Power and Politics Essay

4020 Words Jul 8th, 2014 17 Pages
Table of Contents

Contents | Pages | The concept of power | 2 | Sources of power | 2 | Political strategies and tactics | 8 | What is political Behavior | 9 | What are the factors contributing to Political behavior | 9 | POLITICS: Power in action: | 11 | What are the Reality of Politics | 11 | What is Organizational Politics | 12 |

What is Power?

Power is the capacity to influence the behavior of others.3 The term power may be applied to individuals, groups, teams, departments, organizations, and countries. For example, a certain team within an organization might be labeled as powerful, which suggests that it has the ability to influence the behavior of individuals in other teams or departments. This influence
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Power issues in organizations often focus on interpersonal relationships between managers and subordinates, or leaders and followers. French and Raven identified five interpersonal sources of power: reward power, coercive power, legitimate power, expert power, and referent power.6

A .Interpersonal power—French and Raven's five power bases:


Reward power is an individual’s ability to influence others’ behaviors by rewarding their desirable behaviors. For example, to the extent that subordinates value rewards that the manager can give—praise, promotions, money, time off, and so on—they may comply with requests and directives. A manager who controls the allocation of merit pay raises in a department has reward power over the employees in that department.

Accordingly, employees may comply with some attempts by managers to influence their behaviors because they expect to be rewarded for their compliance.


Coercive power is an individual’s ability to influence others’ behaviors by punishing their undesirable behaviors. For example, subordinates may comply because they

expect to be punished for failure to respond favorably to managerial directives. Punishment may take the form of reprimands, undesirable work assignments, closer supervision, tighter enforcement of work rules, suspension without pay, and the like. The organization’s ultimate punishment is to fire the employee.


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