TEXTBOOK Chapter 12 Notes

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Western University
Management and Organizational Studies
Management and Organizational Studies 2181A/B
Victoria Digby

Power Politics and EthicsChapter Twelve What is PowerThe capacity to influence others who are in a state of dependence Not always perceived or exercised eg professorsThe fact that the target of power is dependent on the powerholder does not imply that a poor relationship exists between the two eg friendsPower can flow in any direction in an organization Power is a broad concept that applies to both individuals and groups The Bases of Individual Power Legitimate Powerpower derived from a persons position or job in an organization Likely to produce compliance Reward Powerpower derived from the ability to provide positive outcomes or prevent negative outcomes often backs up legitimate powerLikely to produce compliance Coercive Powerpower derived from the use of punishment or threat often backs up legitimate powerMost likely to produce resistance and lack of cooperation Referent Powerpower derived from being well liked by others Especially potent for two reasons1 Stems from ID with the powerholderrepresents a truer or deeper base of power2Anyone can be well liked in an organization therefore anyone can exercise referent power Likely to generate true commitment and enthusiasm Expert Powerpower derived from having special information or expertise that is valued by an organization The more crucial and unusual the expertise the greater the expert power availableMost consistently associated with employee effectivenessLikely to generate true commitment and enthusiasm How Do People Obtain PowerDoing the Right Things Performing extraordinary activities excellent performance in unusual or nonroutineto others in the company and are relevant to solving important activities that are visibleorganizational problems Cultivating the Right PeopleDeveloping informal relationships with outsiders superiors subordinates and peers can prove a useful means of acquiring powerEmpowermentPutting Power Where It Is Needed Giving people the authority opportunity and motivation to take initiative and solve organizational problems Fosters job satisfaction and performance Empowering lowlevel employees can be critical in service organizations Service encounters predicted on high volume and low cost need careful engineering those predicated on customized personalized service need more empowered personnel Too little or too much power can lead to ineffective performance empowerment gives employees sufficient power to perform effectively
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