Power Influence and Politics

Topics: Leadership, Management, Political philosophy Pages: 14 (3269 words) Published: August 5, 2008
Leadership and Management

BUSM 3195

Table of Content

Introduction 2

Methodology 2

Politics 2

Power 3

Sources of Power 4

Conditions for Using Power 5

Power and Politics 5

Empowerment 5

Empowering others 6

Building a strong positive culture through empowerment 7

Empowerment builds trust 8

Influence 10

Methods of Influence 10

How leaders influence effectively 12

Barriers to Influence 13

Outcomes of Influence Attempts 14

Conclusion 15

Reference List 16

Leadership is defined in Gardner (1990) as the process of persuasion and examples which an individual induces a group to take action that is according to the leader’s purpose. In today’s ever-changing environment, leaders are required to perform effectively no matter the objectives. Using various tactics of leadership, leaders can influence the outcomes.

This report will focus on what an effective leader should have in the fields of power, influence and politics.

Our research was done through books, articles and websites about leadership theories on power, politics and influence. We also analysed with our past working and studying experience.

Politics is using power to influence others’ decisions to benefit oneself (Daft, 2007). Politics happens when resources in an organisation are limited and therefore, every department wants more of the available resources so that they can be more effective and efficient in their work.

Disagreements and conflicts are common and unavoidable in an organisation. If used correctly, politics can be useful to an organisation. According to Robbins (2005), it can be used to make decisions on problems that are unresolved or critical issue that may hamper the organisation’s growth.

Stated in Daft (2007), effective leaders gain power by using tactics and negotiation skills to make decisions thus reducing conflicts and increasing cooperation. By consolidating power and bringing others who require power to your side. From this one can view politics as the power to influence and manage relationships with others.

In this ever-changing business environment today, leaders are required to perform effectively no matter what their objectives are. Leaders who are skilled at the acquisition and use of power would find this task much less demanding. As quoted from Kotter (1985, p.189) “The challenges faced by strategic leaders in implementing complex and long-range consequential decisions demand that be sophisticated with respect to issues of leadership, power and influence.”

Power is an intangible force; therefore it cannot be seen but can be felt (Daft, 2007). Power is necessary because nothing can be accomplished without it. It is defined by Max Weber (as cited in Hunter, 2004) as the ability to force or coerce others to do your will, or to do something that they would not otherwise do because of your position or might. If effectively applied, power can lead to personal and organisational success (Kakabadse & Kakabadse, 1999).

Sources of Power
There are generally two groups of power. The formal and personal power, the formal powers include coercive, reward, legitimate, and information power. While personal include expert, referent and charismatic power (Robbins, 2005).

Coercive Power is derived from fear, meaning that a person comply to perform the task out of fear of the negative results.

Reward Power derives from the ability to reward someone with things that are deemed valuable to the person if he or she complies with the directives or order.

Legitimate Power represents the formal authority a person possesses because of his or her position in the organisation.

Information Power comes from the ability to access and control over information that are not available to them.

Expert Power is the influence which one’s gain due to the result of the...
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