Strategic Management Using Power

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“Strategic management using power” can be away to be a more effective leader in an organization. Managers can use power in a strategic way to lead within the organization. Power is useful because it allows managers to influence the workers. Once influenced, the workers will do what is necessary to meet organizational objectives.

Power can be broken down into multiple types, and managers can use any of these types to achieve operational success. Some of the types include; reward power, coercive power, legitimate power, expert power and referent power.

First, managers should have reward power. The manager needs the power to provide financial rewards for work performed. In addition, the manager needs to be able to provide non-financial rewards, such as have the control to change the nature and type of the work that one does. Both of these rewards are very effective in controlling the influence to the workers.

Second, managers should have coercive power. To some people, the word “coercive” can be a bit confusing. The simple definition states that it means, using force or threats to make someone do something. Now with this definition in mind, “coercive” doesn’t seem to sound very “managerial”. However, the terms “coercive power” do belong in the manager’s toolset. This form of power refers to the ability of the manager to maintain their ability to discipline employees. Employees must believe and know that inappropriate behaviour or poor performance has consequences.

Third, managers should have legitimate power. When a manager works as part of an organization, they have power by the mere fact that they are working in an official capacity for an organization. For example, a president has legitimate power over a vice president. Many subordinates do not enjoy taking directions or being controlled by someone who exerts this kind of power. Subordinates would much rather be influenced based on other forms of power.

Fourth, managers should have referent power. This type of power deals with doing favours for people, being nice to people, and complimenting when the opportunity arises. It is an easier form of power, than other forms of power. By leaving a positive impression on others, it creates good will that can be later used to influence others towards certain goals.

Fifth, managers should have expert power. This type of power is one of the hardest types of power to obtain and maintain. Mastering expert subjects can require intensive study, ongoing professional updating, and a good memory. Managers that are able to attain expert knowledge can then wield a great deal of power.


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