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Power and influence in the workplace

Dependence model of power and sources of power:

Power is perceived as a capacity of an individual, group, or a company to influence others. Power is not a change of behaviors or attitudes, but it is referred as the potential of a subject to do any tasks. In some cases, people do not know they have any power of decision-making or any authority. But, where a person has recognized his/her power, they tend to use it in a legal and authoritative manner. For this case, assume the CEO of MEC, which is a retailer of outdoor equipment used for hiking, swimming, skiing etc. The CEO of the company is David Labistour.

There are certain models which identify the dependence of a person’s power over others. Referring to MEC, David is the person with the power, which a low management employee thinks he has and his decisions are influenced by David’s power. Like, if he wants to buy the gears used in hicking, first he has to ask David to approve it. Then there are five different sources of power which are used by a leader. These sources of power are acquired by the different people having different job roles. Legitimate power is the type in which power comes from the job or position the person is on. Being the CEO of the company, David has the most amount of legitimate power in the company. He has been appointed the CEO after four years of showing his efforts in building the company (“MEC looks within for its new CEO,” n.d.). In reward power, the manager acts like a leader and gives rewards (tangible or intangible) to the employees on achieving something. David can also like a reward power leader, who has the right to give rewards to the employees. A coercive power which is opposite of reward power, says that the manager punishes an employee on any wrongdoing. It says that the manager or CEO has the power to give any punishment if an employee does anything wrong.

Expert power, makes an employee think that the leader has certain skills and expertise in making decisions and can control all events of the company. In past, David had high expertise as he has been in Adidas, Woolsworth, and Artizia and he has the skills which made him the CEO of the company (“MEC looks within for its new CEO,” n.d.). Referent power is acquired by a leader who has strong interpersonal skills and focuses on collaboration and influence. David can be a referent power holder, to enhance the working of his company’s workplace.

Contingencies of Power:

There are four basic contingencies of power, which tell about the level of power in a manager or any higher authority. Substitubility refers where there are alternate people to use that power. Being the CEO after four years, MEC gives the power to David to control the overall organization (“MEC looks within for its new CEO,” n.d.). Centrality describes power as a relation between the power holder and others. An MEC employee goes on strike or leave, the company will be affected by it because there will be slower work because of one person shortage (“MEC looks within for its new CEO,” n.d.). Discretion means that in making decisions you do not take permission from anyone. David fit perfect in this category, as he is the CEO and he can make a decision without discretion. Visibility power, says that a person is not imaged to have power because he/she is not seen in the workplace. This type of person has some power, but people don’t think like that because they have not seen him/her in the company.

Gaining power in social networks:

In past years, social media has gained success and so are the companies moving towards the social connection with people. It can be gained by the social capital a company possesses. David needs to make relations on the social media networks, create a connection with the people and try to improve its goodwill in the media to gain power in social networks. This relation can be increased by making strong bonds with the people and improving the capital of the company.

Influence (types, consequences, and contingencies):

It is believed to have eight types of influencing strategies. Soft authority, assertiveness, information control, coalition, upward appeal are considered hard influencing tactics. While, persuasion, impression management, and exchange are the soft tactics to influence others. If also depend upon the level (low, medium, high) the company is contingent. The consequences of soft appeal, if used by David will be a high level of commitment from the employees and they will comply with the company as well. However, hard tactics will result in resisting the employees to a limited level. David should try soft tactics to influence the people in the company. As the board of directors of MEC says that David has been an influential personality, that’s why we considered him the best person for the CEO position (“MEC looks within for its new CEO,” n.d.).


Chapter 10- Power and influence in workplace (2018). Retrieved 19 March 2018, from

MEC looks within for its new CEO. (n.d.). Retrieved from



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