Five Bases of Power

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Five Bases of Power Desiree McDuffie BCOM/230 August 11, 2014 Hannah Rosette Power is used in every organization especially in leadership type roles. The way a person uses their power varies depending on the organization and the person. There are different bases of power which are coercive power, reward power, legitimate power, expert power, and referent power. This paper will describe each base of power, which bases are formal and informal, and how these bases of power will affect communication in an organization. The first base of power is called coercive power. This type of power is dependent on fear. A person reacts to this power out of fear of the negative results that might occur if that person fails to comply (University of Phoenix, 2009). An example of this type power is if your supervisor tells their employee to do something, and if they refuse, they will be fired. The supervisor would have coercive power over their employee. More than likely the employee will comply because they would not want to risk being fired. The next base of power is called reward power. This type of power is actually the opposite of coercive power. A person with this type of power will reward you with positive benefits when you comply with their wishes or directives (University of Phoenix, 2009). An example of this would be a supervisor rewarding their employee with a raise if they close on a deal. I would imagine that the employee would be motivated to comply in order to reap these positive benefits. The next base of power is called legitimate power. This type of power represents the formal authority to control and use organizational resources. It’s broader than the power to coerce and reward and includes acceptance by members in an organization of the authority of a position (University of Phoenix, 2009). An example of a person with this type of power would be
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