Organizational realities

Power is the basic force that managers use to change organizational realities The management of an organization is a vital part of its structure without which the organization would not have a sense of purpose or direction. It is not easy to precisely define the role of management. It is easier to recognize a business that is poorly managed than it is to pinpoint the specific features of good management in a successful business. Badly managed businesses will be poorly organized, will often have poor staff motivation and resources would be wasted or inefficiently used.

Managers have some characteristics that make them effective and there are some practices that are used by the managers in order to keep the organization and its people on track. The power that resides with the manager is one of the tools that they use to get things done. This paper would discuss how managers make use of power in making changes and adjustments. Discussion Managers are responsible for setting objectives, organizing resources and motivating staff so that the organizations aims are met. Managers basically get things done, not by doing all the jobs themselves but by working with and through other people.

Managers do not all use the same style of leadership and different managers will approach problems and decisions in very different ways, but the key features of management are common to all (Stimpson, 2002). The role of the management of an organization include the setting of objectives and planning of the attainment of these objectives, organizing resources to meet the objectives, communicating with and motivating the staff, coordinating the activities and finally measuring and controlling performance against targets. Every organization needs leaders and managers to direct the groups towards the attainment of goals.

When leaders are effective, the influence they exert over others help a group or organization achieve its performance goals but when the leaders are ineffective, their influence does not contribute to, and often detracts from goal attainment. This takes us towards the aspect of power. There are a number of leadership styles, theories and concepts that relate to the characteristics of an effective leader but no matter what one’s leadership or management style is, a key component of an effective manager is found in the power that the manager which affect other people’s behavior and get them to act in certain ways.

Therefore, power can be defined as the control that a person has over his/her environment and behavior of others. Power is an important aspect when it comes to leaders or managers. (Jones, George, 2001) A schema of Five categories of power were developed by social psychologists, French and Raven which described the five basic types of power that the leaders or power holders rely upon. Effective leaders take steps to ensure that they have some of each type and that they use the power that they have in beneficial ways.

The different kinds of power that a manager withholds include, legitimate, reward, coercive, expert and referent. These are stated in detailed below. First, legitimate power, which is also known as position power is the authority that the manager has by virtue of his or her position and duties in an organizations hierarchy. A leader’s personal leadership style also influences how the legitimate power would be used. Legitimate power should not be used in a negative manner i. e.

the position that a leader has in the organization should not be misused in order to exert unconstructive influence over others. Legitimate power is considered the most apparent and the most important type of power. Reward power is the ability of the leader to give or withhold tangible rewards such as pay rises, bonuses and intangible assets such as verbal praise or respect. It is a well known fact in the organizational science, motivation to perform at a high level is gained mainly by variety of rewards.

Being able to give or withhold rewards based on performance is a major source of power that allows a manager to have a highly motivated workforce. An example that can be related to this is the fact that in retail organizations, car dealership or travel agencies, reward power can be applied to motivate the subordinates as the subordinates in these kind of organizations often receive commission on whatever they sell plus the rewards for the quality for their customer service, which motivates them to perform at their best.

Effective managers or leader in organization use the reward power in such a way that their subordinates feel that their rewards signal that they are doing a good job and their efforts are appreciated. On the contrary, ineffective managers use their reward power in a rather controlling manner that indicates to subordinates that the manager has the upper hand. Reward power can also be increased by managers. However, too much use of the reward power may result to its abuse and thus may become ineffective. (Jones, George, 2001)

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