Power and Dependence Essay

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Power and Dependence

Mary A. Wensel

Western Governors University










This essay will examine the company scenario provided in order to describe the instances in which one of the five bases of power are evident, as well as, characterize the parallel between power and dependency.

Reward power is the first example of one of the five bases of power used in the scenario. This base of power offers a beneficial outcome to the person willing to perform as instructed. In this instance Employee 1 is offered a large bonus if able to earn a superior rating on his or her annual review. With this incentive Employee 1 works late and on weekends to be certain tasks are correct and on time.  

Legitimate power is exhibited by employee 1’s manager. This base of power is given to someone based on their position in an organization. The marketing manager has this power due his managerial title.

Employee 2 represents the next base of power in the scenario, expert power. This power is established by a person’s unique abilities or expertise. Employee 2 is the only certified public accountant in the accounting department; this certification gives him or her expert power. Employee 2 has used this advantage to obtain an exclusive work schedule, which no other employee in the accounting department is allowed.

Coercive Power is also displayed by Employee 2, this power uses the threat of unfavorable consequences should the dependent party not cooperate. The accounting department manager is forced to comply with Employee 2’s schedule demands because not doing so could have negative repercussions.  

The last of the five bases of power portrayed in the scenario is referent power. Referent power is influence allowed to a person who has coveted resources or personal characteristics. People are attracted to Employee 3’s personality; he or she has a positive attitude and a dynamic charm. Employee 3 is able to incite enthusiasm in his or her colleagues and has...

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