7 Bases of Power

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POWER. The most important and unyielding condition of management isn't human relations, communication skills or employee empowerment, but power. POWER. Defined as the ability to influence and produce a desired effect on other individuals without having one's own behavior modified in any undesired way by other individuals. On one hand, some people view power as being limited in amount, kind of like a pie, with constant conflict about who gets the largest slice. On the other hand, people view it as open-ended, having no limits, except those imposed by the situation. The latter may be the more reasonable way of viewing power. Unfortunately, power can lead to exhibitionism. A supervisor, for instance, can use power just to show that power exists by perhaps unfairly punishing an employee. This is an abuse of power and can easily be counterproductive in the workplace. Nonetheless frontline supervisors must have power and use it properly in order to maintain organizational policies, procedures and regulations. Without power, there can be no authority and without authority there can be no discipline. Finally without power, we would find it hard augmenting productivity. Clearly, supervisors must recognize that power can get things done. Unique and different kinds of power that should be exercised at various times in the workplace Let's look at seven of them and how they are used: (1) COERCIVE POWER: This stems from the subordinates' perception that the supervisor clearly has the ability to enforce policies and procedures. This power is derived from the principle that there will be consequences if unacceptable subordinate behavior continues. HOW IS IT USED: Let's say that a subordinate is beginning to abuse the organization's attendance policy. Perhaps in the past few weeks, he's been absent, late and left early several different times. Prior to this, he'd been a solid employee. Certainly the supervisor must take appropriate action or this a use will spread until other...
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