Informal leaders and expert power

One of the more interesting questions posed by these two concepts of leadership asks which form of leadership works the best? One the one hand, you have formal leaders who hold power that is more absolute because they hold official positions.

Informal leaders and expert power

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Understanding the impact of power in organizations. Informal Leading You receive formal power in accordance with your position in the company and the authority associated with that position. Conversely, your informal power stems from the relationships you build and respect you earn from your coworkers.

Sometimes, authority stems from a person's title in the organization, or from specialized knowledge and expertise. Others may exercise power through interpersonal relationships or the force of their personality.

And still others gain influence through an ability to grant access to important resources.

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Legitimate Power Legitimate power is also known as positional power. Job descriptions, for example, require junior workers to report to managers and give managers the power to assign duties to their juniors. For positional power to be exercised effectively, the person wielding it must be deemed to have earned it legitimately.

An example of legitimate power is that held by a company's CEO. Expert power Knowledge is power. Expert power is derived from possessing knowledge or expertise in a particular area.

Such people are highly valued by organizations for their problem solving skills. People who have expert power perform critical tasks and are therefore deemed indispensable. The opinions, ideas and decisions of people with expert power are held in high regard by other employees and hence greatly influence their actions.

Possession of expert power is normally a stepping stone to other sources of power such as legitimate power.

Informal leaders and expert power

For example, a person who holds expert power can be promoted to senior management, thereby giving him legitimate power. Referent Power Referent power is derived from the interpersonal relationships that a person cultivates with other people in the organization.

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People possess reference power when others respect and like them. Referent power arises from charisma, as the charismatic person influences others via the admiration, respect and trust others have for her. Referent power is also derived from personal connections that a person has with key people in the organization's hierarchy, such as the CEO.

It's the perception of the personal relationships that she has that generates her power over others. Coercive Power Coercive power is derived from a person's ability to influence others via threats, punishments or sanctions.

A junior staff member may work late to meet a deadline to avoid disciplinary action from his boss. Coercive power is, therefore, a person's ability to punish, fire or reprimand another employee.

Coercive power helps control the behavior of employees by ensuring that they adhere to the organization's policies and norms. Reward Power Reward power arises from the ability of a person to influence the allocation of incentives in an organization.

These incentives include salary increments, positive appraisals and promotions. In an organization, people who wield reward power tend to influence the actions of other employees. Reward power, if used well, greatly motivates employees. But if it's applied through favoritism, reward power can greatly demoralize employees and diminish their output.Get the latest international news and world events from Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and more.

See world news photos and videos at In a notable study of power conducted by social psychologists John R. P. French and Bertram Raven in , power is divided into five separate and distinct forms. In Raven revised this model to include a sixth form by separating the informational power base as distinct from the expert power base.

In response to the early criticisms of the trait approach, theorists began to research leadership as a set of behaviors, evaluating the behavior of successful leaders, determining a behavior taxonomy, and identifying broad leadership styles.

David McClelland, for example, posited that leadership takes a strong personality with a well . Mar 02,  · President Xi Jinping, center, with other Chinese leaders at a ceremony in Tiananmen Square last year. He is said to not want to be shackled by an informal retirement rule created by his predecessors.

Exhibit 1: Gardner’s leadership attributes. John Gardner studied a large number of North American organizations and leaders and came to the conclusion that there were some qualities or attributes that did appear to mean that . Power and Leadership: An Influence Process Fred C.

Lunenburg Sam Houston State University concepts of power and leadership are closely linked. Leaders use power as a means of Expert power is based on the extent to which followers attribute knowledge and.

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