Influencing Group Communication

Topics: Power, Authority, Hegemony Pages: 3 (1001 words) Published: March 10, 2011
Influencing Group Communication
The five bases of power are coercive power, reward power, legitimate power, expert power, and referent power. Three of these powers are formal powers and two of these powers are personal powers. The three types of formal power are coercive, reward, and legitimate power. Coercive power is dependent upon fear of negative results. Reward power is dependent upon positive rewards or benefits. Legitimate power is dependent upon a person’s structural position or ranking position in an organization. The two types of personal power are expert power and referent power. Expert power is based upon one’s experience and knowledge of a skill or trade. Referent power is based upon one’s personal traits and likeable resources. Personal bases of power seem to be more effective in the workplace structure because they are “positively related to employees’ satisfaction with supervision, their organizational commitment, and their performance” (Robbins & Judge, 2009). These bases of power affect communication in the Colstrip Electric organization tremendously. There are 10 people in the same office as me, and all of them use different bases of power to accomplish their duties. Some of my coworkers are more successful because their use of the bases of power is more effective.

Colstrip Electric is a larger electric company and the office that I work in is considered the hub for the company. We run payroll, accounting, engineering, bidding, and operations from this office. This office is divided into three different divisions. The division that I fall under is the accounting division. The other two divisions are upper management and engineering. The upper management division includes the owners of the company and their children, which are also the company’s managers. I believe that this division uses a couple different bases of power. My immediate manager, Brent, has legitimate power and referent power. He is the son of the owners and is not an...
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