We’re taking a look at the problem right now. With downward power, a company’s superior influences subordinates. When a company exerts upward power, it is the subordinates who influence the decisions of their similarities between power and authority pdf or leaders.
At one extreme, it closely resembles what an English-speaking person might term “influence”, although some authors distinguish “influence” as a means by which power is used. According to French and Raven, power must be distinguished from influence in the following way: power is that state of affairs which holds in a given relationship, A-B, such that a given influence attempt by A over B makes A’s desired change in B more likely. A and B each apply to their relationship, and, interestingly, requires B’s recognition of a quality in A which would motivate B to change in the way A intends. A must draw on the ‘base’ or combination of bases of power appropriate to the relationship, to effect the desired outcome.
Drawing on the wrong power base can have unintended effects, including a reduction in A’s own power. French and Raven argue that there are five significant categories of such qualities, while not excluding other minor categories. Also called “positional power,” it is the power of an individual because of the relative position and duties of the holder of the position within an organization. Legitimate power is formal authority delegated to the holder of the position.
A person may be admired because of specific personal trait, and this admiration creates the opportunity for interpersonal influence. Here the person under power desires to identify with these personal qualities, and gains satisfaction from being an accepted follower. For example, soldiers fight in wars to defend the honor of the country. This is the second least obvious power, but the most effective. Advertisers have long used the referent power of sports figures for products endorsements, for example. The charismatic appeal of the sports star supposedly leads to an acceptance of the endorsement, although the individual may have little real credibility outside the sports arena.
Abuse is possible when someone that is likable, yet lacks integrity and honesty, rises to power, placing them in a situation to gain personal advantage at the cost of the group’s position. Referent power is unstable alone, and is not enough for a leader who wants longevity and respect. When combined with other sources of power, however, it can help a person achieve great success. Unlike the others, this type of power is usually highly specific and limited to the particular area in which the expert is trained and qualified. When they have knowledge and skills that enable them to understand a situation, suggest solutions, use solid judgment, and generally out perform others, then people tend to listen to them.