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ECE _ DSST Organizational Behavior

The most important aspect of power is that it is a

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The most important aspect of power is that it is a function of dependence. A general dependency postulate states that “the greater B’s dependency on A, the greater the power A has over B.” In other words, when you possess anything that others require but you alone control, you make them dependent on you and, therefore, you gain power over them. If something is plentiful, possession of it will not increase your power.
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If nobody wants what you’ve got, it’s not going to create dependency. Therefore, to create dependency, the thing(s) you control must be perceived as being important. It’s been found that organizations actively seek to avoid uncertainty. Those individuals or groups who can absorb an organization’s uncertainty will be perceived as controlling an important resource. For instance, a study of industrial organizations found that the marketing departments in these firms were consistently rated as the most powerful because the most critical uncertainty facing these firms was selling their products. If something is plentiful, possession of it will not increase one’s power. A resource needs to be perceived as scarce to create dependency. Scarcity can help to explain how low-ranking members in an organization who have important knowledge not available to high-ranking members gain power over the high-ranking members. Possession of a scarce resource such as important knowledge, makes the high-ranking member dependent on the low-ranking member. The more a resource has no viable substitutes , the more power control that resource provides. This concept is called the elasticity of power. Elasticity of power is defined as the relative responsiveness of power to change in available alternatives. One’s ability to influence others is viewed as being dependent on how these others perceive their alternatives. This would describe, for example, an employee who believed he had a large number of employment opportunities outside his current organization. Fear of being fired would have only a moderate impact on Mr. A, for he perceives he has a number of other alternatives. Mr. A’s boss finds that threatening A with termination only has a minimal impact on influencing his behavior. Power tactics are standardized ways by which powerholders attempt to get what they want. There are considered to be seven tactical dimensions or strategies for translating power into actions: (1) reasoning by using facts to make a logical presentation of ideas; (2) using flattery and being friendly prior to making a request; (3) getting the support of other people to back up the request; (4) using negotiation through the exchange of benefits; (5) demanding compliance with requests; (6) gaining the support of higher levels in the organization to back up requests; and (7) using organizationally derived rewards and punishments.
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