Essay on Power

1338 Words Apr 13th, 2013 6 Pages
Influence is the essence of leadership. To be effective as a leader, it is necessary to influence people to carry out requests, support proposals, and implement decisions.
Power- The concept of "power" is useful for understanding how people are able to influence each other in organizations. Power involves the capacity of one party (the "agent") to influence another party (the "target").
Authority involves the rights, obligations, and duties associated with particular positions in an organization or social system. A leader with direct authority over a target person has the right to make requests consistent with this authority, and the target person has the duty to obey.
Outcomes of Influence Attempts
One useful basis for evaluating the
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Legitimate power depends on a person’s organizational role. Some people make things happen because they have the power or authority to do so. The boss assigns projects; the coach decides who plays; the teacher assigns homeworks.
Reward power involves the potential to influence others due to one’s control over desired resources. This can include the power to give raises, bonuses, and promotions; to select people for special assignments or desirable activities; to distribute desired resources like computers, offices, parking places, or travel money. Many corporations use rewards extensively to motivate employees. At McDonald’s, for example, great status is accorded the cook who makes the fastest, highest-quality hamburgers in the country.
Coercive power, the opposite of reward power, is the potential to influence others through the administration of negative sanctions or the removal of positive events. In other words, it is the ability to control others through the fear of punishment or the loss of valued outcomes. Examples of coercive power include police giving tickets for speeding, a teacher detaining disruptive students after school, employers firing lazy workers.
Expert power is the power of knowledge. Some people can influence others through their relative expertise in particular areas. A surgeon may have influence in a hospital because others depend on her knowledge, skill, and

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