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Flashcards in Power and Authority Deck (19):

What is meant by power?

This exists when one person can get another person o do something that otherwise they would not want to do


What is meant by authority?

A special form of power that gives people the right to give commands which others must accept as legitimate.


What are Max Weber's three forms of authority?

1. Traditional authority - due to traditional values or custom. E.g Royal Family
2. Charismatic authority - due to personality of the individual
3. Rational / Legitimate - due to being selected or legitimately gaining authority


How could managers lacking authority over employees lead to an inability to use power to lead effectively?

1. Blurred lines of authority (traditional authority) - employees won't follow instructions as they don't feel they deserve their power - no teamwork etc
2. Ability / experience of the manager - as well trained as subordinates?
3. Pursuing different objectives - lack of co-ordination in the business
4. Questioning leaders decisions - wastes time etc


What are the five types of power?

1. Coercive power
2. Referent power
3. Legitimate (position) power
4. Expert power
5. Reward power


What is coercive power?

Power based on the subordinates fear of the leader.

Normally maintained by the use of threats and punishment. Staff follow orders due to being afraid to being shouted at, suffering financial loss or being sacked


What are the disadvantages of coercive power? (no advantages)

1. Most people don't perform to their full capabilities or respond well in this environment
2. Employees can not develop their skills or use attributes
3. Likely to result in high labour turnover as most won't tolerate
4. Doesn't encourage communication


What is referent power?

Referent power derives from a leader's charisma.

Characteristics of a person with referent power are charisma, likeable and interpersonal skills.


What are the advantages of referent power?

1. People tend to follow the lead of those they admire
2. Generally are role models and subordinates would want to seek approval
3. Referent power along with strong interpersonal skills many allow managers to have strong influence across the business
4. Workers may be more motivated to achieve because they believe in what they are doing
5. Communication is easier


Disadvantages of referent power?

1. Employees may lack recognition of authority due to them being too friendly with the boss


What is legitimate (position) power?

Legitimate power derives from a person's position or job in an organisation, meaning it increases as you go up the line in an organisation.


Advantages of legitimate power?

1. People are used to accepting legitimate power
2. Employees say that legitimate power is the main reason to why the follow their bosses orders


Disadvantages of legitimate power?

1. Doesn't always result in effective and flexible organisations
2. Power is given to employees because of their roles rather than skills


What is expert power?

Expert power is power based upon employees' perception that a manager has a high level of knowledge or a specialised set of skills that other employees or members of the organisation do not possess.

This gives the leader true legitimacy as a leader.


Advantages of expert power?

1. Easy to influence people's behaviour due to the leader's knowledge and skills related to the work being performed
2. Easy to get promoted with expert power
3. People with expert power get trust and respect about decisions and opinions of others


Disadvantages of expert power?

1. Expensive to keep managers with expert power
2. Managers may withhold knowledge to maintain their expert power over others


What is reward power?

The ability to provide rewards for employees gives leaders a form of power.

It encourages performance through incentives rather than threats.


Advantages of reward power?

1. Motivation
2. Staff become more positive
3. Staff begin to offer new ideas and suggestions
4. Staff are willing to take on more responsibilities and duties


Disadvantages of reward power?

1. Motivational impact of specific rewards varies between individuals
2. Can be expensive to the business