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Forms of Power and Public Institutions

1. Research the following forms of power: legitimate, coercive, expert, personal. Identify ways power is used in the health care policy development process.

2. What forms of power are typically used in public institutions? Private? Grassroots? Non-profit? Government?

3. Define "think tanks." What role do these play in institutions?

4. As a health care administrator, what form of power do you identify the most with or tend to use?

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I. Legitimate power is power bestowed in virtue of a person's status, position or role.

II. Coercive power is granted due to the power holder's ability to punish; it is rooted in fear or at the very least, perceived fear.

III. Expert power is related to possessing the knowledge and skill that is not only valuable to the power holder, but is also valuable to others; it is the basis for collaboration and for advocacy.

IV. Personal power is power derived in virtue of who a person is rather than the acquired roles or characteristics they hold.

2. What forms of power are typically used in public institutions?

Since public institutions are of the government, in that they are government subsidized, both public and government institutions utilize a combination of legitimate and coercive power. The primary form of power used in the government as well as the institutions, programs, and initiatives established by it is coercive power. Ultimately, human beings allow certain aspects of their lives to be regulated by an authoritative body in light of that body's ability to publicly reprimand and issue punishment. In addition, the government has the resources to enforce the punishments granted. Though "coercive power" sounds pejorative, it is important to keep in mind that in democratic societies, the public chooses to establish such a system to ensure positive ...

Solution Summary

The forms of power and public institutions are examined.