Definition and Meaning of Power
Distinctions between Power, Authority and Influence
Bases of Power
The Dependency Factor
Contingency Approaches to Power
Interdependence and Influencability
Overall Contingency Model for Power
Power in Groups: Coalitions
Definition and Nature of Politics
Factors Relating to Political Behavior
The Ethics of Power and Politics
Power and politics are among the most important concepts in the study of organization behavior. Both power and politics are dynamic concepts and are a function of the interaction between different elements in organizations. Power has been defined as "the ability to influence and control anything that is of value to others." It is the ability to influence the behavior of other people in the organization and to get them to do what they otherwise would not have done.
Although the terms power, authority and influence are often used synonymously, there is a difference between them. Power is the ability to effect a change in an individual or a group in some way. Power may or may not be legitimate. That is, power need not correspond with a person's organizational position. Authority, on the other hand, is legitimate. It is the power which is sanctioned by the organization and is often the 'source' of power. Influence is a much broader concept than both power and authority.
French and Raven, social psychologists, identified five sources of power - coercive, reward, legitimate, expert and referent. Coercive power is based on fear and is the ability to influence another person through threats or fear of punishment. Reward power is a positive power which refers to the ability to get things done through others on the basis of one's power to grant rewards. Legitimate power depends on organizational position and authority. It...