In any commercial organization, employees and top mangers are endowed with particular measure of power. Power in an organization can be identified with a person’s ability to influence the others or have the possession of authority. There exist a number of sources of power including the major ones of legitimate power, expert power, referent power, coercive power, and reward power.
The Five Sources of Power within Corporation A
The first source of power which can be observed within Corporation A is legitimate power. Legitimate power can be also described as positional power gained due to someone’s status at one’s working position in an organizational hierarchy (Stimson, 2012). The examples of positional power at Corporation A are marketing manager, accountant manager, sales manager, and the company’s CEO.
The second source of power within Corporation A is expert power. It is well-known that information is power. If the person has certain knowledge that no one else has, he or she is in power. Individuals who are endowed with expert power possess important knowledge permitting them exercising particular operations within an organization that no other employee is able to. Problem solving skills of employees with special level of expert knowledge are highly valued by business organizations (Conger, Spreitzer & Lawler, 1999). The actions of the other employees in an organization are influenced by the ideas, decisions and opinions of those employees who are endowed with expert power. Often, the employees with expert power are in high regard by managers and the other employees. It happens that expert power becomes a reason for someone’s great success in an organization and further promotion with acquiring more power including legitimate power. The example of expert power at Corporation A is Employee 2. Employee 2 is the only certified public accountant in the corporation accounting department. Only this person possesses the level of qualification enabling him/her to prepare the company’s financial statements. The expert power of Employee 2 is so significant that this person was allowed to work part time.
The third source of power within Corporation A is referent power. The source of referent power is respect and personal admiration coming from the other employees. The most important qualities necessary for acquiring referent power are charisma, attractive appearance, positive way of thinking, and reliability. One more important basis for being endowed with referent power is having personal connections with key people in an organization including company’s management. The example of a person with referent power in Company A is Employee 3. He/she works in the sales department of the Company A. Employee 3 is a charismatic and enthusiastic person admired by the other members of the team in his/her department. Due to his/her natural attractiveness, Employee 3 managed to gain the other people’s respect and admiration even though he/she is the person with the shortest working experience at Corporation A. Despite one’s short term of being with the company, Employee 3 was able to lead the team of his/her fellow-workers in the new project that he had initiated.
The fourth source of power within Corporation A is coercive power. Coercive power comes from the person’s ability to impose punishment or sanctions on the other employees. It is also gained as a result of threats of different types. This sort of power can be associated with the person’s ability to fire, reprimand or punish by some sanctions another employee. This sort of power is important in ensuring that all the company’s employees adhere to the company’s standards, policies, and corporate culture. This sort of power is normally exercised by managers and the CEO. The example of coercive power at Corporation A is the marketing manager who may punish employees from his/her department if their work is not finished by the appointed time.
Finally, the fifth source of power within Corporation A is reward power. Reward power is the opposite of coercive power, and it is a characteristic of leading positions in an organization. This sort of power arises from the person’s ability to offer a type of bonus or a reward to the employee who deserves it. The types of the possible rewards include promotion, salary increments, and bonuses. Reward power is considered to be the most important in motivating company’s employees (Robbins & Judge, 2012). However, there exists a danger of favoritism when certain employees receive better rewards from the company leaders on the reason of personal preferences. In this situation, company workers become demoralized which significantly diminishes their productivity. The example of reward power at Corporation A is the manager from marketing department. He/she is able to offer bonuses to the employees who are subjected to him. Due to the exercising of reward power by the marketing manager, Employee 1 is motivated to work longer hours and come to work at weekends because he/she wants to receive the company’s bonus for vocation. As Employee 1 knows that there are no other options for him/her to have such vocation, he/she is motivated to do more.
The Relationship between Power and Dependency in an Organizational Setting
The examination of facts in business surroundings helps see a close connection between power and dependency in organizational setting. Team work efficiency largely depends on its leader, and the type of power exercised by the leader. The central idea behind a successful leader is in being able to motivate others to achieve definite goals beneficial for the whole group. To illustrate this, the example of Employee 1 may be of great use. The Employee 1 is eager to work longer hours, and come to work at weekends because he/she is motivated by reward power of the marketing manger. As a result, the work is always done on time in this department, and the company’s customers are satisfied. Thus, it is evident that due to reward power, Employee 1 depends on one’s leader’s decision, and on the results of one’s work, and this motivates the person to do more.
Besides, power in an organization is not only exercised on the level of management. The example of Employee 3 at Corporation A shows that referent power which comes from personal qualities of an individual attracting the other people to him/her can be also a source of dependability in an organization because fellow employees trust such person and choose him/her as a leader.
Finally, expert power is also a source of dependability in an organization. The example of Employee 2 shows that as corporation A depends on him/her, this person may acquire certain benefits at work.
Within a business organization, a close connection between power and dependency is evident. The main sources of power are legitimate power, expert power, referent power, coercive power, and reward power. Being subjected to the effects of different sources of power, varied tasks are accomplished in organizations.
Conger, A., Spreitzer, M., & Lawler, E. (1999). The Leader’s Change Handbook: An Essential Guide to Setting Direction and Taking Action. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Robbins, S.P., & Judge, T.J. (2012). Organizational behavior (15th ed.). The United Sates: Prentice Hall.
Stimson, T. (2012). Sources of Power. Web.