5 Bases of Power

Topics: Interpersonal relationship, Psychology, Power Pages: 3 (803 words) Published: July 1, 2012
The Five Bases of Power
The working environment contains different relationships. These relationships start from the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and trickles down to the basic manager employee functionality. Most relationships in the workplace are built through trust; however, trust is built through an entity of power. Power in the workplace can be an influential tool, but can be mislead as an entity of possessing complete control (Busch, 2008). Fortunately, when using power properly, it can build exceptional interpersonal and social relationships among managers and employees (Busch, 2008). There are five bases of power in the working environment: coercive power, reward power, legitimate power, expert power, and referent power.

Coercive/Reward Power
Coercive power is a considered a personal power because it tends to remove rewards from individuals, and will initiate a form of punishment (Busch, 2008). Employees seek acknowledgement from their employers. When punishment becomes a part of the means to execute policy, employees can become rebellious. An employee is coerced to complete certain tasks. The coercive power seeks a positive outcome in a negative manner (Aguinis, 2001). This form of power creates a shift in employee behavior, which can cause flaws in productivity of the company (Aguinis, 2001). On the contrary, coercive behavior can also provide a positive result from the participant. Another personal power bases is Reward Power. Reward power is bases on the idea that one person has the capacity to provide reward (May-Chiun, 2011). In the working field rewards become directly related to the outcome of a participants work (May-Chiun, 2011). Individuals seek acknowledgement for doing a good job, and this power bases offers acknowledgement by removing negative influences and initiating positive incentives. Reward power enables managers micromanage the participant to ensure proper rewards are allocated (Aguinis, 2001). Next the formal...
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