Power in the organization: A short note

We’d often came across news such as the following sample case:

‘Corruption has cost XX Company at least $700 million since the last 5 years. In their statement, the independent anti-corruption commission claimed that most of the XX Company’s huge debts have been caused by corruption and mismanagement in procurement and maintenance projects during that period. The investigation had revealed the improprieties in these projects and involvements of the top levels management.’

The claimed corruption as reported in the sample case above is just an example of the outcome of people in the organization using their power.

Since the beginning of human civilization, people have been fascinated by power and like to use it. Without taking into account the negative or positive side of the usage, it should be agreed that power is important for people to establish certain actions to accomplish their desired goals.

Power is the ability that a person may use to get others to do what he/she wants to be done. The nature of power is control over other people.

In the organization, power of a person can be derived from interpersonal, structural and situational bases. Basically, interpersonal power is vested in a person as prescribed by the organization (ie; legitimate, reward and coercive) and by the person’s qualities (ie; expert and referent). While structural and situational powers (ie; resource, decision making and information powers) normally go by the hierarchy of the organization’s structure, that is, the higher the position of a person as structured by the organization, the greater is his/her power in accessing to resources, making decisions and having access to important information.

One reality of power in the organization is that people are having the need for it. The differences are in the degree and intention; whether someone is having a high or low need for power, and whether the need for power is directed towards personal or organizational purposes. The issue of the reality of power in the organization is important to be closely studied because it affects the effectiveness of the organization.

Most of the problems of effectiveness faced by the organizations are created by improperly use of power by the managers. There are cases where the managers made in charge of businesses are lack in the required knowledge and skills. Without sufficient capabilities, these managers would not be able to utilize their powers professionally, thus contribute towards reducing the performance of the organization. There are also cases where the managers are intentionally sought power in the organization for their personal benefits. Similarly, these managers would not bring the benefit to the organization in the long term. They rather become ‘pretenders’ as they would not sacrifice their sweat with their wise heart and mind.

Power is important to many people as it can be meant for status and prestige, and also for promotion, leading and ruling. Anyhow, such intentions if not properly associated with the organizational purposes and directed goals, will not benefit the organization. Thus, the reality of power should be wisely accepted that it is important to enable someone to contribute effectively to his/her organization. Wrongly application of power such as corruptions and other unethical actions are simply the problems generated by the attitude of people in using their power.


20 Responses to Power in the organization: A short note

  1. ebitmanagement berkata:

    I once worked for a person, who had a good way to control misbehaviour connected to corruption. This was done by adopting stict business ethics from the top and downwards – and by excercising very good internal control of the bahviour of the top management.

    I think the best way to avoid problem, is by an active and visible owner.

    All the best

  2. infosky berkata:

    Thanks Ebitmanagement. I agree with you. Strict top management behaviour control is effective. It is ‘managing by example’ too.

  3. Tanpa Nama berkata:

    may i get the meanings of organizational power?

  4. raphis berkata:

    i need for some help here.May i et what’s the meaning or definition of organizational power?thanks a lot!!!!!

  5. infosky berkata:

    Hye Raphis & Anonymous,
    Sorry for the late reply coz I’ve not logged to my Blog these few days.

    Organizational Power – primarily prescribed by, or inheres as a function of, the structure of the organization.

    ie.- With every position/rank in the organization’s hierarchical structure , certain power is allocated which provides access to the level of decission making, and controlling of people, information, and financial resources.

    While ‘Power in the organization’ – can meant in a wider scope, for a person seeking power in this context may use (beside the organizational power) other individual power sources and organizational poltics as the stepping stone.

  6. raphis berkata:

    ok.thanks 4 inforsky information ya!!!!

  7. SYed_07 berkata:

    AS I can see, many are power craze in d organization, and many too misuse the power for their own benefits…. that is d prblem that make organization not functioning.

  8. Pioneer berkata:

    manipulation of power is common in most organizations. If u want to climb the ladder to personal success, u must be a smart person.

  9. Inspira berkata:

    Misuse of power, esp in term of corruption, is commmon when people in the goverment or non-govt organization are lack of ethical value. Organization should increase the moral of their staffs and management personnels first before concentrating on other things in order to succeed.

  10. akeem awudu berkata:

    why are organisational powers posional rather than personal?

  11. sam berkata:

    hey i am new in BBA. i have some questions to all of u. plz give the answers quickly. i am dying for this.

    1. write about someone who handles power very well. how does he or she do it.
    2. whats the difference betwen who handles power very well and someone who doesnt.

  12. Juliana berkata:

    From my experience, power in an organization is rather (mainly) personal as it is attributed from the positional. Eventhough power can (infact) originate from a position a person holds in the organization, but the aspect of imposing the power is rather personal, because it depends on a person himself how to act within the prescribed powers allocated to him. So, a person can imposed a positional power either in a good manner or in a bad manner…depends on his own attitude.

  13. Tanpa Nama berkata:

    yeah can u help me what are the similalities and differences of sources of power?

  14. Tanpa Nama berkata:

    you should rather provide examples of power being implemented in the organization than defining what problem is

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