Where does power come from?&nbsp Whatgives an individual or a g

Where does power come from?  Whatgives an individual or a group influence over others?  We answer bydividing the bases or sources of power into two general groupings—formaland personal—and then breaking each of these down into more specificcategories.Formal PowerFormal power is based on anindividual’s position in an organization.  It can come from the abilityto coerce or reward, or from formal authority.Coercive Power The coercive powerbase depends on fear ofthe negative results from failing to comply.  It rests on theapplication, or the threat of application, of physical sanctions such asthe infliction of pain, frustration through restrictionof movement, or the controlling by force of basicphysiological or safety needs.  At the organizational level,A has coercive power overB ifA can dismiss, suspend, or demoteB, assumingB values his or her job.  IfA can assignB work activitiesB finds unpleasant or treatB in a mannerB finds embarrassing,A possesses coercive power overB. Coercivepower can also come from withholding key information.  People in anorganization who have data or knowledge others need can make thoseothers dependent on them.Reward Power The opposite of coercive power is reward power,with which people comply because it produces positive benefits; someonewho can distributerewards others view as valuable will have power over them.  Theserewards can be either financial—such as controlling pay rates, raises,and bonuses—or nonfinancial, including recognition, promotions,interesting work assignments, friendly colleagues, andpreferred work shifts or sales territories. Legitimate PowerIn formal groups and organizations, probably the most common access to one or more of the power bases is throughlegitimate power. It represents the formal authority to control and use organizationalresources based on structural position in the organization.  Legitimatepoweris broader than the power to coerce and reward.  Specifically, itincludes members’ acceptance of the authority of a position.  Weassociate power so closely associated with the concept of hierarchy thatjust drawing longer lines in an organization chart leadspeople to infer the leaders are especially powerful, and when apowerful executive is described, people tend to put the person at ahigher position when drawing an organization chart. When school principals, bankpresidents, or army captains speak (assuming their directives are viewedas within the authority of their positions), teachers, tellers, andfirst lieutenants listen and usually comply.Personal PowerMany of the most competent andproductive chip designers at Intel have power, but they are not managersand have no formal power.  What they have ispersonal power,which comes from an individual’s unique characteristics.  There are twobases of personal power: expertise and the respect and admiration ofothers.Expert Power Expert poweris influence wielded as aresult of expertise, special skill, or knowledge.  As jobs become morespecialized, we become increasingly dependent on experts to achievegoals.  It is generally acknowledged that physicianshave expertise and hence expert power: Most of us follow our doctor’sadvice.  Computer specialists, tax accountants, economists, industrialpsychologists, and other specialists wield power as a result of theirexpertise.Referent Power Referent poweris based onidentification with a person who has desirable resources or personaltraits.  If I like, respect, and admire you, you can exercise power overme because I want to please you.  Referent power developsout of admiration of another and a desire to be like that person.  Ithelps explain, for instance, why celebrities are paid millions ofdollars to endorse products in commercials.  Marketing research showspeople such as LeBron James and Tom Brady have thepower to influence your choice of athletic shoes and credit cards. With a little practice, you and I could probably deliver as smooth asales pitch as these celebrities, but the buying public doesn’t identifywith you and me.  Some people who are not in formalleadership positions nonetheless have referent power and exertinfluence over others because of their charismatic dynamism, likability,and emotional effects on us. From the above description of the Five Forms of Power, which bases of power are most effective?


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