Power, Politics and Culture

Power, Politics and Culture

Jimauis Glover

Strayer University

May 24, 2018


The ability of an individual or group to create or have an impact on others can be termed as power. The person with power in an organization or group has the ability to distribute promotions, funds as well as other rewards valued by the others. The person holding power can also punish people in the group or organization when they do not conduct themselves in line with the set regulations. Another group of people that may have a great impact on fellow employees is the top employees in an organization who are able to create a significantly good amount of business for the organization.

On the other side of power, we usually have politics. It is usually common knowledge that where politics are involved, the only reputation kept on individuals is mainly negative. The reason for this is because the majority of the people playing politics try to advance their personal agenda as opposed to working for the interests of others. They are also manipulative and use unethical tactics and means to achieve their interests, therefore, displaying negative and selfish behaviors. Despite all that, politics is also a part of power as the key players of politics have power which although is rewarding should be used ethically to advance the goals of a group or company as opposed to advancing personal goals (Atwood, M. 2018).

The Influence of Politics and Powers

Power and politics impact both long and short-term decisions of a business and are therefore considered as one of the many factors that greatly influence the success of a business. The impact of the owner’s power in a business establishment is determined mainly by the kind of politics showed or played by the employees of the business. Majority of the huge decisions made by people in power in a company are mainly influenced by a particular politic and the impact on the culture of the company hugely. Power can be negative or positive depending on its impact on the company. When the power is positive within a company, high performing employees are appointed to supervise the other workers, the productivity of employees is rewarded and as a result, the employees are motivated to work harder and also have confidence in their work. Appointed supervisors are able to get power by ensuring effective communication with their subordinates as well as respect when working together and this consequently brings about improved productivity. The organizations that take positive power seriously have an easy chain of command as well as easy policies and cultures making it easier for junior employees to find answers they seek and focus more on delivering quality services while collaborating to improve services where necessary and as a result conflicts are greatly minimized.

Negative power, on the other hand, is whereby the people in power completely disregard the needs of other employees as well as disrespects them. This will eventually lead to lower productivity especially because the people in power operate through threatening their subordinates, punishing them as well as favoritism, therefore, making it hard to recognize and appreciate hard work. The policies that are made in this scenario create a negative working environment full of wrangles, conflicts, dishonesty as well as unethical issues within the company resulting to poor customer service (Seperich, G. 2006).

Sources of Powers

There are various sources of power which include:

In the United Airlines case, there is a need to establish a new culture in a bid to give the company a new identity. There is a need for the company to control its human resources department as well as its customer service programs. As a matter of fact, the company’s main focus should be on hiring interns especially for critical positions that have direct contact between employees and clients. The employees in the said positions should believe in the cultural practices of the company in order to lead other staff as well as their teams into following the culture of the company. Upholding the cultures of the company will lead to improved customer service as well as customer awareness of the company’s image and products. The customers, as a result, have higher confidence in the services offered by the company and they appreciate that as well (Atwood, M. 2018).

  1. Legitimate power- this is acquired when an individual occupies a position in a particular hierarchy, for example, a chief executive officer. A person with legitimate power is allowed to delegate duties and responsibilities to his or her subordinates and they report directly to him. He or she is also allowed to fire, hire, suspend as well as make other critical decisions on behalf of the organization (Atwood, M. 2018).
  2. Expert power- a person gains expert power by possessing exemplary knowledge in a particular area. People with expertise in a particular area within an organization are considered indispensable and are held in high esteem by their colleagues.
  3. Referent power- this kind of power is acquired based on an individual’s interpersonal relationships with his or her colleagues within the organization. The individual has a charisma that makes him or her earns the respect and admiration of his colleagues.
  4. Coercive power- a person is able to gain coercive power through influencing others using threats. In as much as threats are not appealing to anyone, this type of power pushes staff to work harder to improve the quality of their work and meet set deadlines so that they escape disciplinary actions from their supervisors.
  5. Reward power- workers are given incentives in terms of bonuses, salary increase as well as promotions in this kind of power. The people owning reward power control the workers since they motivate them to work harder and improve their work output. Caution, however, should be exercised since there is a blurry line between this power and favoritism (Bacon, T. 2011).
  6. Leadership Behavior and Culture

Leadership Influence

Leadership is influenced when a person or group of people carry themselves in a particular manner in a bid to change the behaviors of other people or groups around them. There are various types of influence which include:

Most of the times, the behavior of staff in an organization is determined by the organization’s culture. The employees are guided by beliefs in knowing and differentiating right from wrong. Company culture involves the values, assumptions, practices, and beliefs of the company. Leaders should influence their followers or subordinates positively in order to promote consistency in organizational behavior as well as reduce conflicts within the organization consequently improving the working environment (Bacon, T. 2011).

  1. Silent authority- this influence is usually of the highest authority in an organization and it does not demand influence.
  2. Assertiveness- it involves managers using vocal confrontation in an attempt to adjust or change the behaviors of employees.
  3. Persuasion- in this type of influence managers try to use logic, facts, and reason to persuade staff to improve service delivery.
  4. Executive Summary

    In conclusion, power, politics, and culture have a direct impact on a company’s success and productivity and it is, therefore, essential to come up with strategies that will be aimed at giving the company identification. Identification of a company can be defined as a culture as it outlines what defines the company and the policies it stands for as well as decisions to be made. It is important to select the right people who have an excellent relationship with fellow employees and has expert power for the right position. This ensures the company moves in the right direction and guarantees the success of the company as a result of improved productivity, motivated staff, improved relationship between subordinates and management and finally increased output with low costs of production as innovativeness is embraced (Seperich, G. 2006).


    Atwood, M., & Zwicky, J. (2018). Power politics: Poems.

    Bacon, T. R. (2011). The elements of power: Lessons on leadership and influence. New York: AMACOM American Management Association.

    Seperich, G. J., & McCalley, R. W. (2006). Managing power and people. Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe, Inc.