Five Forms of Power

Topics: Authority, Philosophical terminology, Power Pages: 3 (856 words) Published: September 25, 2011
Forms of Power
Barbara Acosta
University of Phoenix
Julie Bonner
August 22, 2011

Forms of Power
I have worked in the dental field now for over three years and have experienced all forms of power both good and bad. However, through these forms of power I feel that I have improved and bettered myself and have developed my own form of expert power in this field. Power refers to the capacity that someone has to influence the behavior of another person. The most important part of aspect of power is that it is a function of dependency. The greater someone is dependent on another person, the greater their power is over that person. There are five forms of power; three of them which are considered formal power and the remaining two are personal power. Formal power is based on an individual’s position in an organization. The three forms of formal power are coercive power, reward power, and legitimate power. Personal power is power that comes from an individual’s unique characteristic. The two forms of personal power are expert power and referent power. The coercive power base is dependent on fear. When I originally began working in the dental field I began as a receptionist with no experience. The dental field and all its players were very intimidating to me because I had no experience. My manager at the time had coercive power over me because she had the power to fire me if I did not do my job according to her expectations. Her form of training was to show me once and then expect me to pick it up. When I would make mistakes I would here her lecture me about how I should know how to do a certain task by now and how I have already been train to do it the right way. This form of power has its positive and negative results for me. The positive is that I learned to not make those mistakes and not skip any steps because I did not want to get lectured. The negative is that I developed fear rather than respect for my manager and I no longer wanted to work for...
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