Reviewing My Old Organizational Behaviour Textbook

Last week at the beginning of the first ENTR 3110 class, we had a little discussion about the worse job you had, and everyone talked about their worse job. There are certainly some undesirable jobs are on the board; however, I only had a one real job so far, and it is not a bad one. Therefore, I shared with the class a part of the job or one aspect of the job that bugs me. I said: “people changed when they get promoted.” Be more precisely, people who you used to work with, began to talk to you differently after he or she get promoted.

For the purpose of my first blog experience, I begin to put some thoughts into this “how people change after promotion” then I decided to go back to my old [Cover]organizational behavior textbook and browse through the chapters specially after our “instructor” (professor) suggested.  As I browsing through the contents pages, chapter 15 “Power And Politics” stands out the most. It came to me that the old saying: money and power change people. If that it is so, power must be what changes people after one get promoted although I do acknowledge that the OB textbook does not talk too much about money.

Right the way the textbook explains what is Power in Organizational Behavior. In short, Power is the ability to influence other people. Further more, there are two kinds of powers in an organization, “Position Power” and “Personal Power.” There are six types of position power and three for the personal power. (page 299-302)

Position Power

Personal Power

1.          Legitimate Power

1.          Expert Power

2.          Reward Power

2.          Rational Persuasion

3.          Coercive Power

3.          Referent Power

4.          Process Power

5.          Information Power

6.          Representative Power

After reviewing both position and personal powers, it is logical to assume that the power would change someone, whom received a promotion would most likely to be under the position section since a promotion is an upward shift of position in the organization. After, carefully reading each of the Position Power, the first four power could easily affect the behavior of the person who received the promotion. For example, Rewarding Power allows one to administer rewards; on the other hand, Coercive Power grant the power holder to disturbing punishments or denying rewards. The organization creates the positions with administration power intended to build structures and system in order to improve efficiency. However, as a side effect that it will be difficult for the individual not to be influence by the powers that was established by the position since any future implication of reward or punishment might create inevitable conflicts or affects personal relation.

Lastly since this is my first blog and I do have the option to edit or remove it in the future, I would like express some of personal view. Instead of pointing finger at the creation of a hierarchy system which is isolating people at work place, is it not the individual’s decision as well? I would purpose that some people might just give up personal power, such as Expert Power and Rational Persuasion, once he or she gain the Power of Position. Since it is “so much” easier to just tell people what to do, it is not worth the time and efforts to encourage workers to implement what the supervisor think is actually the right thing to do.

Reference

  • Schermerhorn, J. R. (2005). Organizational behaviour. Mississauga, Ont: J. Wiley & Sons Canada.
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