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Power in Organizations - Essay Example

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It is believed that power cannot be understood without having an understanding of an organization. Similarly, an organization cannot be studied without studying the powers prevailing within the organization…
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Download file to see previous pages The literature on power is wide-ranging and multifaceted. However the implications of the research on power within organizations have stayed principally unknown. Power cannot be separated from organizational communications a reason why power is instilled in every organizational institution (Clegg, Courpasson & Phillips, 2006, pp.2-6). Formal structure of authority, leadership standards prevailing in the organization, organizational environment, familiar processes of working, and aims and commitments of organizational members are the major forces that transform the use and distribution of power within an organization. Thus this determines the degree of power than an individual has in comparison to others in the organization (Bacon, 2011, p.217). Organizations have a dependence on adequate resources that include “money, materials, technology, personnel, and support” and these resources are required in a flow for an organization to perform successfully. Sources of power internal and external to an organization may be obtained owing to these control measures (Morgan, 2006, p.169). Several authors have given their views and opinions on the study of power within organizations. These include the elements of power, the different dimensions of control that are exercised through the powers available to different organizational members, and thus the ultimate uses of power. This report would particularly focus on the concept of power in the organizations and study its uses and implications on different control measures mainly in the context of Berkley-Thomas’ analytical framework. Implications of Power within Organizations: Various researchers have conducted various studies on the topic of power within organizations. For example, Machiavelli provided a “strategic and decentralized” view on use of power within organizations. He studied power as a resource to gain strategic advantages of the company. Hobbes believed that power was centralized and had greater attentions on independence. Weber’s approach to the study of power was associated to bureaucracy and power in this respect was connected to organizational rules and influence. Dahl had continued with Weber’s theory and further associated it with human resources. Bachrach and Baratz criticized Dahl’s concept reflecting doubts on a decision making process being truly democratic as previous studies presented. Lukes developed this theory and emphasized on a three dimensional study on power (Theories of power, n.d., pp.33-37). The case study provides the views and studies of several such authors and theorists with respect to power structure in organizations. However, this report would try to reflect the concerned topic in regard to the analytical framework as formed and analyzed by Berkley-Thomas. The concept of leadership has different meanings to different human beings. Alan Berkeley Thomas had given his view on leadership as “Even in everyday usage the term ‘leadership’ is ambiguous. It is used to refer to the holders of certain formally defined positions in an organization, as when speaking of the ‘party leadership’ or ‘the union leadership’. But it is also used to denote a particular type of behavior; when someone is commended for displaying ‘outstanding leadership’ it is their actions that are being praised” (Gill, 2006, p.7). Concept of Power Structure in Organizations in the context of Berkley-Thomas’ analytical framework: Looking at the modern organizations, the structure within organizations can be viewed as not been fixed, objective bodies that may exist independently. Organizational structures are rather found to be “ ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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