Organizational Power, Authority and Organizational Politics

in Organization

Organizational power is the ability to influence the group of human resources to work for achievement of the organizational objectives. Organizational power is different from organizational authority as organizational power is personal and depends on the personality characteristics of the person exercising the power. Organizational power is personal whereas authority is positional. The types of organizational power are:

  1. Reward Power: It is based on the capacity of Executives to provide different types of rewards to encourage better performance of subordinates. Examples include promotion, hike in salary, employee recognition and appreciation.
  2. Coercive Power: It depends on the power of Executives to threaten or punish indispline and undesirable behavior of employees. The objective is to influence employees to work for achievement of organizational objectives. Examples include threat of demotion, suspension and descrease in pay.
  3. Legitimate Power: It is the authority which is delegated by the top management to various positions and the persons occupying the positions to enable them to properly discharge their responsibilities.
  4. Refernt Power: It is based on the liking for role model. Here the target is influenced by the role model and would like to be like role model.
  5. Expert Power: It is based on proverb Knowledge is power. In the organization experts like economists, chartered accountants, technocrats etc. will be accorded expert power and there expert services will be utilised as and when needed.

Organizational politics is the process whereby the person attempts to amass as much organizational power as possible and use it for personal gains. Generally organizational politics is dysfunctional for the organization, it can be functional only when it is used for the benefit of the organization. Authority is legitimate and involves decision making, direction and guidance of subordinates for the achievement of organizational objectives. The popular view is that authority flows from top management of the organization to the lower levels of the organization. However authority also requires acceptance from subordinates. Authority also depnds on expertise of executives.

Organizational power and authority is the influence utilised by Business executives to guide and direct their subordinates for the achievement of organizational objectives. Organizational politics though having drawbacks of organizational inefficiency is prevalent in most of the organizations. Serious attempts must be made to minimise the negative consequences of organizational politics by having proper role presription and role clarity.

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Prof. Sunil V. Chaudhary has 19324 articles online and 24 fans

SEMCOM College, Vallabh Vidyanagar

District: ANAND


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Organizational Power, Authority and Organizational Politics

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This article was published on 2010/09/29