Social power is about influence. "
Thursday, May 6, 2010
Five Bases of Power
Chapter 15 discusses the five bases of power social power, as presented by the work of John French and Bertram Raven. The five bases of power are reward, coercive, legitimate, expert, and referent. A person can obtain compliance from another person by exerting these types of social influence, and sometimes people don't even know they are doing it. Knowledge of these types of social influences that lead to power can help one to behave morally or immorally, and can help one to further their progress in an organization. The exertions of these types of power can also be beneficial or hurtful to an organization's objectives, depending on how they are used by an individual to gain power. For example, reward power can be detrimental to the effectiveness of teamwork because a reward system might increase competition among individuals and make others feel left out. The organization of the reward system is crucial in this regard. Another example is coercive power, which can cause an individual to feel manipulated, or simply used as a stepping stone for another's benefit. Each type of social influence leaves a lasting imprint on the relationships between individuals in every organization.