Influencing Group Communication
September 8, 2013
Leadership and power often go hand in hand, but their definitions do have differences. Power is the ability of a person or organization to influence the behavior of another individual or organization. Leadership is being able to meet goals (Beebe & Masterson, 2006), and power is one way of achieving those goals (Judge & Robbins, 2009). Power relies on dependency. The greater someone depends on someone else, the more power is given to the other. Children are dependent on their parents for most necessities in life; therefore the parents have the power over them. Employees may be dependent on their manager for career advancement opportunities, so that manager has a definite degree of power over them. Since power in any organization is such a common and politically influenced item, we will look at the different categories of power, formal and personal, and how they play out in the workplace. These are collectively known as the Bases of Power. Formal power is a category based on an individual’s position in a company (Judge & Robbins, 2009). The higher the position, the more power is wielded to reward or coerce. The first formal power is coercive power. This power is based on fear (Judge & Robbins, 2009). A person will react to this power if negative results might occur if they fail to comply with orders and directives. In my company, I am one individual who has some coercive power because I hold the title of Human Resources Director. I am at the top of the Human Resources Department and have the power to hire, fire, and take disciplinary action against employees. Coercive power can also be utilized by assigning an employee work activities that they find demeaning or unpleasant. This power can also be used to hold back key information and data from others that need this information. The latter aspect of coercive power is not one that I use because it can cause a...
References: Beebe, S.A., & Masterson, J.T. (2006). Communicating in Small Groups: Principles and
Practices (8th ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson
Judge, T.A., & Robbins, S.P. (2009). Organizational Behavior (13th ed.). Upper Saddle River,
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