The Powers That Be Of Five
By, Wanda June Lingle
February 9, 2013
Power is defined by experts as the degree of potential one person has to influence another person's behavior, values, beliefs, or attitude. To quantitate the power one has is to determine the likelihood that one person will be influenced by another. There is a greater chance that one person will be influenced by the person with the greater power. Influence is the degree of change that actually occurs in one person, as a result of the influence tactics imposed by the influencer. Influence tactics are the behaviors used by the influencer to bring about change in the targeted person. Contrary to what many believe power and influence is not relegated to leaders alone. Followers also have power to influence leaders. The power of both leaders and followers can be affected by situations and contingencies (Hughes, Ginnett, Curphy, 2012). Power and influence are the tools that organizations use to accomplish their goals through human resources. Power is used to influence the attitude or behavior of another, so as to cause that person's behavior or attitude to be congruent with the task that needs to be accomplished. There are five sources of power that both leaders and followers may have at their disposal: legitimate, reward, expert, referent, and informational power. Legitimate power and reward power, with its reciprocal, coercive power, are external sources of power that originate from an organizational position. Legitimate power is authority granted to a person based upon the position they hold in an organization. Employees as well as managers can be the recipient of legitimate power that flows from their job description. Reward power is the authority one has over resources that can be used to reward others with extrinsic rewards such as bonuses, pay raises, and promotions. Rewards can also be intrinsic, which would include praises and recognition. Coercive power is the authority...
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