5 Sources of Power

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Jeff Spears
Professor Oliver
MG 302; Chapter 10
April 8, 2013
Five Sources of Managerial Power
Leadership is one of four primary tasks of management. Within leadership is power, and where there is power, comes the affect power plays on the behavior of others. The behaviors can determine how a subordinate will act in a certain way or in certain conditions. Power is divided into five separate and distinct sources of managerial power; coercive, reward, legitimate, expert, and referent power. These five bases of power are divided in two categories, formal and personal power. Coercive and reward are in the formal categories. Legitimate, expert, and referent to are in the personal category. Later I will explain why each power falls into one group or the other. Coercive, most of the time, the negative of the powers is defined as the ability of a manager to punish others. Punishment can range from verbal to reprimands to reduction in pay or working hours to actual dismissal. Coercive power is conveyed through fear of losing something. A great example of coercive power is when a parent takes away a child’s electronics, allowance, or social time as punishment for poor performance whether it be academically or not completing chores around the house. Surely we can all relate to this example. A more grown-up example is talked about in our textbook, the CEO verbally criticizing, attacking and embarrassing top managers, only to eventually find his self on the unemployment line. No one likes to be the recipient of coercive power. However, if coercive power is presented correctly, it can be a beneficial power for all involved including the subordinates. Reward power is one of the fastest ways to persuade or influence to get a desired result from a subordinate. Reward power is defined as having the ability to give or withhold tangible and intangible rewards. Tangible rewards are considered extra time off, pay raises, bonuses, and choice job assignments....
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