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 According to Kurt Lewin “ The possibility of inducing forces of a certain magnitude on other persons”.  Power is to be treated as a capacity that A.

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Presentation on theme: " According to Kurt Lewin “ The possibility of inducing forces of a certain magnitude on other persons”.  Power is to be treated as a capacity that A."— Presentation transcript:


2  According to Kurt Lewin “ The possibility of inducing forces of a certain magnitude on other persons”.  Power is to be treated as a capacity that A has to influence the behaviour of B, so that B does something which he or she would not otherwise do.  Characteristics-  1. Dependency Relationship  2. Specific in nature  3. Reciprocal relationships  4. Power is elastic

3  A. Inter Personal Sources-  1. Reward Power- In organizational contexts the different forms of rewards can be better pay, promotions, favorable performance appraisal, preferred work shifts etc.  2. Coercive Power- The opposite of reward power is coercive power; which is the ability to influence punishment.  3. Expert Power- It is more of a personal power rather than the organizational power. If the subordinates view their leaders as competent, they would follow their leader.  4. Legitimate Power- This power is also known as positional power because of authority inherent in the position. Legitimate power include coercive and reward powers, though these powers are broader than the power to coerce and reward.  5. Referent Power- This power is known as charismatic power and is based upon the attraction exerted by one individual over another. This power is more of a personal nature than the positional nature because this power is not acquired because of position but because of personal charisma so that followers would like to associate themselves with the leaders.

4  B. structural Sources of Power-  1. Knowledge- The individuals or groups who posses critical knowledge are assumed to be very powerful people in the organization.  2. Resources- Any person who can provide resources that are critical in the organization acquire such power.  3. Decision Making- Another source of power is the authority to make decisions and/or the ability to influence the decision makers.

5  1. Distribution of Power-  The higher the level of a person, the greater is the amount of his power.  Those in power try to grab more of it. They strongly resist any attempt to weaken the power they yield.  2. Dependency-  Power largely depends upon dependency relationship. The greater the power A depends on B, the greater power of B on A  A person who cannot be easily displaced enjoys more power than others whose services can be easily replaced.  3. Uncertainty-  The more the contingencies controlled by a unit, more is the power exercised by it.  People who can absorb uncertainty yield more power.  4. Compliance- Rewards & coercive powers are generally used by managers as tools for compliance.  5. Determinants of Power- most important classification of power has been given by Raven & French who have suggested 5 types of power- reward, coercive, legitimate, referent and expert.  6. Consequences of Power- most powerful people would usually be on the winning side of a vote.  7. Trappings- Every higher office has more power as compared to a lower office  8 Reputation- Power of an individual can also be assessed by his reputation in the organization as perceived by others 

6  “Politics in an organization refer to those activities that are not regarded as part of one’s formal role in the organization, but that influence or attempts to influence the distribution of advantages and disadvantages within the organization”  The political behaviour includes activities such as-  1. Withholding key information from decision makers  2. spreading rumors  3. Leaking confidential information about organizational activities  4. Exchange favours for mutual benefits  5. Ingenious compromises

7  Organizational Politics involves the use of some kind of authority, power or pressure over other person or groups.  Basically, political behaviour is self serving in nature. Attempts are made to use organizational resources for personal benefits or to give some benefits to others.  Political behaviour is outside one’s specified job requirements. It involves getting things accomplished that are not formally recognized practices or procedures.  Political decisions may not be rational from the organizational point of view. They are usually made to acquire more power.

8  1. Scarcity of resources- Any person or unit, who has control over allocation of scarce resources yields power.  2. Non- Programmed Decisions- involves unique problems which cannot be solved by known and structured methods and procedures  3. Technology & External environment- the more complex the internal technology of the org, the more politics there will be. Similarly politics will be more if external environmental is highly volatile.  4. Organizational Change- Whenever there are changes in the organizational structure or rearrangement of organizational policies, people in the powerful positions have the opportunity to play political games.  5. Saturation in career- To rise in one’s career, a person needs competence. But when person does not have the requisite competence, he cannot rise above a certain level, in such case he may resort to political behaviour to move up in the organizational hierarchy.  6. Organizational Culture- characterized by low trust, role ambiguity, inequitable performance evaluation systems, reward systems

9  Self Interest- Political behaviour is generally motivated and guided by self interest. For eg, if personnel manager manipulates the selection process, to point somebody who is not competent enough, the impact on the organization will be dysfunctional. But if an individual behaves in a way that is compatible with the organizational goals, to promote his self interest, such behaviour is functional.  Dysfunctional aspects of Power Politics on employees- Power politics may weaken morale, demotivate the employees, attacks & counterattacks instead of concentrating on task accomplishments.  Organizational Conflicts- Org. politics may generate org. conflicts due to which organizational time, efforts and energy may be wasted.  Effect on Managers- Managers who engage in more political activity are relatively more successful in terms of promotion but also relatively less effective in terms of subordinate satisfaction and commitment and the performance of their unit.  Inequitable Distribution of Power- Some individuals may be able to acquire a major portion of the organizational power, because of organizational politics.

10  Ethical & Positive Role Model- Top Mgmt should provide a positive and ethical role model themselves. They should make it clear to subordinates that such political games will not be accepted.  Open & Honest Communication-A person becomes politically powerful if he controls the confidential information. If the communication system in the organization is open and honest, political behaviour can be constrained.  Elimination or Reduction of Uncertainty- If the overall objectives of the organization and the individual goals are ambiguous and changes are not made known to the people, then there will be more politics in the org.  Study the Political Behaviour- Mgmt can minimize the effects of political behaviour by being aware of the causes and techniques of such behaviour.

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