Power is easy to feel but difficult to define. It is the potential ability of a person or group to influence another person or group. It is the ability to get things done the way one wants them to be done. Both formal and informal groups and individuals may have power; it does not need an official position or the backing of an institution to have power. Influence can take many forms. One person has influenced another if the second person’s opinions, behavior or perspectives have changed as a result of their interaction. Power is a factor at all levels of most organizations. It can be a factor in almost any organizational decision.
Power and Authority
Sometimes power and authority is used synonymously because of their objective of influencing the behavior of others. However, there is difference between the two. Power does not have any legal sanctity while authority has such sanctity. Authority is institutional and is legitimate. Power, on the other hand, is personal and does not have any legitimacy.… Read More »
Power and politics are inextricably interwoven with the fabric of an organization’s life. In any organization, at any given moment, a number of people are seeking to gain and use power to achieve their own ends. This pursuit of power is political behavior. Organizational politics refers to the activities carried out by people to acquire, enhance and use power and other resources to obtain their preferred outcomes in a situation where there is uncertainly or disagreement. One great organizational scholar, Tushman defined politics, ‘as the structure and process of the use of authority and power to affect definition of goals, directions and the other major parameters of the organization. Decisions are not made in rational or formal way but rather through compromise accommodation and bargaining.’
Techniques of Political Behavior
The most commonly used techniques of political behavior are:
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- One technique of political behavior is to control the dissemination of critical information to others. The more critical the information and fewer the people who have it, the stronger is political power base of those who possess these information.
Organizational culture is the set of values that states what an organization stands for, how it operates and what it considers important. Edgar H. Schein defines organizational culture as the pattern of basic assumptions that a given group has invented, discovered and developed while learning to cope with its problems of external adaptation and internal integration.
All the above definitions stress acceptable and unacceptable behavior of its members. For instance, one organization might value solidarity and loyalty to organization more than any other value whereas another organization might stress on good relations with customers. Such values are part of organizational culture in spite of not being formally written like rules and regulations of the organization. They do not usually appear in the organizational training Program and in fact, many organizations have difficulty in expressing their cultural values. However, an organization’s values automatically enter every employee’s personal values and actions over a period of time. Organizational culture has a profound influence on individual employees because it is generally an accepted set of values rather than a written set of rules with which employees might not argue.… Read More »
Authority may be defined as the right to guide and direct the actions of others and to secure from them responses which are appropriate to the attainment of the goals of the organization. According to Barnard, ”Authority is the character of communication(order) in a formal organization by virtue of which it is accepted by a contributor to, or member of the organization as generating the action he contributes, that is, as governing or determining what he does or is not to do so far as the organization is concerned.”
Power refers to the ability or capacity to influence the behavior or attitudes of other individuals. A manager’s power may be considered as his ability to cause subordinates to do what the manager wishes them to do. Power is an important means to enforce obedience to the rules, regulations and decisions of the organization. Power may be derived on personal or institutional bases. The use of power may affect the behavior of people in the desired manner.… Read More »
There is a difference between a Group and Team:
- A group may be formal or informal where as a team is necessarily formal.
- A group may or may not have a common goal to work towards but a team efforts are clustered towards the attainment of organizational objectives.
- A group can be organizational or social. A team is mostly organizational.
A group is an aggregate of persons with close inter relationships. A group is a cluster of two or more individuals who interact with each other on a relatively enduring basis, identify themselves as belonging to a distinct unit and who share certain common activities, interest, values and goals. Members of a group relate to one another in some common ways and united by some common ties on a sustained basis. A group is different from a crowd which has no structure and performs no specific function. The members of a group interact with one another to jointly pursue common goals.… Read More »
Quite often leading and managing are considered as synonymous terms. Both require several qualities or traits and both are processes involving interpersonal relations. Both involve setting goals and mobilizing resources. But in reality there are several differences between leadership and management:
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- Relationship: Management implies superior-subordinate relationship. This relationship arises within organizational context. On the other hand, leadership can occur anywhere within or without organization context. For example: A mob can have a leader but not a manager. Informal groups have leaders but not managers. Leadership is possible in both formally organized as well as unorganized groups. But management is possible only in formal and organized groups.
- Source of Influence: A manager is appointed and he obtains authority from his position. He makes use of his formal authority to influence the behaviour of his subordinates. On the contrary, a leader is not always appointed and he derives his power from his followers who accept him their leader. A leader makes use of this power to influence the attitudes and behavior of his followers.