LSU HRE 3723 - Chapter 7 – Power, Politics and Leadership

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Chapter 7 – Power, Politics and LeadershipPower – potential or ability to influence decisions and control resourcesSources and Types of PowerPosition Power-Stem from a person’s position in the organization4 Bases of Position Power:Legitimate Power:Lawful right to make a decision and expect complianceLeaders have more power than people below themPower is strengthened by titles such as CEO, ChairmanReward Power-Authority to give employees rewards for complianceCoercive Power-Power to punish for non complianceBased on fear; demotion is commonly usedLimited power because it achieves mixed resultsInformation Power-Stems from formal control over the information people need to do their workPersonal Power-Derived from person rather than the organization3 Sources of Personal Power Stemming from Behaviors:Expert Power-Ability to influence others through specialized knowledge, skills or abilities (Bob Lutz, Chrysler)Referent Power-Ability to influence others through one’s desirable traits and characteristicsPrestige Power-Stems from a person’s status and reputationIntegrity also taken into considerationPower Stemming from Ownership:Executives get power as agents acting on behalf of shareholdersStrength of ownership power depends on how closely the leader is linked to shareholders and board membersStrength also comes from how much money he or she has invested in a firmLess likely to get fired if major shareholderPower Stemming from Dependencies:Dependence Perspective-Person accrues power by others being dependent on him or her for things they valueDependence power can be positional or personalResource dependence perspective – extension of dependence theory – organization requires a continuing flow of human resources, money, customers and clients, technological inputs, and materials to continue to function. Subunits or individuals who can provide these accrue powerWhen leaders lose power to control resources, power declinesPower Derived from Capitalizing on Opportunity:Power can be derived from being in the right place at the right timePays to be “where the action is”Person or firm needs to have right resources to capitalize on an opportunityPower Stemming from Managing Critical Problems:Strategic Contingency Theory-Suggests that units best ale to cope with the firm’s critical problems and uncertainties acquire relatively large amounts of powerImportant Aspect-Power a subunit acquires by virtue of its centralityCentrality-The extent to which a unit’s activities are linked into the system of organizational activitiesA unit has high centrality when it is an integral part of the work done by another unit (sales department)Power Stemming from Being Close to Power:Closer a person is to power, the greater the power he or she exertsLeaders in search of more power typically maneuver toward a higher-reporting position in the organizationTactics for Becoming an Empowering LeaderThe Nature of Empowerment:Empowerment-Refers to passing decision-making authority and responsibility from managers to group membersAlmost any form of participative management, shared decision making, and delegation can be regarded as empowermentGretchen Spreitzer – 4 components of empowerment (psychological)Meaning – value of a work goalCompetence – individual’s belief in the capability to perform a task wellSelf-determination – individual’s feeling of having a choice in initiating and regulating actionsImpact – degree to which the leader can influence strategic, administrative, or operating outcomes on the jobFull fledged empowerment includes all 4 and a 5th – internal commitmentInternal commitment occurs when someone is committed to a person, project or program for individual motivesEmpowering Practices:Practices that foster empowerment supplement standard approaches to participative management such as conferring with team members before reaching a decisionFoster initiative and responsibilityLink work activities to organizational goalsProvide ample informationAllow group members to choose methodsEncourage self-leadershipEstablish limits to empowermentContinue to leadTake into account cultural differencesEffective Delegation and Empowerment:Major Contributor to Empowerment is Delegation-The assignment of formal authority and responsibility for accomplishing a specific task to another personDelegation-More narrow than empowerment because it deals with a specific taskDelegation is motivational  offers group members opportunityPoor delegation can lead to conflictFactors That Contribute to Organizational Politics:Organizational Politics-Refers to informal approaches to gaining power through means other than merit or luckPolitics are Played to Gain Power, either Directly or IndirectlyPyramid-Shaped Organization Structure:Concentrates power at the top; only so much power to distribute to the many that want itBottom of organization, workers have limited power except for their legal rightsSubjective Standards of Performance:Many people resort to organizational politics when they feel that their organization does not have an objective way of judging their performance and suitability for a promotionEnvironmental Uncertainty and Turbulence:Unstable and unpredictable environments lead to political behaviorRely on organizational politics to create favorable impression because uncertainty makes it difficult to understand what it is they’re supposed to be accomplishingCorporate downsizing that leads to insecurity and uncertainty is a major contributor to office politicsEmotional Insecurity-Some people resort to political maneuvers because they lack confidence in their talents and skillsMachiavellian Tendencies-Some people engage in political behavior to manipulate others, sometimes for their own benefitEncouraging Admiration from Subordinates:Managers send out subtle signals that they want to be praised, although they say they do not mean toAdmirers are more likely to receive good assignmentsPolitical Tactics and Strategies:Ethical Political Tactics and Strategies:Strategies Aimed at Gaining Power:Develop power contactsControl vital informationControl lines of communicationDo what the political environment demandsBring in outside expertsMake a quick showingRemember that everyone expects to be paid backBe politically correctBe the first to accept reasonable changesStrategies Aimed at Building Relationships:Display loyaltyManage your impressionAsk satisfied customers to contact your bossBe courteous,


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LSU HRE 3723 - Chapter 7 – Power, Politics and Leadership

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