The purpose of this report is to generally compare the application of theoretical frameworks and ideas of French and Raven’s (1959) five bases of power against Fleming and Spicer’s (2007) four faces of power as well as the faces of resistance. These theories will be analyzed through the different perceptions of power and resistance in differing industries. We will further evaluate these findings in the context of a white collar firm, Zalora Singapore against a blue collar firm, Woodlands Transport Pte Ltd. This report also aims to evaluate both positive and negative effects of power and resistance on an individual and the entity itself.
Power and resistance are perceived and applied differently across varied roles in organizations of different nature. While organizational power are essential in good management, negative powers or abuse of power can compromise individuals’ interests triggering resistance which is harmful to the organization and individual. Power is a procedure whereby people use it to achieve a particular goal. Robert Dahl’s (1957) concept of power is ‘A has power over B to the extent that he can get B to do something that B would not do otherwise.’French and Raven (1959) came up with a theory on five bases of power prominent in organizations, namely reward, legitimate, coercive, referent and expert power. Decisions-makers are usually the one who causes conflicts (C.Wright Mills, 1956) as employees tend to be excluded in the process leading to an evolved framework - four faces of power (coercion, manipulation, domination and subjectification) by Fleming and Spicer (2007) which relates to application of power. This theory is applicable to both management and employees. Power can result in change and clashes of ideology and people’s interests and when these differences are not accepted, resistance surfaces. Resistances can be categorized under four main faces - refusal, voice, escape and creation.