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9061 MBR. Spring 2012: Intra-organizational relationships continued... Lecture 19 Power Lecture 20 Political Behaviour (and Conflict) Lecture 21 Revision. Lecture 19 Power. Aims: Consider nature of power including Lukes’s dimensions

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9061 mbr
9061 MBR

Spring 2012:

Intra-organizational relationships continued...

Lecture 19 Power

Lecture 20 Political Behaviour (and Conflict)

Lecture 21 Revision

lecture 19 power
Lecture 19 Power


  • Consider nature of power including Lukes’s dimensions
  • Identify (some) sources of power – both vertical and horizontal
  • Dependence, vulnerability and subordinate power
  • Cross-cultural dimensions in Lecture 20.
power is pervasive in the life of organisations
Power is pervasive in the life of organisations
  • Customer/client/consumer power
  • Stakeholder power
  • For our purposes now the focus on power relationships within organisations
power defined
Power defined
  • Dahl (1961) A and B model

A has power over B to the extent s/he can get B to do something they (B) would not otherwise do

A process therefore which could involve could involve

Rational persuasion

Manipulative persuasion



Physical force

subtlety and visibility
Subtlety and visibility

Lukes (2005)

Dimension 1 Securing decisions for agreement

Dimension 2 Decision-making agendas

Dimension 3 Institutionalised power

but what about the electronic parent
But what about the ‘electronic parent’?

Self-monitoring...or saving 25$ per day in human intervention

classical sources of power french raven 1958
Classical Sources of Power. French & Raven (1958)
  • Legitimate power. Authority due to rank and/or position
  • Expert power. Relevant and ‘superior’ knowledge
  • Reward power. Access to valued rewards (psychological contract?)
  • Coercive power. Penalty and sanction.
  • Referent power.

Normally viewed as inversely related Golf club analogy again?

some more recent thoughts
Some More Recent Thoughts

Imagery and language

Gender e.g. Morgan (1986): Queen Elizabeth 1, Amazon, Delilah, etc strategies

OrHenry VIII, Warrior, Playboy, Father ,etc strategies

horizontal power
Horizontal Power

Strategic Contingencies. Relate to departments or other sub-units.

  • Dependency materials through to information.
  • Financial resources (follow the money.)
  • Centrality ...e.g. in a university?
  • Non-substitutability
  • Dealing with uncertainty ...e.g. HRM post-2008.
dependency and lower order power
Dependency and ‘lower-order’ power
  • Scarce knowledge...see Lamborghini story in Reading Pack
  • Centrality to process Crozier (1964) parallel power of the maintenance menor 21st century ‘techie’ power

Ways of overcoming such power?

everyday mischief and organisational misbehaviour see lecture 20
Everyday Mischief and Organisational Misbehaviour -see Lecture 20.
  • Negotiation of everyday power relations and the indulgency pattern
  • Power relations are pervasive within organisations...’a continual battle’ – see Robbins in Reading Pack.
  • Power therefore not a negative topic.
  • Subtle definitions and levels.
  • Sources of power.
  • Power and dependency – so not just top-down.
  • Link to politcal behaviour.