Managing Organization

In: Business and Management

Submitted By stayalive13
Words 492
Pages 2
9/10/2012

Managing Organizations

Authority

Authority: What Is It?
• Power is the ability to influence others, wherever they are.
– Many bases of power (persuasion, coercion, reward, charisma, expertise, …)

• Leadership implies “Downward” Power (that is, there are “followers” being influenced)
– Also can rely on many bases of power

• Authority is also “downward”, but is based more narrowly on the “Legitimate Right” to give orders (unlike leadership).

1

9/10/2012

Where does this Legitimate Right come from?
• Answer: from Subordinates
– Authority depends on obedience of subordinates
• subordinates abdicate choice; they hold in abeyance his/her own critical faculties for choosing among alternatives.

– This in turn is dependent on the subordinate’s “Zone of Acceptance”
• that zone of behaviors that the subordinate accepts as those which the authority holder has the right to tell him/her to do

And, what does this Zone of Acceptance depend on?
1. Individual differences
• Some people have wider zones than others Organizations “teach” people what the appropriate zone of acceptance is Some cultures pre-dispose its members to have wider zones than others, or to cover different classes of behaviors than others

2. Socialization


3. Cultural differences


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So, how powerful is Authority by itself?
• People in positions of authority often have other bases of power at their disposal to induce compliance
– e.g., coerce, reward, persuade, promote, fire, use sheer personality (charisma)…



What if you were to strip away all these other bases of power from an authority position? How much power is left?

Thought experiment:
• Suppose I were to command you to:
1. 2. 3. 4. Work on a project this weekend? Work on a team of people you didn’t like? Do something unethical for the company? Do something that would…...

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