Name: Osei Bonsu Richard ID: 227/11 Course: Principles Of Management Question: Identify five (5) sources of power in Business organisation. Ans. There have been various definitions on power in business organisation. Power is a force of influence and authority. Most leaders wield power, but how power is manifested and used often differs between leaders. Where does a leader get power from? Or do a leader’s followers give it to them? Well it’s both. According to a former political science professor at Yale University “Robert A. Dahl”, he described power as a relationship between two people in the following terms: “person A getting person B to do what person A wants them to do. ” This simple outlook on power has become one of the most widely used definitions, although there are many variations to it. Managerial power is the ability to control employees, resources, decisions, knowledge, technology and workplace rules. SOURCES OF POWER IN BUSINESS ORGANISATION MANAGEMENT According to the 1960 study Bases of Social Power by John R. P. French and Bertram Raven, there were five sources of power in management: “reward, legitimate, coercive, referent, and expert. ” Although all of these sources of power influence subordinates, the amount of influence is affected by the employee’s dependency on the manager. The greater the employee dependency on what the manager provides the employee, the greater the power the manager holds over the employee. Reward Power 1. The theory of reward power relies on the belief that employees are more likely to perform their job at a high level if they know rewards are contingent on their performance. Managers have the power to control the allocation of these rewards, which can include pay raises, bonuses, days off, awards or recognition. Legitimate Power 2. Legitimate power is the most simple and basic source of power in management. This managerial power stems mainly from the formal position or role of the manager in the company. The power and influence of the manager is seen as fair and legitimate by the employee because the power is derived from the manager’s position, experience or status. Coercive Power 3. Coercive power is a source of power that relies on an employee’s high dependency on his job, current pay and benefits. Managers try to intimidate employees with reprimand or punishments such as losing their job or being demoted; this source of power leaves employees no choice but to perform well or risk losing their job. Referent Power 4. Referent power is based on the relationship of the manager and employee. With this source of power, employees will work hard and respond well to a manager’s use of power because of a positive working relationship, strong emotional bonds or a physical attraction. The source of referent power is more of an employee choice rather than a managerial style or ploy. Expert Power Expert power is the source of power that every manager should strive to achieve. With expert power, an employee trusts and believes in everything a manager tells or asks of them because they see the manager as having great expertise in the specific area of business. Managers can get employees to do almost any activity to help the business because of the employee’s respect of the manager’s expertise and experience.
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