Textbook Notes (368,295)
Canada (161,777)
Business (2,391)
BU288 (266)
Chapter 12

Lecture 19 - Ch. 12. Power, Politics, and Ethics..docx

8 Pages
Unlock Document

David Scallen

BU288 Lecture 19 Ch. 12. Power, Politics, and Ethics Tues. Nov. 20. 2012. POWER • Power: capacity (not always perceived or used) to influence those in a state of dependence • Power and politics are natural expressions of life in organizations. They develop as a rational response to a complex set of needs and goals, and their expression can be beneficial. • One depending on the other does not imply a poor relationship  both may exert influence • Power can flow in any direction in an organization. From higher levels to lower levels, or vice versa. • People may submit to your power because they think they have to, or because they want to Bases of Individual Power • Power can be found in the position that you occupy or the resources that you are able to command • If organizational members do not recognize what you have or respect your position or value the resources you command, they won’t depend on you and you lack power  dependence = power • Legitimate power (authority): power derived from a person’s position or job in an organization  differ from other bases because other bases involve the control of important resources o Constitutes the organization’s judgment about who is formally permitted to influence whom o Works when people have been socialized to accept legitimate power’s influence. o Experiences with parents and teachers cause members to enter organizations with some readiness to submit to and exercise legitimate power. • Reward power: power derived from ability to provide positive outcomes and prevent negative outcomes  corresponds to positive reinforcement  any member can try getting reward power o Backs up legitimate power as managers are given the chance to recommend raises, do performance evaluations, and assign preferred tasks to employees • Coercive power: power derived from the use of punishment & threat  supports legitimate power o Docking pay, assigning unfavourable tasks, blocking promotions o Not perfectly correlated with legitimate power; lower level members can apply coercion o Generally ineffective and can provoke considerable employee resistance • Referent power: derived from being well liked by others  people we like influence us o Prone to consider the POV and ignore failures and seek approval of those we like o extends across the organization, outside channels of legitimate authority, reward, and coercion o Potent for 2 reasons 1) Identification with the power holder: represents a deeper base of power than reward or coercion, which may stimulate mere compliance to achieve rewards or avoid punishment 2) Anyone in the organization may be well liked, irrespective of other bases of power. Thus referent power is available to everyone from the janitor to president. • Expert power: derived from having special info or expertise valued by an organization o The more crucial and unusual the expertise, the greater the expert power available BU288 Lecture 19 Ch. 12. Power, Politics, and Ethics Tues. Nov. 20. 2012. o Secretaries acquire expert power through long experience in dealing with clients o Of all the bases of power, expertise is most associated with employee effectiveness o Women managers are more likely to be high in expert power as they lack access to other forms Obtaining Power – Moss Kanter Doing the Right Things • Some activities are right-er than others for obtaining power  activities that are extraordinary, highly visible, and relevant to the solution of organizational problems • Extraordinary activities: excellent performance in unusual activities is better than excellent performance of a routine job  occupy new positions, manage substantial changes, and take risks. • Visible activities: extraordinary activities will fail to generate power if nobody knows about them • Relevant activities: extraordinary, visible work fails to generate power if nobody cares. It must be relevant to the solution of important organizational problems Cultivating the Right People • It’s not what you know, it’s who you know  informal relationships with the right people is useful • Outsiders: establishing good relationships with key people outside one’s organization o a reflection of the status of the outsider, but it may add to one’s internal influence o cultivating outsiders may contribute to more tangible sources of power  members who are on the BOD of other companies may acquire info about business conditions that they can use • Subordinates: being closely identified with certain subordinates  “I taught her everything she knows”  prof may be better known for the Ph.D. students they taught than for their own work o Cultivating subordinate interest can also provide power when a manager can show that he is backed by a cohesive team. (ex: “my people won’t stand for this” shows strength in #s) • Peers: cultivating good relationships with peers is a means of ensuring that nothing gets in the way of one’s future acquisition of power. As one moves up the ranks, favours can be asked of former associates, and fears of being stabbed in the back for a past misdeed are precluded. • Superiors: best way of obtaining power through cultivating others. It’s useful to be identified as a protégé of someone higher, & superiors provide useful introductions to other “right people”. Empowerment – Putting Power Where It Is Needed • Early organizational scholars treated power as a fixed quantity: people on top had a lot more power • Empowerment: giving people the authority, opportunity, and motivation to take initiative and solve organizational problems  Contemporary views of power treat it less as a fixed-sum phenomenon. BU288 Lecture 19 Ch. 12. Power, Politics, and Ethics Tues. Nov. 20. 