Explain How Organisational Structure And Culture Relate To Power And Influence In The Workplace.

1537 words - 6 pages

An organisation can be described as a means by which management can co-ordinate the efforts of individuals to achieve an objective. It can be looked at, as an intentional structure of roles where the process involves both the structuring of activities together with the allocation of roles within the workplace. In a formal organization it shows the authority relationship, the formal communication channel and the formal lines of accountability. The informal structure is linked to personal characteristics and social relationships which reflects the political nature of the organization.Important aspects of an organizational structure would involve the span of control and the scalar chain. The span of control refers to the number of subordinates that a supervisor controls. A short span is normally called a tall, centralized structure, while a wide span leads to a flat decentralized one. The scalar chain refers to the number of levels in the hierarchy and also establishes the vertical graduation of authority and responsibility.From the organizational structure we can identifyDelegationAuthorityResponsibilityAccountabilityAuthority is concerned with the right to make decisions, which in turn is the ability to exercise influence over subordinates. It can be described as legitimate exercise of power, while responsibility is the obligation to carry out the assigned task to the best of one's ability. When a supervisor gives a task, the subordinate is given the authority to carry it out, but is also given the responsibility with it. Delegation is the process of assigning duties along with authority, while accountability is related to responsibility since it involves reporting whether one has carried out the task assigned.In every organisation individuals tend to act in their own self interest, while there is a finite level of resources to be distributed. Various groups in the organization compete for favourable allocation of these resources. The more critical a unit or person is to the organization's overall functioning, the more influential it will be in procuring the desired resources. The more power an individual or a group has, the more that individual or group can influence the distribution of resources.Therefore power can be defined asA complex and dynamic concept that can be difficult to define easily. At a broad level power can be interpreted in terms of control or influence over the behaviour of other people with or without their consent.(Laurie Mullins 2002, p.778)Power can flow in any direction throughout the organization. Most times members at higher levels in the hierarchy have more power than those at the lower level. However, in specific situations, reversal can occur. For example a janitor who accidentally finds the manager in a compromising situation with his secretary might find himself in a powerful position, if the manager wishes to maintain his reputation.While power is the potential to influence others, influence can be described as any...

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