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Effective Power Management in Organization

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In organization, power is important element for a leader to planning and implementing rules to ensure organization operation runs smoothly. Effective practices and power use will give a leader some information how an organization operates. It is because the main evaluation of effective leader is through the use of power. With the right use of power, a leader can guide the organization to achieve its goals. Hence the leader must have the proper use of power to enable it to improve the performance of the work team and employees' confidence in it.

In the context of the organization, every interaction, communication and social relationship within an organization will involve the use of power. Through communication, power is streamed through channels designated to be used, expanded, maintained, and enhanced to form norms, goals, and behavioral arrangements. This is the power through communication (Pace and Faules, 1994).

The power will only be free from external elements when it is used within the boundaries of authority, organizational policy, formal procedures and job descriptions. However, when power is used outside of these four aspects, the power used is a political game (Johns, 1996).


Definition of power has different meaning for every person. Have a person who looks power in a positive side and also have person look in negative side. Dalton (1969) look power in positive side, stated power is potential for a person to lead, manage, control, or change others behavior. According to French and Raven (1962) basically power is to control other person behavior.

Schermerhon (1982) stated power has ability to turn something to become strength, but according to Cohen and Fink (1980) power is ability to use the influence. Max Weber defined power as one opportunity that makes a person or some of people to use the advantage that they have for them take action as what they pleased even though have to face rejection from those who involved.    

From negative side power imagined as power threat that invalid to achieve something (Lane, Corwin and Manahan, 1967).

In summary, power can be define as the individual ability to get someone to complete something that they want or the ability to do something according the need the person who holds the power.

3.0        TYPES OF POWER

In organization, the power that exist and can be exercised by a leader divided into five (5) basic power - legitimate powers, rewards, coercive, reference powers, and expert powers. The evidence for the symbol K refers to the person with the power and the symbol B is the person charged with it.

        3.1        Legitimate power

Legitimate powers derive from internal value B by acknowledging that K has a right or lawfully it may use its influence on B within the given task scope and B has to accept direction or influence of K. Therefore, legitimate powers involve code or standards which are well received by individuals in which the leader may demonstrate his power (French and Raven 1959). It also looks like formal authority (Thaimhain and Gemmill, 1974). Legitimate powers are the power of position, that is, the official power obtained by a person from a superior authority through the handing over of power which gives it a position in the organization.

Example 1:        Raja Azizul is assistant principals in Sekolah Rendah Islam Pintar (SRIP). He started holding the post since the year 2007. In 2010, he was promoted to become the principal to replace the retired Noraini Idris. Hence, the legal powers of Raja Azizul as assistant principals were from 2007 to 2010, and the legitimacy of Noraini Idris as principal was transferred to Raja Azizul in 2010.

They accept the power as they think they have ability to maintain the smoothness of organization operation. A leader with a high legitimate authority can influence others easily because they feel that he or she is entitled to do so and to suit his or her position in the organization. The authority shown by lawful request is either verbal or in writing. Polite legitimate use of power is more effective than the use of arrogant legitimate power because polite use of power does not suppress the status gap or denotes subordinate employees depending on their boss. The use of legitimate authority politely does not mean that a leader should appeal or seem apologetic for the use of that power.

The request should be made firmly and confident. But in some situations like anxiety, it is important to be assertive than polite. The proper direction by the leader in the intonation of voice instructions is necessary to surprise subordinate employees to act immediately in the event of an emergency. In this situation, employees relate their confidence and direction with knowledge and authority expertise (Yukl, 1989).

Compliance from demand tends to occur when the request is considered part of the scope of the authority of the leader. Issues involved in the use of this legitimate authority usually relate to unusual requests and requests made for individuals outside the authority of a leader. Legitimate authority may be proved by reference to written documents such as rules, polices, charter, plan contract, or job description (Yukl, 1989). Demand should be made clear, the right way, using a language that is easily understood by the target. When a message is complex, it is better that the message to be sent in writing or in both forms - both verbally and in writing.

Oral requests should be made directly to the target rather than using individuals such as target counterparts. This is because when a target is told to do something extraordinary or unsuitable for subordinates or higher, it is feared that it would be aggravated or doubt whether the order are from the leader or not. Other than that, by using intermediaries in delivering messages verbally can increase the possibility of messing up messages and leader opportunities to see whether the message is received, understood, or otherwise by the target.  It is also important for a leader to avoid a conflict with the target in carrying out instructions or legitimate requests. This is because the leader's authority is seen by other employees and the probability of future rejection increases.

There are times when workers delay to compliance with requests because they want to test whether their leaders are serious or not with such requests or instructions. When the leader does not follow-up on the initial request to see the possibility of compliance, the employee is likely to conclude that the request may be ignored. When it comes to rejection, the leader needs to face the target to find the cause of rejection. By understanding thoughts, concerns, or objections from the targets, it can help the leader to determine the suitability of other communication tactics such as rational persuasion (Yukl, 1989).



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