Five Bases of Power: Coercive, Reward, Legitimate, Expert, and Referent

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Power is everywhere; in organizations, relationships, businesses, government, education, et cetera. Power is defined as a capacity that X has to persuade the behavior of Y so that Y acts according to X's wishes (Robbins & Judge, 2007). Power is essential because without it, organization and leadership effectiveness is eliminated within the confounds of the given relationship. A dependency is Y's relationship to X when X possesses something that Y requires (Robbins & Judge, 2007). In essence, there are five bases of power: Coercive power, Reward power, Legitimate power, Expert power, and Referent power (Robbins & Judge, 2007). The scenario exemplifies each power and how each is used. The scenario also illustrates the dependency …show more content…
He is reminding employee one, and other members of the department, of the yearly monetary bonus for earning and receiving a superior rating on their annual evaluation. He is using reward power as a basis of motivating his employees to work beyond the normal requirements. Employee one and his colleagues in turn push harder than they would without the marketing manager’s ability to reward his subordinates, including employee one.
Legitimate power is the power an individual receives because of his or her position in the formal hierarchy of the organization (Robbins & Judge, 2007). Both the marketing manager and the accounting manager possess legitimate power. They both have the position of a higher hierarchy within their respective departments. Both are bosses or supervisors, are positioned at a higher hierarchy within their departments, and are able to motivate their respective subordinates because of their hierarchy position within the organization.
Expert power is influence based on special skills and knowledge that others do not have (Robbins & Judge, 2007). Employee two in the scenario is an undeniable example of expert power. Employee two has expert power because he is the only certified public accountant (CPA) in the accounting department at company A. Employee two is also the only employee who is able to prepare the company’s financial statements. These two facts give employee two expert power because no one else in the department is able

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