November 19, 2012
Five Bases of Power
There are five bases of power that may be used in a professional environment. Referent power, coercive power, legitimate power, reward power and expert power. Each one of these different types of power is used in different ways to reach the same result. Some forms of power are personal and some are formal. In my professional career I have used at least three of these types of power. Referent power is considered a personal power. A person that is affected by this type of power is an individual who can identify with the power holder. The individual that posses the referent power has a desirable resource or personal trait. An example of this type of power is when someone has admiration for another person, or when he or she wants to be like them. Usually, the person that has the referent power is charming and likable and they have an emotional effect on the other person. Sport icons most often have reverent power. Companies use well known popular individuals to promote their products because they are likable and people admire them. Another form of personal power is expert power. Expert power is when someone has a special skill or knowledge about something. They are an expert in his or her field. I have been a licensed nail technician in the state of Illinois for over five years. This type of skill would be considered expert power. Clients come to me because they do not know how to perform a certain service themselves. They rely on me to be an expert in the service that I am providing; therefore I have expert power over them. This same type of power would be consistent for doctor, dentists, and electricians and so on. Any type of profession that needs a certification or a license to perform a job, would allow the owner of the license or certificate to have expert power. Coercive power is a form of formal power. This happens when a person...