Share
Explore BrainMass

concept of power

1. Discuss the concept of power from both a management and worker perspective and provide some examples.

2. Based on the article "A Strategic Contingencies Theory of Intraorganizational Power," by D. J. Hickson, C. R. Hinings, C. A. Lee, R. E. Schneck, and J. M. Pennings, that appeared in the Administrative Science Quarterly, in 1971, 216-219, explain the power of a group or individual within the work environment. Also discuss any factors that limit the explanatory usefulness of the article.

Solution Preview

1. Discuss the concept of power from both a management and worker perspective and provide some examples.

Management of activities in every company needs exercising of power. According to Asenov, using power potential is actually exercising of power - statement, that is not exactly right and the author himself is the first to oppose it several sentences after. Really, managers' power potential gives them the possibility to exercise power, but when managers use their power potential without getting expected results, in fact there is no exercising of power. (Kamenov and others, p. 239) In this case, the asymmetry of dependence, evolving from the power potential, apparently is not enough to overcome the resistance of the dependent side.

There is an opinion that company management exercises three types of power - deep, but narrow (resources tend to maximum, but the responsibilities are limited), shallow, but wide (resources incline towards minimum, but responsibilities involve stages from the beginning till the end of the managerial process), and absolute power (maximum deep and wide). This classification could include fourth type of power - minimum shallow and narrow, when the manager works upon specific managerial tasks, insignificant part of the whole managerial process, with minimum resources. This situation could be often observed in bureaucratic organisations and when upper managers are with authoritarian style. From the point of view of power effectiveness, it is a more favourable situation than exercising shallow and wide power. Favourability evolves from the fact that there is a correspondence between the two characteristics (limited power potential corresponds to limited by scale managerial tasks). In other words, the power potential is enough to follow the objectives and to execute certain managerial functions.

Besides the nature of tasks and objectives, the problem of sufficiency of managers' power potential concerns the power potential of the subordinate. Kamen Kamenov has the right to say that "if a concentration of power exists at the higher levels, it would be at the expense of power at lower levels of management and vise versa - more power at the lower levels decreases the quantity of power in the central management body" (Kamenov and others, p. 255). This means that besides the higher positions, the lower positions have certain possibilities for impact. And even more - Kamenov supposes ...

Solution Summary

Discuss the concept of power from both a management and worker perspective and provide some examples.

$2.19