This essay discusses the merits and demerits of the five main forms of power for a manager in the NHS. These forms is Coercive Power, Reward Power, Legitimate Power, Expertise Power and Referent Power - is described and discussed in the paper. …
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Coercive power exploits the fear element of subordinates to get them to do the bidding of the manager; this includes threats of demotion, loss of jobs or projects and poor performance reviews. The only way a manager gets this power is through threatening others with the consequences of failing to perform their obligations to the system or orders of their boss to the required standards. The major strength of this form of power is that a manager can get things done regardless of employee attitudes, which is indispensable for tasks that are not appealing or too demanding in terms of time, energy and other resources. Moreover, it is crucial especially when employees have not been used to doing a certain task, and forcing them to do it acts as a way of achieving results before they are motivated enough to work without much coercion. On the contrary, this form of power causes loss of interest in the job due to lack of positive motivating factors in the job; employees do just the bare minimum to avoid the consequences of not doing so. This results in poor service delivery and high employee turnover; the former may result in loss of customers due to loss of competitive edge, while the latter reduces profitability due to the high costs of increased rate of employee turnover (Singh, 2009: 377).
Reward power is the opposite of coercive power and is a form of positive motivation, whereby a manager fulfils the basic needs of employees and gives them a chance to fulfil their higher needs in their daily work.
For instance, a manager may reward employee compliance with salary raises, bonuses, time offs, praise, recognition and other employee wishes; a practise that motivates employees to do more of the actions or behaviours for which they were rewarded. The main advantage of this form of power is that it uses the employees’ needs according to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs to keep them motivated, and objectives of the organisation are met in line with those of employees. Moreover, it creates a healthy relationship between the manager and subordinates, which increased the optimal performance of the latter in terms of effectiveness and efficiency. The main disadvantage of this form of power is that employee performance is negatively affected by change in management, as it is dependent on the motivation offered by the manager. In addition, as the manager motivates the employees, they become accustomed being rewarded and with time feel that they deserve the rewards they get; this profoundly affects their performance especially if there
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