Date: September 9, 2013 Instructor Name
Communication and Bases of Power
Power influences our behavior and the way we communicate in the workplace. Power is defined as the affected behavior of one person from the influence of another person with higher authority. Depending on how the power is used, it may have a positive or negative effect in an organization. According to Robbins and Judge (2009), there are five bases of power that can influence individuals or groups in the workplace; they are coercive power, reward power, legitimate power, expert power, and referent power (p. 452).
Coercive power is a formal kind of power that I believe is the most negative among the other forms of power. The person who uses this kind of power places fears to subordinates; therefore, I believe communication from group members to leaders is limited by electronic means, like email, because members are intimidated by the coercive power of the leader. If the individual does not comply with the company’s policies, norms or does not reach a goal desired by management, then the fear of being fired, demoted, or punished is in place. The person is intimidated by threads from management. I find that threads of been fired due to lack of compliance is a delicate approach to change the behaviors of others. In these cases, members may be displeased of the thread and may start looking for other positions outside of the company; hence the group could deteriorate without accomplishing desired goals. In some other cases, management can assign a member to another job that he or she finds unpleasant. Furthermore, a member may experience embarrassing moments by the way management treats her or him in front of the others.
An example of coercive power at my workplace is that if we do not follow procedures as stated in the company’s SOP, there are chances that a problem may occur in the future.
References: Abudi, G. (2011). The 5 Types of Power in Leadership. Retrieved from http://quickbase.intuit.com/blog/2011/08/26/the-5-types-of-power-in-leadership/ Merchant, P. (2013). 5 Sources of Power in Organizations. Retrieved from http://smallbusiness.chron.com/5-sources-power-organizations-14467.html Robbins, S. P., & Judge, T. A. (2009). Organizational Behavior (13th ed.). Retrieved from University of Phoenix eBook Collection database.