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Power Influence Approach - Coursework Example

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Summary
In the paper "Power Influence Approach", the author will talk about the power influence approach to leadership. The author will discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the power influence approach. Examples of how this approach is used in organizations will also be outlined…
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Power Influence Approach
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Extract of sample "Power Influence Approach"

The concept of leadership is explained through many different theories and approaches among which the power influence approach is an important one. This view of leadership that talks about power and how it is used to influence people in order to get the job done. The power influence approach sees power as the central element of leadership and is interested in finding how leaders assume and lose power. The influence of power is considered important in this approach because it makes people follow the leader. The power influence approach also explains how a leader can use his or her power to influence not only subordinates but also peers, customers, and suppliers (Yukul, 2010).
The French and Raven (1959) model outlines five sources of power namely expert, referent, reward, coercive, and legitimate. These sources can be used to assume power and then can be used to ‘influence’ subordinates. Expert power comes from a unique set of knowledge and skill that builds the trust of subordinates and in turn subordinates follow the leader. Doctors and high tech engineers can have expert power. Reward power is the power to delegate rewards and this can also make employees follow their leader. Referent power is related to personal approval and acceptance. Celebrities and political figures have this power usually. Coercive power breeds compliance through the use of threats and punishment. Legitimate power stems from the position or job title of a leader. All these sources of power can be used to influence employees.
Strengths and Weaknesses
This approach is extremely effective because power can be used to get the job done. People are usually influenced by power and therefore the relationship between power and leadership seems strong. Also, this approach takes a very natural look at leadership and simply suggests how employees can be made to follow their bosses.
The weaknesses of this approach are quite obvious. Power is always not a good thing for building relationships. Managers might use power to influence employees but this might undermine employee satisfaction. Moreover, power sometimes underpins creativity as people begin to follow a predetermined path that is directed by their leader. For creativity, employee freedom and satisfaction are essential which is sacrificed by the power-influence approach.
Example of Power-Influence Approach
US army is the best example of a power-influence approach as leadership is done through the influence of power. All subordinate soldiers respect their superiors because they enjoy legitimate power. Also sometimes in army coercive power is used to make employees follow a strict routine. Another example of the use of this approach is McDonald's. The food chain company has a standardized system all over the world. This is due to their strict control and power-influence leadership approach.
Conclusion
The power-influence approach is quite useful in getting the job done through subordinates. It explains leadership through power in a simplified way. We as human beings have a tendency to follow people who are powerful and therefore this approach is close to our natural tendencies. But this approach can also cause dissatisfaction among employees. Read More
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