Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Power 11

In the last byte, we looked at which sort of power would suit which kind of membership. In today's byte, we look at Kanter's symbols of power.

Organizational charts though depict authority, generally do not tell much about who has power. One of the attempts to understand this was by Kanter. Kanter provides the following characteristics of powerful people in organizations.
  1. Ability to intercede for someone in trouble
  2. Ability to get placements for favored employees
  3. Exceeding budget limitations
  4. Procuring above average raises for employees
  5. Getting items on the agenda at meetings
  6. Access to early information
  7. Having top managers seek out their opinions
We can clearly identify an active, other directed element of power in all the above. One could use these symbols to identify powerful people in organizations.
Aligned to this, Kanter also identifies some of the characteristics of powerless people. One way to overcome powerlessness is to share power and delegate decision making authority to employees.

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