2012. • in practice, having authority means legitimate power by job description or delegated by the boss • Having opportunity means freedom from bureaucratic barriers and other system problems that block initiative (“that’s not my job”). Opportunity includes relevant training and info about the impact of one’s actions on other parts of the organization. • Motivation suggests hiring people who will be intrinsically motivated by power & opportunity, and aligning extrinsic rewards with successful performance.  sometimes managers must be tolerant of mistakes from empowered employees • Those who are empowered have strong self-efficacy (confident of making things happen). • Empowering lower-level workers is critical in service organizations, where providing customers with a good initial encounter or correcting problems can be essential for repeat business  Ex: allowing front desk staffer to decide to send up a platter from room service following a guest complaint • Empowerment fosters job satisfaction and high performance, but does not mean employees should have a maximum amount of unregulated power. Empowerment puts power where it is needed to make the organization effective  depends on organizational strategy and customer expectations • Excessive power can lead to abuse and ineffective performance, but the fact that people can have too much power does not always inhibit them from seeking it anyway (see hill graph below) Influence Tactics – Putting Power to Work • Your bases of power & who you’re trying to influence determines which influence tactics you use • Influence tactics: specific behaviours used to convert power into actual influence over others: o Assertiveness: ordering, nagging, deadlines, verbally confronting good for coercive power, less likely to be used when you have expert or referent power - Influences peers/superiors, but subordinates are more likely to be the recipients o Ingratiation: using flattery and acting friendly, polite, or humble  good for referent power - Best used to influence subordinates, peers, or superiors o Rationality: using logic, reason, planning, and compromise  legitimate, referent, or expert power - many try to use this tactic as it is a highly prized quality in organizations & is viewed positively - more likely to be used with superiors, but are used with subordinates and peers too o Exchange: doing favours or offering to trade favours  used by those with referent power o Upward appeal: making formal/informal appeals to superiors for intervention - Less likely to be used if you have legitimate, referent, or expert power o Coalition formation: seeking united support from other members (esp. subordinates) • For men, using rationality as an influence tactic was associated with receiving better performance evaluations, earning more money, and experiencing less work stress • Ineffective “shotgun style” is high on all tactics with emphasis on assertiveness and exchange. • Women who used ingratiation received the highest performance evaluations (from male managers) • Top managers who used ingratiation with their CEOs receive appointments to corporate boards BU288 Lecture 19 Ch. 12. Power, Politics, and Ethics Tues. Nov. 20. 2012. Who Wants Power • There are considerable individual differences in the extent to which individuals pursue power • Some consider power as a manifestation of evil, due to the historic image of power seekers  power seekers are neurotics who are covering up feelings of inferiority, striving to compensate for childhood deprivation, or substituting power for lack of affection  true in some cases • David McClelland says power can be used responsibly. n Pow is the need to have strong influence over others. This need is a reliable personality characteristic o Some people have more n Pow than others, but women and men are similar. o Those high in n Pow are rude, sexually exploitative, abuse alcohol, & are concerned with status o When n Pow is controlled, managers called institutional managers can be effective. They: - Have high n Pow - Use their power to achieve organizational goals  why they’re called “institutional” - Adopt a participative or coaching leadership style - Are relatively unconcerned with how much others like them • Institutional managers refrain from coercive leadership (like personal power managers) but do not play favourites, since they are not worried about being well liked (like affiliative managers). • Institutional managers are generally superior in giving subordinates a sense of responsibility, clarifying organizational priorities, and instilling team spirit • When people want power but cannot get it due to rules or being locked in a low-level job, they feel helpless & become alienated from work  empowerment tries to prevent this Controlling Strategic Contingencies: How Subunits Obtain Power • Shift our concern how to subunit power (vs. individual power), which is the degree of power held by various organizational subunits , such as depa
More Less

Related notes for BU288

Log In


Join OneClass

Access over 10 million pages of study
documents for 1.3 million courses.

Sign up

Join to view


By registering, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policies
Already have an account?
Just a few more details

So we can recommend you notes for your school.

Reset Password

Please enter below the email address you registered with and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Add your courses

Get notes from the top students in your class.