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Chapter 12

IRE260H1 Chapter 12: Power

Employment Relations, Centre for Industrial Relations and Human Resources
Course Code
Hua Wang

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Nov 11th, 2016
Week 7 Reading Chapter 12
- Chapter 12: Page 432-441
What is Power?
- Power: The capacity to influence others who are in a state of dependence
o Not alas pereied/reogized (i.e. teaher’s poer oer the student)
- Betee the perso of poer ad the perso ithout, does’t ipl there’s a poor relatioship
between the two
- Power can flow in any direction in an organization
o i.e. The janitor might gain power over the CEO if he finds him doing something inappropriate
- broad concept that applies to both individual sand groups
Bases of Individual Power
Legitimate Power
- Poer deried fro a perso’s positio or job i a orgaizatio
- Organizations differ greatly in the extent to which they emphasize and reinforce it
o i.e. military vs university
- When the power works: socialization to accept its influence
Reward Power
- Power derived from the ability to provide positive outcomes and prevent negative outcomes
o Concept of positive reinforcement
Coercive Power
- Power derived from the use of punishment and threat
- Can provoke resistance and is generally ineffective
Referent Power
- Power derived from being well liked by others
- Prone to consider more of their opinions, ignore failures, seek approval, role models
o 1. Identification with power holder
Truer and deeper base of power than reward/coercion
o 2. Available to anyone in the organization may be well liked
Irrespective of his/her other bases of power
Expert Power
- Power derived from having special information or expertise that is valued by an organization
- More crucial and unusual the information, the greater expert power
- Expertise most commonly associated with employee effectiveness
- Lower-level organizational members accrue it, free for self-development
How do People Obtain Power?
Doing the right things
- Extraordinary activities
- Visible activities
- Relevant activities
Cultivating the Right People
- Outsiders Key people can lead to increased power inside the organization
- Subordinates Can gain influence if she is closely identified with certain subordinates
- Peers Cultivating good relationships ensures nothing gets in the way of future leadership
- Superiors Best way of obtaining power out of these
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