How Power Relationships Control the Workplace - Essay Example

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How Power Relationships Control the Workplace Every workplace environment in the world has power relationships, as various people within the organization are placed at different levels within that organization. Those relationships have an effect on how quickly one person can advance through the ranks, in addition to things like level of pay, time spent on the job and the types of assignments given to an individual…
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How Power Relationships Control the Workplace
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"How Power Relationships Control the Workplace"

The first way in which power relationships control the workplace is through positional power. When one person has a higher position within the company than another does, that individual automatically has more power within the relationship. If the higher individual is a direct superior of his or her co-worker, the direct power that he or she has increases even more. Those with direct power over a co-worker are able to control when an employee receives a promotion, which, in turn, gives him or her power over the wages that the employee makes. This is the most obvious type of power within a workplace because everyone is aware of whom their bosses are and acts according to this power relationship. The power held by the bosses of an organization also influences the physical attributes of the workplace. On a construction site, the physical attributes of whatever is being built are influenced by the architect and how that plan is carried out is decided by the supervisor. If you are just a general laborer on this job, you do not have any power over these issues. Those with the power in the relationship tell you what to do and you have a choice either to complete what is being asked or to cease working at this job. In an office, the manager or president of the branch or company assigns offices to people, which alters the physical layout of the office. The CEO of the company also has power, as he or she likely chose the location where the office building was placed. Another type of power seen in the workplace comes through an individual’s ability to gain allies within that spectrum. People who have charisma can sometimes gain more power in a relationship, simply by their ability to communicate. These people are generally able to influence others and even though they might not have legitimate power in the workplace, it appears as though they do because they are able to get people to naturally follow them. These people usually end up with legitimate power, since they are able to use these traits to get promotions. Having this inherent charisma can alter the power in a relationship without any real world power actually existing. If someone within an organization has expert status, that individual likely has more power than someone who is not an expert. This is because the organization needs this expert knowledge on a subject more than it needs someone to carry out the actual plan. Once again, on a construction site, an architect designs the building before it is constructed. Even though that architect does not construct the building, he or she is probably paid more than anyone else involved in the project is. This is because the expertise that the architect is valued by the organization, which gives him or her more power. Keep in mind, however, that this power does not carry over to other areas. You will not see the architect standing on site telling the supervisor what to do, since that is beyond the architect’s area of expertise and, therefore, out of his power relationship. One thing to notice is that throughout all of these power relationships in the workplace, the person with the power ends up being paid more money. In many of these cases, this is Read More
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