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Chapter 12

Chapter 12 - Power, Politics, and Ethics.docx

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Wilfrid Laurier University
Marc Hurwitz

CHAPTER 12 1CHAPTER 12 POWER POLITICS AND ETHICS420437WHAT IS POWER PowerThe capacity to influence others who are in a state of dependence 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 beneficialThe fact that the target of power is dependent on the power holder does not imply that poor relationship exists between the two Power can flow in any direction in an organizationmembers at higher org levels have more power than those at low levels Power is a broad concept that applies to both individuals and groups THE BASES OF INDIVIDUAL 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 wont depend on you and you lack powerdependencepower Legitimate Power authorityPower derived from a persons position or job in an organizationdiffer from other bases because other bases involve the control of important resources Constitutes the organizations judgment about who is formally permitted to influence whomWorks when people have been socialized to accept legitimate powers influenceExperiences with parents and teachers cause members to enter organizations with some readiness to submit to an exercise legitimate power Reward PowerPower derived from the ability to provide positive outcomes and prevent negative outcome Backs up legitimate power as managers are given the chance to recommend raises do performance evaluations and assign preferred tasks to employees Coercive powerPower derived from the use of punishmentthreatsupports legitimate powerDocking pay assigning unfavorable tasks blocking promotions Not perfectly correlated with legitimate power lower level members can apply coercionGenerally ineffective and can provoke considerable employee resistance Referent powerPower derived from being well liked by otherspeople we like influence usProne to consider the POV and ignore failures and seek approval of those we likeExtends across the organization outside channels of legitimate authority reward and coercion Potent for two reasons1Identification with the power holder represents a deeper base of power than reward or coercion which may stimulate mere compliance to achieve rewards or avoid punishment2CHAPTER 122Anyone 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 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 available Secretaries acquire expert power through long experience in dealing with clients Of all bases of power expertise is most associated with employee effectiveness Women mangers are more likely to be ContinuumofEmployeeCooperationhigh in expert power as they lac access to other wormsHOW DO PEOPLE OBTAIN POWER Doing the Right Things Some activities are righter than others for obtaining poweractivities that are extraordinary highly visible and relevant to the solution of organizational problemsEXTRAORDINARY ACTIVITIESExcellent performance in unusual activities is better than excellent performance of a routine jobOccupy new positions manage substantial changes and take risksVISIBLE ACTIVITIESExtraordinary activities will fail to generate power if nobody knows about them RELEVENT ACTIVITIESExtraordinary visible work fails to generate power if nobody cares It must be relevant to the solution of important organizational problems Cultivating the Right PeopleIts not what you know its who you knowInformal relationships with the right people is useful OUTSIDERS establishing good relationships with key people outside ones organization A reflection of the status of the outsider but it may add to ones internal influence Cultivating outsiders may contribute to more tangible source of powermembers who are on the BOD of other companies may acquire info about business conditions that they can use SUBORDINATESBeing closely identified with certain subordinatesI taught her everything she knowsprof may be better known for the PhD students they taught than for their own workCultivating subordinate interest can also provide power when a manger can show that he is backed by a cohesive team ex my people wont stand for this shows strength in s
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