Power & Influence

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1. What are the consequences of power?

Power has both positive and negative consequences. These consequences are given below:

Positive consequences:

Organizational alignment: Powerful CEOs can align an entire organization to move together to achieve goals.

Negative consequences:

Destroy organization: English historian John Emerich said the phrase, “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely” & also warned that power is inherently evil and its holders are not to be trusted. And, history shows that power can be intoxicating and can be devastating when abused.

2. Which bases of power are most effective?

P.Robbins+.. (Library)

Salancik, G., & Pfeffer, J. (1989). Who gets power. In M. Thushman, C. O’Reily, & D. Nadler (Eds.), Management of organizations. New York: Harper & Row.

3. What is Influence?

The capacity or power of persons or things to be a compelling force on or produce effects on the actions, behavior, opinions, etc., of others (Dictionary.com 2011, p. ‘n.d.’). The action or process of producing effects on the actions, behavior, opinions, etc., of another or others (Dictionary.com 2011, p. ‘n.d.’). Influence is any behavior that attempts to alter another person’s attitudes and behavior (text book of OB).

4. Types of influencing others.

The type of influence tactic used tends to vary based on the target. For example, you would probably use different influence tactics with your boss than you would with a peer or with employees working under you.

Upward influence [(Top management (subordinate)]: Upward influenceupward influenceThe ability to influence your boss and others in positions higher than yours., as its name implies, is the ability to influence your boss and others in positions higher than yours. Upward influence may include appealing to a higher authority or citing the firm’s goals as an overarching reason for others to follow your cause. Upward influence can also take the form of an alliance with a higher status person (or with the perception that there is such an alliance).

For example: Both Asian American and Caucasian American managers report using different tactics with superiors than those used with their subordinates. Managers reported using coalitions and rationality with managers and assertiveness with subordinates. Other research establishes that subordinates’ use of rationality, assertiveness, and reciprocal exchange was related to more favorable outcomes such as promotions and raises, while self-promotion led to more negative outcomes.

Influence takes place even before employees are hired. For example, ingratiation and rationality were used frequently by fire fighters during interviews. Extraverts tend to engage in a greater use of self-promotion tactics while interviewing, and research shows that extraverts are more likely to use inspirational appeal and ingratiation as influence tactics. Research shows that ingratiation was positively related to perceived fit with the organization and recruiters’ hiring recommendations.

Peer/Cross influence- [Co-workers (co-workers)]: Peer influence occurs all the time. But, to be effective within organizations, peers need to be willing to influence each other without being destructively competitive. There are times to support each other and times to challenge—the end goal is to create better decisions and results for the organization and to hold each other accountable.

Downward influence- [Subordinates (Top management)]: Downward influencedownward influenceThe ability to influence those in positions lower than yours. is the ability to influence employees lower than you. This is best achieved through an inspiring vision. By articulating a clear vision, you help people see the end goal and move toward it. It is found that, the better the quality of the relationship between the subordinate and their supervisor, the more positively resistance to influence attempts are seen.

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