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The Behavioural response

The Behavioural response is emphasised further as coercion brings alienative compliance, people do not want to but have to do something as they fear the consequences, they are not happy. Calculation/instrumental compliance makes people decide whether or not it is worth their while. Calculation/cognitive commitment is through persuasion. Lastly, moral commitment response is one of willingness to conform and appeals to people’s beliefs Managers need to identify and use power to influence behaviour and need to consider what power they have, i. e. knowledge, economical, physical or normative.

Is it personal or positional, do they have the knowledge or have access to it and what is the most appropriate form of influence over people. How it will be perceived and what is the likely response from people are crucial factors. Acquiring power requires considering a few things. Firstly access to scarce resources, secondly enhancing positional power by controlling strategic contingencies (Hickson 1980). This is the capacity to deal with others problems or uncertainties which come from knowledge and resources the manager may have. People could be very reliant on the IT department, which is seen to be powerful due to their expertise.

Kotter (1985) states Personal power can be enhanced by creating

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informal dependencies through building a reputation as an instant expert and source of power. Also by influencing others wants and convincing people that you can solve their problems. Another way is by fostering identification, by getting along with people well and getting them to like you. Lastly through favours, you can create a dependency on you because you have done something for them. Managerial authority exists where the manager’s power or influence are perceived as legitimate and where the manager manages by consent.

This is very important because it produces an enduring response, creates trust, encourages flexibility and evokes commitment, which is a prerequisite of work. It is bad to coerce people. It is far more effective to manage by approval. This will result in people being committed to you and will do what you ask for even when you are not there. People will trust you. Problems and complexities and obstacles will be solved. The overall quality of work improves. Managerial power resources typically are positional economic power, personal knowledge power and positional knowledge power.

The first can be having access to budgets and resources. The second can be technical knowledge, skills and experience and thirdly having access to information and expertise. Management power however is problematic as it is often difficult to establish a manager’s authority. Whether it is economic or knowledge, calculative responses from people to offers of reward or attempts to persuade causes problems. Resources are finite, they do not last forever. If you can generate emotional commitment that lasts longer. Fox describes the view that some see managers as non-legitimate.

Countervailing power may be held by subordinates and they have the power to stop what they do. To Conclude Managers have to build their authority and legitimacy. They can use their charisma and charms if possible or try to shape others perceptions and get people to believe it’s acceptable. Changing the way the organisation is run by giving people resources both knowledge and economic so they can do their job, empowering other people and give them resources so that they can do their job well will result in accomplishing something at work.

Power, influence and responses are multi dimensional. Effective use of power and influence requires awareness of power resources, influence and probable responses. Managers can accomplish something at work far better by sharing economic power, knowledge power and normative power and create trust amongst people and themselves which results in effective co operation and achievement of goals. Power is not the capacity to get people to do things; it is the capacity to empower others with what they believed they could never do. This results in an effective and happy workplace.

Managers authority cannot be taken for granted but needs to be built by reducing the reliance on individual power over others and giving greater emphasis to collective power to achieve something. Instead of power over employees which has been used by managers in the past, it is far more effective to share with them economic power, knowledge power and normative power to meet the goals and create a system of institutionalised trust. It is unfortunately seen by many as a paradox that managers may strengthen their authority by sharing.

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