Essay on Power And Leadership : An Influence Process

Essay on Power And Leadership : An Influence Process

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The article I will be reviewing is called “Power and Leadership: An Influence Process” by author Fred C. Lunenburg. This article covers the sources of power for leaders to influence others. These theories of power come from work done by French and Raven. They identified five sources of power which are then grouped into two categories. The two categories are organizational power (hard) and personal power (soft). The organization power group contains legitimate, reward and coercive power. The personal power group contains expert and referent power. In this article it discusses these types of power in depth where it pertains to leadership.
When discussing power within organizations there are several sources of the power. The first source of power is legitimate power also called position power. Legitimate power influences people’s behaviors based on the position they hold within the organization. An example of this type of power is a manager asking an employee to stay late to finish a project. “Subordinates play a major role in the exercise of legitimate power. If subordinates view the use of power as legitimate, they comply”.
Reward power is another source of powers within the organization. Reward power influences others by offering some kind of reward to that particular person. These rewards can be pay based, favorable work assignments, or even praise.
Another source of power within an organization is coercive power. This power uses punishment to control a subordinate’s behavior. Examples of this would be reprimands, undesirable work assignments, and even demoted said employee.
The first source of power in the personal power group is expert power. “Expert power is a person’s ability to influence others’ behavior because of recogn...


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...ing more of their soft skills like communication than brute force by their position or authority. This has proven more effective and the way of the future. The article even takes this one step forward by looking at empowerment as a future source of power. Empowerment would be given the subordinates more power and say in the organization. I know empowerment is one thing that has been brought up at more current job to give people more power than to go running to approval for every decision. This really helps work morale and overall job satisfaction. After reading these sources of power I really understand there is more to leadership then position or being able to promote or demote someone. There is other types of power that are more effective and are part of the softer skills that make the relationship between leader and subordinate a more effective and enjoyable one.

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