Power In The Workplace Essay

1340 words - 5 pages

The ability to possess power over individuals is an intense trait that all individuals behold. The outcomes of situations are based on the use of this power. Power can be viewed as an art and a skill if used properly to promote productivity, efficiency, and effectiveness within an organization. However, contrary to that, it can be used in a deviant manner to prohibit success. The following analysis will analyze the most productive use of power and the impact of power in a specified organization. The organization chosen for this illustration will be the Directorate of Resource Management, which fall under the Department of the Army.
Is the ability to possess power an art or a skill? In answering this question, one must be able to accurately define the definition of power is. While there are multiple definitions of power, The American Heritage Dictionary has multiple definitions of power. For the purpose of this examination, power will be defined as “the ability or official capacity to exercise control; authority” and “a person, group, or nation having great influence or control over others” (American Heritage Dictionary, n.d.). These are two of the most common interpretations of what power is in the workplace. Power is both, an art and a skill. One must have the intuition to understand the consequences of the use of power. In addition, the actual implementation of power is achieved by experience and knowledge of the subject.
Career Coach, C.J. Liu wrote an article titled ‘Power in the Workplace’ that outlines some critical details about power and its existence within an organization. Liu wrote, “Generally, it’s not power, but what people do with the power they have, that gives power a bad rap” (Liu, 2009). Lui continued to illustrate that effective managers within an organization have a choice to make and that choice dictates whether they are successful at guiding an effective team (Liu, 2009).
The two main categories of power are formal power and personal power (Robbins & Judge, 2011, pp. 421-423). In order for the use of power to be successful, there must be two components. First, the person/people who are in possession of power, and the person/people that are being influenced. It is often misguided that power is associated with those who are in a leadership role, which is formal power. However, this is not always the case. Informal Power, on the other hand, occurs willingly, by the mere nature of personalities and sometimes, unwillingly, in that one individual is bullying another. This is often expressed in a lateral manner in any organization, where one employee feels they are more superior to the other and acts upon that feeling. In all of these situations, where power is not used appropriately, organizations are inefficient and unproductive and the goals and missions are not met. Additionally, there are multiple layers to each. This analysis will look at each of these and correlate them to the project case,...

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