Power in Sociology: Hierarchy Management in an Organization

Topics: Sociology, Max Weber, Industry Pages: 5 (1809 words) Published: February 15, 2013
Sociology is a study of the development, structure, and functioning of human society. Sociology also studies the sophisticated connection between human behavior and individual life changes. Sociology examines by the way of social structure such as various social institutions that affect human attitudes, organizations and social categories. However, in the subject of Sociology of Work, it has combined sociology with work to improve the human behavior in the organization. According to Grint (2005), “Work occupies a substantial proportion of most people’s lives and has often been taken as a symbol of personal value”. He perceived that work will affect an activity that transforms nature which could be undertaken in social circumstance. However, power is the main topic to discuss in this essay. Power is the major explanation to the study of social society. According to J. G. March (1966 cited in Shafritz, Ott & Jang, 2005), it is not even related to organization and also among the community of decision making, business behavior, and small discussion. Meanwhile, power is not only used in the organization but theoretical able to apply in the other circumstances. However, the discussion in this essay will be critically evaluate the power that is used by those top level of the organization to control and possess to those lower level in the hierarchy. Coercive power is one of the powers that will be discussed in the argument, follow by social power and also legitimate power. This essay will include some of the theories by Weber and Marx to support the discussion of power.

Bureaucracy means the top of the management holds the coordination and possession of the hierarchy and who devised a system that includes the rule and regulation to restrict the lower level subordinate in order to achieve organization goals, (Grint 2005). In the theory of Bureaucracy by Max Weber, he perceived that there are possess and control towards the lower level subordinate by the top in the organization. Weber has conceptualized of authority on bureaucracy by the sense of legitimate power and it will be the center of the organization’s processes. Weber also emphasizes rationalization process that regard to work organization and also able to improve development of technological and scientific thinking. This process would remind the employees to use the most appropriate way to achieve task base on the procedures and the formalize roles. Besides, according to Shafritz, Ott & Jang (2005), “The principle of office hierarchy and the level of graded authority mean a firmly ordered system of super and sub-ordination in which there is a supervision of the lower office by the higher ones”. It means that the hierarchy and the level of an organization had their own system of authority to supervision the employees by the top of the management. Capitalism is devised by a German philosopher named Karl Marx. It is related to the industrial sociology and labor process. Marx had mentioned that industrial society had to be compared with agrarian society and the success of human freedom eventually, but the main reason of the social formation was only caused by the capitalist pattern and not the industrial process. Marx had emphasized that capitalism is more important than industrialism because it is the only capitalism. He also argued that “human species is different from all other animal species, not because of its consciousness but because it alone produces its own means of subsistence” (Grint 2005). On the other hand, alienation and exploitation still an important part of the capitalism. The impact on Marx’s theory in the modern industrial had strictly been use in the labor process. This impact had developed a perspective with the employment relations and employee behavior in the work design and also the organization. Alienation is the relationship between human expression and labor changes, and not using labor to fulfill their needs. Marx also stated that worker are...
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