Power and Influence in the Workplace

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Power and Influence in the Workplace

August 23, 2011


Power and Influence in the Workplace

This case study is based upon the conceptual article by Glenys M. Drew titled; 'Enabling or Real power and influence in leadership', in which "aims to provoke thought about power and influence in leadership." Simply stated, power is our desire to have influence upon others, placing us within a particular social status. According to Lewicki, Barry, and Saunders (2010, p. 199), "people have power when they have the ability to bring about outcomes they desire or the ability to get things done the way they want them to be done." Influence is "the actual strategies and messages that individuals deploy to bring about desired attitudinal or behavioral change," (Lewicki et al 2010, p. 220). In most relationships there is power imbalances, including an organization structured to flow in a top-down direction.

This is known as formal power and influence such as between a boss and his or her subordinate. "The power imbalance in these relationships stems from the asymmetry in dependence between the parties, which contributes to an asymmetry in influence between the parties," (Emerson, 1962, p. 37).

Problems Specified in the Case

"What constitutes real power and influence in leadership" is addressed and whether "coercive tactics of wielding power over others" is even necessary. It is contended that the opposite is true in that "demonstrating real power and influence in leadership" holds back "usurping power to work with and enable others to achieve worthwhile ends," (Drew, 2010, p. 1).

Possible solutions presented by the Authors

The author explores three suggested solutions of enabling or real power and influence in leadership, each solution is accompanied by...