next linkPower is "the possibility of imposing ones will upon the behavior of other persons".

- from Max Weber on Law in Economy and Society page 323

It is important to classify different kinds of power so that students of leadership and management can be instructed in the appropriate use of power.

Compensatory Power

This is the ability to reward team members who accept the will of the leader or manager. It may take the form of praise, cash, a corner office, a title, control over schedule and priorities, recommendations, choice of the next assignment, promotion, or any number of things that encourage the desired behavior from a team member.

Condescension Power

This is the opposite of compensatory power but should be considered different than discipline because it is personal where discipline may not be. The team member can learn from discipline; condescension power does not provide an opportunity for team member improvement by learning. Condescension power threatens team members with something emotionally painful or even physically painful so that individuals will submit to the will of the leader or manager.

Expert Power

This is the power that comes from knowledge that is appropriate for the task at hand. For example, a physician has expert power over patients and allied health professionals owing to the years and years of education, training, and practice that he or she has obtained. This same physician may not have expert power in other areas, such as hospital administration or management. Individuals with expert power may need to adjust their decision making styles in situations where they do not have expertise, but are expected to lead.

Position Power

This is acceptance of the will of the leader or manager that is based on social conditioning. Most societies teach children the notion of rank which is a formal designation of who has power over who by ones position in a hierarchy. Military professionals are specially trained to accept position power which is necessary in battle.

Referent Power

The leader or manager with referent power is the one that others refer to owing to goodwill and mutual respect. It comes from a successful track record over a period of time involving common interests between individuals.

Authors have found it useful to define other forms of power. For more information see http://www.bs.wlihe.ac.uk/~jarvis/bola/power/power.html. Use your search engine with the word "power" to locate more.






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