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Power and Influence in the Workplace

Power and Influence in the Workplace. Power, Influence & Politics at NAB. National Australia Bank rogue trader Luke Duffy and his colleagues created losses of $350 million, thanks in part of Duffy’s power and influence tactics. Craig Abraham/Fairfax Photos. The Meaning of Power.

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Power and Influence in the Workplace

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  1. Power and Influencein the Workplace

  2. Power, Influence & Politics at NAB National Australia Bank rogue trader Luke Duffy and his colleagues created losses of $350 million, thanks in part of Duffy’s power and influence tactics. Craig Abraham/Fairfax Photos

  3. The Meaning of Power • Power is the capacity of a person, team, or organization to influence others. • The potential to influence others • People have power they don’t use and may not know they possess • Power requires one person’s perception of dependence on another person Craig Abraham/Fairfax Photos

  4. Person A Person B’s Goals Power and Dependence Person B’s counterpower over Person A Person A’s power over Person B Person B

  5. Power over Others Contingencies Of Power Model of Power in Organizations Sources Of Power Legitimate Reward Coercive Expert Referent

  6. Legitimate Source of Power • Agreement that people in certain roles can request certain behaviors of others • Based on job descriptions and mutual agreement from those expected to abide by this authority • Legitimate power range (zone of indifference) is higher in high power distance cultures

  7. Reward Source of Power Legitimate • Ability to control the allocation of rewards valued by others and to remove negative sanctions • Operates upward as well as downward

  8. Coercive Source of Power Legitimate • Ability to apply punishment • Exists upward as well as downward • Peer pressure is a form of coercive power Reward

  9. Expert Source of Power Legitimate • Individual’s or work unit’s capacity to influence others by possessing knowledge or skills that they value • Employees gaining expert power over companies in knowledge economy Reward Coercive

  10. Referent Source of Power Legitimate • Occurs when others identify with, like, or otherwise respect the person • Associated with charismatic leadership Reward Coercive Expert

  11. Information Power at Lowe Counsel Information about the future helps companies to cope with environmental uncertainties, so trendspotters like Zoe Lazarus and Richard Welch at Lowe Counsel (shown here) potentially wield considerable power. Courtesy of Lowe Worldwide

  12. Information and Power • Control over information flow • Based on legitimate power • Relates to formal communication network • Common in centralized structures (wheel pattern) • Coping with uncertainty • Those who know how to cope with organizational uncertainties gain power • Prevention • Forecasting • Absorption Courtesy of Lowe Worldwide

  13. Sources of Power Power over others Contingencies of Power Contingencies of Power Substitutability Centrality Discretion Visibility

  14. Increasing Nonsubstitutability Differentiation Controlling Tasks Increasing Nonsubstitutability Controlling Labor Controlling Knowledge

  15. Networking and Power • Cultivating social relationships with others to accomplish one’s goals • Increases power through • social capital -- durable network that connects people to others with valuable resources • referent power -- people tend to identify more with partners within their own networks • visibility and centrality contingencies

  16. Influencing Others • Influence is any behavior that attempts to alter someone’s attitudes or behavior • Applies one or more power bases • Process through which people achieve organizational objectives • Operates up, down, and across the organizational hierarchy

  17. more Types of Influence Silent Authority • Following requests without overt influence • Based on legitimate power, role modeling • Common in high power distance cultures Assertiveness • Actively applying legitimate and coercive power (“vocal authority”) • Reminding, confronting, checking, threatening

  18. more Types of Influence (con’t) Exchange • Promising or reminding of past benefits in exchange for compliance • Negotiation is integral to this strategy • Networking relates to exchange influence Coalition Formation • Group forms to gain more power than individuals alone • Pools resources/power • Legitimizes the issue • Power through social identity

  19. more Types of Influence (con’t) Upward Appeal • Appealing to higher authority • Includes appealing to firm’s goals • Formal alliance or perception of alliance with higher status person Ingratiation/ Impress. Mgt. • Ingratiation • Increasing liking/similarity to target • Flattering, helping, seeking advice • Impression Management • Actively shaping our public images • Way we dress, padding résumé

  20. Types of Influence (con’t) Persuasion • Using logic, facts, emotional appeals to gain acceptance • Depends on persuader, message content, message medium, audience Information Control • Manipulating others’ access to information • Withholding, filtering, re-arranging information

  21. Hard Influence Tactics Soft Influence Tactics Silent authority Upward appeal Coalition formation Information control Assertiveness Persuasion Ingratiation &impression mgt Exchange Consequences of Influence Tactics Resistance Compliance Commitment

  22. Steve Jobs’ Reality Distortion Field Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple Computer and Pixar Animation Studios, is famous for influencing people through his persuasiveness, which draws them into his “reality distortion field.”

  23. Contingencies of Influence Tactics • “Soft” tactics generally more acceptable • Appropriate influence tactic depends on: • Organizational position • Influencer’s power base • Cultural values and expectations • Age cohort • Gender differences

  24. WorldCom Politics Former WorldCom CEO Bernard Ebbers (left), CFO Scott Sullivan (right), and other executives perpetrated one of the largest cases of accounting fraud in history by using assertiveness, information control, and other influence practices as political tactics to protect their financial interests.

  25. Organizational Politics Behaviors that others perceive as self-serving tactics for personal gain at the expense of other people and possibly the organization.

  26. Conditions for Organizational Politics Tolerance of Politics Scarce Resources Conditions Supporting Organizational Politics Organizational Change Complex and Ambiguous Decisions

  27. Minimizing Political Behavior Introduce clear rules Manage team norms Free flowing information Support values that oppose politics Manage change effectively Leaders as role models

  28. Power and Influencein the Workplace

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