The Five Bases of Power

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Five Bases of Power
Maria Mayorga
November 28, 2011
Jay Johnson

Five Bases of Power

Power is said to be ability of one person, group, or organization to control another person, group, or organization. Power is also refer to when one individual makes another do what the other wished through fear, force, persuasion, or reward. For example someone may be powerful because he or she could fire or assign a task someone does not like. Other could be powerful by having the ability to give a raise or bonus. Furthermore, power could depend in the knowledge an individual poses or a person charisma or admiration that contributes to respect. In a research made by social psychologist John French and Bertam Raven in 1959 power is divided into five separate and distinctive forms; coercive, reward, legitimate, referent, and expert. According to this social psychologist coercive, reward, and legitimate power are considered as positional power bases; referent and expert are personal power bases. Positional Power Sources

Coercive is considering a positional power source. Coercive power is a when a person force others to do something they do not want to do. This type of power most of the time may cause problems and can be subject to abuse. Using coercive power in the work of place could lead to unhealthy behavior and dissatisfaction. Leaders used punishment and threatening to make people do whatever they wished because they can fire, demoted, and give undesirable assignments. Although a position may give people the capability to intimidate others, it doesn’t mean that they have to do it. Occasionally coercive power can be used as a last resort but not as form of leadership. Legitimate is another formal power source. A president, governor or a chief executive officer poses this type of power. It has to be with someone holding an important position in an organization, country or city that typically has this source of power. Legitimate power can be unpredictable...
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