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Acquiring, developing & using power requires knowledge of where it comes from.

According to Greiner & Schein(1988),power comes to individuals from two major bases These two major sources are:1) Position power 2) Personal power

a) b) c)

It is so called because the attempts at influencing others & exercising ones power are considered legitimate by others because of the position occupied by power agent. Position power is obtained by a combination of ones: Job title or designation Job description Prescribed responsibilities These sources provide the power agent the formal authority.

i. ii.


Formal authority is necessary for controlling & directing the behaviour of subordinates. The stronger a persons ability & resources that allow the use of rewards or punishment, the stronger is the position power. French & Raven(1959) has divided Position power in three bases: Formal power Reward power Coercive power

FORMAL POWER:- power vested in the person by official arrangement like appointments, contracts & other documentations. For example:-vice chancellor in a university COERCIVE POWER:- it depends on fear,threat or punishment for not carrying out the demand or request made by the agent to the target. For example:-NAXALS demanding LEVI from villagers REWARD POWER:- it includes the allocation of resources, selection, performance evaluation,approvals,giving of higher salary etc. For example:-HR manager in a organization

NOTE:-use of coercive power might create anger,resentment & even retaliation therefore it should be used carefully

Greiner & Schien(1988) have sorted individual power in three major categories: Knowledge as a Base of Power Personality as a Base of Power Others Support

It is divided in three parts Expert Power Information as Power Tradition Expert Power:-it is gained through specialised knowledge arising out of formal education or work experience. For example:-Decisional Skills of Executives in an Organization

INFORMATION AS POWER:-people with power from this base collect & direct information either formally or informally such that they can influence the decision. For example:-Middle level management TRADITION:-knowledge of the history an organization can strengthen ones claim about knowing the way of doing things or knowing what is done around here & what is not. For example:- Old Employees guiding New Employee OR Camp Leader in a Trekking


It is also divided in three parts: Charisma Reputation Professional Credibility CHARISMA:-it is defined as the ability to inspire devotion & enthusiasm in others. For example:- Youth Icons in Cricket & politics like SACHIN TENDULKAR & RAHUL GANDHI

Reputation:-it is similar to expert power. It is created by demonstrating ones circle. For example:-Relatives to High Officials in an Organization Professional Credibility:-power from this base is essentially consolidated through extending ones reputation beyond ones own organization and first hand contacts. For Example:-STEVE JOBS in changing position of APPLE

It is divided in two parts:Political Access Staff Support POLITICAL ACCESS:-it refers to the ability to call upon networks of relationships within the organization. For Example:- Union Leader of a Union STAFF SUPPORT:-this source of power can multiply the amount of resources & strategies a manager has available with him. For Example:- Good relation of HR manager with the Workers Union Leader of the


Departmental or Sub-unit power in the organizations act as a source of power. Sub-unit power within organizations is defined as the capacity of a sub-unit to influence the behaviour of other sub-units. The highly accepted & referenced framework for explaining the structural conditions that act as a source of departmental power are:Coping with uncertainty Centrality substitutability


The need of acquiring & using power is believed to arise because of human desire to avoid uncertainty. CENTRALITY:-if stopping or severely restricting a departments activity would substantially impede or even stop workflow of the organization,that department can be con be considered central & it would be powerful. NON-SUBSTITUTABILITY:-if there is no alternative to the activities of a department, it becomes nonsubstitutable. Such department enjoy power to the extent of their non-substitutability

Etzioni(1964) explained the bases of organizational power which the organization can exercise over their members and others. He has divided them in three categories which are:1) COERCIVE 2) UTILITARIAN 3) NORMATIVE

COERCIVE:-It is derived out of access, control & use of physical power such as gun or a lock. UTILITARIAN:-it is derived from the use of material reward, which can be made conditional upon compliance. NORMATIVE:-symbols are used to point at something which is of value or is meaningful, or is needed by a subject.