identified with certain up-and-.42L3J8:-47/L3,908,9,:JK9K070;07\9KL3J8K0N34Z8 o %K070L8,O84,5488L-LOL9\9K,9,34:989,3/L3J8:-47/L3,902,\-0.4204308-488 o Cultivating subordinate interests can also provide power when a manager can /0243897,909K,9K08K0L8-,.N0/-\,.4K08L;090,2\90,2Z43989,3/1479KL8 - Peers o Good relationships with peers is mainly a means of ensuring that nothing gets in the Z,\414308future acquisition of power (e.g. they will not stab you in the back) o People can avoid contact with peers whose reputations is seen as questionable - Superiors o Liaisons with key superiors may be the best way of obtaining power o Such superiors are often called mentors or sponsors since they have special interest in a promising subordinate o Mentors can provide power by providing special information & useful introductions 9449K077LJK95045O0,3/L/039L1\L3J\4:,8,5749FJF94Z,7/8KLJK07O0;0O5045O0 Empowerment Putting Power Where It is Needed - Empowerment is giving people the authority, opportunity, and motivation to take initiative and solve organizational problems - Having authority means having legitimate power and having opportunity usually means freedom from bureaucratic -,77L0780J$477\9K0.425:907Z439O0920/49K,9 - Motivation in empowerment suggest hiring p
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