Organisational Behaviour Assignment

1. Interpersonal relationships between superiors and subordinates in an organization involve different kinds of power equations. In your opinion, arrange the 5 sources of power in order of importance, that are based on superior subordinate relationships in an organization. Justify your preference. (10 Marks)

Que 1: Answer: –


As Abraham Lincoln said we can test a man’s character by giving him power.  In 1959 there were two Great Social Psychologists John French and Bertram Raven Conducted the Theory of Power and Its Sources. Source of Power are based on the interpersonal relationships between Supervisors and Subordinates in an Organization.

Five Sources of Power :

1. Reward Power – It is influencing behaviour by rewarding desirable behaviours. For example, employees get praise, promotions, bonus, etc. in an organisation for their performance, which motivates them to continue such behaviour. Reward power results from an individual’s ability to compensate other individuals for compliance with a particular or desirable behaviour.

2. Expert – Expert power is an individual’s ability to influence the behaviour of other individuals owing to his/her competencies, talents, or specialised knowledge and skills. Managers acquire expert power to demonstrate proficiency in implementing, analysing, evaluating, and controlling the activities of people. Expert power may however not be significant in the case of new employees and managers in an organisation. For example, in spite of possessing expert knowledge about accounting theory and practices, a new manager has to demonstrate his/her expertise over time to be recognised and accepted in the organisation. Only after recognition among seniors, a new manager will be able to exhibit expert power.

3. Legitimate Power – It is influencing behaviour owing to the individual’s formal position in the organisation. Individuals respond to this influence to acknowledge the supervisor’s legitimate right to commend certain behaviours. For example, in
an organisation, a manager is authorised to make decisions related to a specific area of responsibility, such as production, quality control, marketing, accounting, or customer service. The area of responsibility handled by a manager defines the extent to which the manager may exercise legitimate power to influence behaviour.
Sometimes, subordinates may also exhibit legitimate power. For example, a safety inspector in an organisation has the legitimate power to halt the production process in the case of a safety violation, even if the plant manager objects.

4. Referent Power – Referent power is an individual’s ability to influence the behaviour of other individuals as a consequence of being respected, admired, or liked by others. For example, an employee’s desire to imitate an old, experienced or skilled manager may cause him/her to copy the same managerial style. Referent power is generally associated with people possessing admirable personality,
characteristics, charisma, or reputation. Therefore, it is often linked with political leaders, movie stars, sports personalities, or other famous people.

5. Coercive Power – It is influencing behaviour by punishing undesirable behaviours.  For example, people may show some particular behaviour for fear of getting punished for not following to supervisory directives. Punishment could be in the form of reprimands, work assignments that an employee don’t like, strict work rules and micro management, pay-cuts, or suspension from the duty.

 Identifying the Sources of Power in Organisations:

 Organisational power focuses on the power of managers over subordinates in an organisation.

 Situational characteristics refer to the structure of the organisation, the opportunity to influence others, access to influential people and critical resources, the kind of position an individual holds etc.

 Structural and situational sources of power in organisations may result in unequal access to information, resources, and decision making within different departments in an organisation.

 Politics within Organisations:

 The political system of an organisation represents how power is applied and distributed in the organisation.

 Power is crucial to the formulation of strategies in organisations because decisions regarding whether to continue with the previous strategy or formulate a new one, are always political in nature.

 Negative politics has been identified as one of the major sources of stress within existing organisations. It includes the use of destabilising methods to promote personal agendas; distract other individuals; and compromise the interests, welfare, and goals of other employees.

 Negative political tactics involve filtering or distortion of information, noncooperation, retaliations, dishonesty, sabotage and coercions.

✓ Power in Groups:

• Power is necessary for showing importance of an Individuals and make important group decisions.
• There are rational and devoted members of the group, who gets their promotions to the positions with higher responsibility and authority.
• View themselves as accountable towards the other group members and the purpose of the group.

Conclusion –

In my opinion the reward point strategy is the best as. The human psychology says that everyone loves the rewards for their achievements and hence increases the productivity. It’s common for humans to make some of the mistakes that’s why I feel that being too much coercive. To the employees might discourage them from giving their best by the fear of some punishments.

Product has to be delivered in x amount of time and they will get punishment for not submitting on time. Then employees will just complete it anyway without focusing too much on quality and innovation.

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