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Power, authority, and influence in the workplace - Essay Example

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This paper offers an explanation of how I gain power in my workplace using relevant theories such as the French and Raven model. It is imperative to note the fact that individuals use influence, power, and authority in the workplace to influence others…
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Power, authority, and influence in the workplace
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Power, authority, and influence
Gaining power in the workplace
By definition, power can be described as the aptitude and capacity to get something done (Lunenburg, 2012). There are many types of power that individuals employ in the workplace in a bid to attract a promotion from the senior managers or directors. This paper offers an explanation of how I gain power in my workplace using relevant theories such as the French and Raven model. It is imperative to note the fact that individuals use influence, power, and authority in the workplace to influence others as well as to influence decisions (Raven, 2008). There are a number of leadership theories that are applicable in the ways in which I gain power in my workplace. These include power and influence theories, contingency theories, behavioral theories, and trait theories.
Power and influence theories are linked with how individuals use power and influence to manipulate others and consequently achieve organizational objectives in the workplace (Lunenburg, 2012). In reference to French and Raven's theory of power, I take advantage of my personal power and strive on advancing my professional skills and knowledge as this is considered the most reasonable basis or foundation of power and influence. According to Lunenburg (2012), power and influence theories also focus on transactional form of leadership. According to this form of leadership, individuals or workers strive to achieve their goals in the hope of getting a reward (Raven, 2008). Therefore, I use rewards to inspire and encourage workers and hence ensure that duties or tasks are completed in a timely manner.
Lunenburg (2012) additionally states that contingency theories focus on different leadership styles according to existing situations. Organizations are faced by numerous challenges that require effective decisions to be made. Therefore, I employ different leadership styles depending on existing organizational problems. This is important as it ensures employees are supported at all times. An effective leadership style ensures the creation of effective relationships among workers and also between workers and the management. This type of leadership theory is referred to as path-goal leadership theory. In other words, the path-goal theory states that employees enjoying a good relationship with their leaders are pleased by their accommodating and compassionate nature, and also their ability to encourage them to achieve their objectives (Lunenburg, 2012).
In terms of behavioral theories, the manners in which an individual in a position of leadership behaves has a direct impact on his or her performance in the workplace (Raven, 2008). My ability to employ different behavioral approaches depending on the working conditions ensures tasks are completed effectively and hence gives me a sense or power and influence. As mentioned earlier, leadership is dependent on individual characteristics (Raven, 2008). Gaining relevant skills and knowledge is closely linked to leadership traits. For instance qualities such as decision-making capabilities can be achieved through advancing individual skills and knowledge. Through advancing my skills therefore, I have been able to acquire effective leadership characteristics and hence influence and power. Raven (2008) also posits that powerful leaders have strong leadership qualities or characteristics.
In conclusion, leadership theories linked with gaining influence and power in the workplace include trait theories, behavioral theories, contingency theories, and power and influence theories. Strong individual characteristics build strong leaders and hence such leaders are powerful and influential. Different situations calls for the employment of different behavioral approaches as well as leadership styles. Adopting such strategies helps create healthy relationships in the workplace and therefore employees are motivated in their work. Leaders in such working environments are able to attain a sense of power and influence as they ensure work is completed timely and effectively.
References
Lunenburg, F. C. (2012). Power and Leadership: An Influence Process. International Journal of Management, Business, and Administration, 15(1), 1-9.
Raven, B. H. (2008). The Bases of Power and the Power/Interaction Model of Interpersonal Influence. Analyses of Social Issues and Public Policy, 8(1), 1-22. Read More
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