Sunday, April 11, 2010

Chapter 15: Five Bases of Power

The five bases of power is introduced in chapter 15 which refers to a popular scheme for social power. John French and Bertram Raven believed that power comes from five different bases. The first one is reward power; it refers to obtaining compliance with promised or actual rewards. For example, commission or working for a higher wage or position may be granted by the manager through reward power. The second base is coercive power, obtaining compliance through threatened or actual punishment. An example of that is if an employee is late repetitively, a manager may write he or she up or decide to fire that person. The third base is legitimate power, obtaining compliance through formal authority. The fourth power base is expert power, which is defined as obtaining compliance through one's knowledge or information. Because of the experience and skills a person may have, that person may have an upper hand on those without such information. Lastly, referent power is obtaining compliance through charisma or personal attraction, role models are an example of such.

All bases of power aren't obtained individually. Sometimes power can be multidimensional. For example, a person may have expert power along with reward power, such as a manager or boss. The power base I mostly respect is expert power. I feel that through knowledge, credibility is higher and there is more room for trust since that person knows such expertise in an area.

1 comment:

  1. I agree that expert power is most impressive. Experience is priceless and the more you have, the more power you have. It also goes hand in hand with knowledge. One surefire method of gaining knowledge is through good experience. I think that one goes through each of these levels during their career, working towards the highest level possible