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Sources of Power in an Organization - Essay Example

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Sources of Power in an Organization Introduction “Anyone in an organization can exercise power to achieve desired outcomes, though of course the amount of power that individuals hold in an organization varies substantially”, states Daft, Murphy and Willmott (2010, p.543)…
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Sources of Power in an Organization
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Download file to see previous pages He asserts that many researchers have been struggling to come up with more sources but “For the most part, French and Raven’s list remains intact”. Therefore, we keep our discussion restricted to these five sources of power of which the first three are about power that the person receives from the organization because of his position, and the last two are about power that a person brings to the organization. 1) Legitimate Power It is that power which is given to the members from the organization with the help of which they can demand certain behaviors from other members. Members of one position can ask members of other positions to do a task for them, for example, employees may be empowered to ask for customer information from the database if need be. This legitimate power involves mutual agreement between employees with which they are able to respond to each other. If a project manager demands that his subordinate should spend extra hours on the module, his power can be restricted if the latter has not signed the mutual agreement. 2) Reward Power It is the power that an employee enjoys when he has “to control the allocation of rewards valued by others and to remove negative sanctions (i.e., negative reinforcement)” (Alexandrou). Managers have the power to decide which employees are liable for rewards like bonuses, vacations, promotions and allowances. Employees also have the power to influence the promotions of their supervisors through 360 degree feedback system. 3) Coercive Power This power enables employees to ask their authorities to punish other employees like firing or demoting them. Team members have the power of, for example, sarcasm to make the team members work efficiently and conform to the norms. The main aim of coercive power is to control the negative behavior shown by employees in an organization so that overall wellness of the organizational culture is achieved. This way, the overall co-worker performance is also enhanced. Hence, this source is considered as a beneficial aspect of power. 4) Expert Power This power comes from within the person, with which he is able to influence others through his skills, capabilities and knowledge. Military persons can be helpful in organizations due to their military capabilities. Doctors can bring their expertise to the organizations and can help others with their doctoral capabilities and power. Lawyers can be helpful to organizations because they provide their expert advice in many situations. This is all expert power that enables them to bring changes to the organization through their informed decisions and expertise. Expert power has gained significance since the concept of knowledge based organizations have arise where different sorts of expertise group together to form a powerful union. 5) Referent Power This power enables an individual to inspire others so much that others start following them and referring them to others. People start liking and respecting these persons and talk about their charisma. My Organization My hospital setting mostly enjoys legitimate power. Here, I give examples from my organizational environment to make my point clear. Employees in my organization are required to sign a mutual agreement according to which they give their consent whether they are ready to provide their services when they are required by employees belonging to any other position. A resident physician can ask the authorities to assign him an internee physician to ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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