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Leadership - Essay Example

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Power refers to the capacity of an individual to exert his influence on the behavior of the other, so that the latter acts in the best interest of the former. The relationship gives rise to the theory of dependency of one on the other. Practically there are five basis of power…
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Leadership A. Describe each of the five bases of power demonstrated in the given scenario. Power refers to the capa of an individual to exert his influence on the behavior of the other, so that the latter acts in the best interest of the former. The relationship gives rise to the theory of dependency of one on the other. Practically there are five basis of power which assists in establishing the relationship. There are two broad categories formal and personal. These are then further divided into five sub-categories. In context of the given scenario they can be described as follows:
Formal Power – this power comes from an individual’s position in an organization. The three sub-categories are:
Coercive Power – the base of the power lies on fear. In relation to the scenario the coercive power does not seem to be directly possessed by any of the three employees. Employee two can be suggested to hold some degree of coercive power. Since employee 2 is the only person who has the knowledge and expertise in drafting financial statements, he is in a position to exert some form of coercive influence. This is because such attributes are highly important for the company. It can be witnessed from the scenario that he has negotiated more leniency from his managers to work a much compressed week than others.
Reward Power – this power base rests on the idea of getting rewarded for work performed. Employee 1 seems to be completely in the influence of reward power. He seems really dedicated in his work, comes in on weekends and sits late having the impression that in doing so he will be awarded bonuses and his long deserving holidays. Reward power is completely opposite of coercive power and is persuading an individual to fulfill the wishes of his superiors to get rewarded in return.
Legitimate Power – This is a much broader term used in the context of power. Legitimacy of power is dependent on an individual’s structural position in an organization. Again in relation to the scenario, such power does not rest with any of the three employees. Such power can only be recognized with individuals holding positions such as CEO or President of a Bank or a Captain in Army. In context of the scenario none of the 3 concerned employees seem to command a legitimate power. In case of employee 2 and 3, legitimacy of power does not exists at all. Because neither have any position in the company which would create their legitimate power over others. Employee 1 has over 12 years of working experience, but has not reached a structural position to create his own legitimate power base. Apart from the three employees discussed above, there are two departmental managers mentioned in the case, who might be able to implement some sort of legitimate power. Their position as departmental heads might act as a legitimate power source for the departmental employees. As head of departments, they have the power to reward or punish an employee for his actions and further employees are bound to obey them whether rewarded or not.
Personal Power – this power results from an individual’s personal abilities and qualities rather than holding a formal position in an organization. Its two sub-categories are:
Expert Power – basis of this power lies in the expert ability of an individual. His qualification, experience and special skill places him in this category. In context of Employee 2 this power comes into play. He is the only expert in drafting financial statements and therefore he is considered important in his department.
Referent Power – the power source is based on the fact of respect and admiration for someone. This influences other individuals to work to please the former, so as to become like him. Employee 3 in this context falls in the category of referent power. The scenario suggest that he has not been with the department for not more than a year but still his ideas and thoughts have much value. Even employees working in the company for more than 3 years agree to work with him under his leadership.
B. Describe the relationship between dependency and power.
Dependency & power come hand in hand. The two phenomenons are likely to work in relation to one another. It can be explained simply as that if person A is dependent on person B for any reason, than A would be under B’s influence. The relation of B and A can be described in two contexts. Firstly if A is a person who works for an organization in a key management position having unique skills, this uniqueness provides an influence which he can exert on his superior (let’s say person B). Secondly, if person B is in a position within an organization where he has the ability to fire, penalize or even reward individual A for his work, then automatically A will be under B’s complete influence to work as B pleases. What creates dependency? ; is an important question that need be answered. If an individual has control over something scarce, important and non-substitutable, he will create his dependency upon others. Dependency therefore is inversely proportional to supply. If something is abundant, its acquisition would not create dependency and hence no increase in power. To increase power one should acquire skills that others crave for, as this would create dependency and increase his ability to command power.
Our three employees in the scenario, in some way are connected with the company through the Power & Dependency theorem. Employee one seems to be dependent on his manager for rewards and bonuses. He is of the idea that he would be rewarded by his manager for the hard work. Similarly an intuition of fear may simultaneously exist that if blunders are made, could result in corrective action by the manager and in extreme cases termination from office may be initiated. Employee two has a totally different perspective. In his context the company seems to be dependent on him for his services. He holds a critical position in the company and has deliberately used his uniqueness to attain benefits from his manager which none other enjoys. The third employee has a moderate relationship with the theorem. He is relatively new with the company and doesn’t hold any key position. He has achieved recognition based on his referent skills. Currently he has some dependence on the company but it seems that he has the capabilities required to turn the key around quickly. Read More
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