Leadership: Bases of Power

Topics: Authority, Problem solving / Pages: 11 (2639 words) / Published: Feb 28th, 2013
In a Nutshell
Who would want to work for a weak manager? Managers need power to do their jobs, because their jobs require them to influence others. Consequently, managers who feel powerless to influence others experience a tremendous amount of frustration and stress. Their staff members tend to feel frustrated too.
Power means many different things to different people. For some, power is seen as corrupt. For others, the more power they have, the more successful they feel. For even others, power is of no interest at all.

Positions of authority confer power to the people who hold managerial positions. However, managers who rely solely on their formal authority to influence others will find that it doesn 't inspire their staff, and can even demoralize them. Hence, it helps to also derive power from other sources. Charisma and having personal appeal are sources of power too. Power can also be developed by becoming and expert or by performing critical role for the firm.
Bases of Social Power
Bases of power refer to the methods that managers and leaders utilize to influence their employees. When examining bases of power, the concept of authority must also be considered. These two are interconnected attributes tied to the behavior of superiors over subordinates. In their article, "Are There No Limits To Authority?", David Knights and Darren McCabe explain that "power should be understood to be a condition of social relations. Thus, it is erroneous to ask who has power. Instead, it is necessary to explore how power is exercised."
In turn, the nature of how power is exercised is a workable definition for authority. In short, authority and power are intertwined, with power being the ability to do things or have others do what one has ordered while authority is the foundation on which that power is built.
The bases of social power are very diverse, and no list is ever complete. Nonetheless, the commonly identified bases of power fit pretty well into two

References: Victor, D. (n.d.). Leadership Styles and Bases of Power. Retrieved February 25,2013, from: http://www.referenceforbusiness.com/management/Int-Loc/Leadership-Styles-and-Bases-of-Power.html#ixzz2Lt2Q7QbI Abudi, G. (2011). The 5 Types of Power in Leadership. Retrieved February,from: http://quickbase.intuit.com/blog/2011/08/26/the-5-types-of-power-in-leadership/ Wiliams, S. (2004). Building Your Power Bases. Retrieved February 25, 2013, from: http://www.wright.edu/~scott.williams/LeaderLetter/power.htm

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