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THE SOURCES OF POWER — A QUIZ

Posted on July 13, 2015 in: Articles

 

Leaders have five potential bases of power:

  • Reward power — ability to give others rewards in return for supportive behavior.
  • Coercive power — ability to threaten and administer punishment.
  • Legitimate power — formal position within an organization that confers authority.
  • Expert power — knowledge or information that is valuable in achieving desired ends.
  • Referent power — also known as charisma; one accords this power to his or her role models.


These five bases of power share three sources:

  • The first three of these power bases originate outside the personal relationship of leader and follower. They are imposed by the structure in which the two operate.
  • The fourth type, expert power, originates in the leader — but must be affirmed by the follower.
  • The fifth base, referent power, originates in the follower — but must be ignited and nurtured by the leader.

These five bases of power are not equally effective. In fact, one of them tends to be counterproductive.

Can you guess which powers are most likely to achieve positive work outcomes such as increased job performance, improved job satisfaction, (which affects performance long term) and reduced turnover (which is very expensive and inhibits good job performance)?

 

The five types of power are:

  1. Reward power — ability to give others rewards in return for supportive behavior.
  2. Coercive power — ability to threaten and administer punishment.
  3. Legitimate power — formal position within an organization that confers authority.
  4. Expert power — knowledge or information that is valuable in achieving desired ends.
  5. Referent power — also known as charisma; one accords this power to his or her role models.

Research shows that expert and referent power — the two that surface in the relationship of leader and follower — are the most powerful.

Reward power and legitimate (or official) power have modest positive impact.

Coercive power actually has a negative impact on job performance. 

High performance leaders know how — or learn how — to develop expert power and how to inspire referent power as they draw others toward the organization’s mission and vision.


Copyright © 2007 Yeshua Catholic International Leadership Institute, 208 E. North St., Durand, IL 61024. Any part of this newsletter may be reproduced so long as there is full attribution, our web site is listed, and any electronic reproduction includes a link to our site: http://www.yeshualeader.com.

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