Why is power important in an organisation?

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In the context of any organisation, be it a company, a charity, or a hobby group, the word "power" refers to management. Since the question was filed under the business category, I will discuss the importance of management within the context of a company.

Without management, there would be no...

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In the context of any organisation, be it a company, a charity, or a hobby group, the word "power" refers to management. Since the question was filed under the business category, I will discuss the importance of management within the context of a company.

Without management, there would be no one to determine what the right course of action would be in any scenario. To demonstrate why power is so important in the context of a business, I will mention five points.

Firstly, without management structures in place, there would be no one to make decisions about hiring new staff. This means that the the company's growth would be hindered.

Secondly, on the flip side of that coin, there would be no one to make decisions about disciplinary matters and to decide what constituted undesirable behavior or offenses for which staff members could be fired.

Thirdly, with no management structure, there would be no one to determine what stock needed to be ordered and what needed to be done in order to keep the business running.

Fourthly, having no management would mean that staff members are not held accountable. In this scenario, it is very likely that little to no work would get done, and this would ultimately lead to the failure of the business.

Lastly, with no one designated to solve disputes, internal conflicts within the company would skyrocket.

In a nutshell, power—provided that it is not abused—is critical for the operation of any successful business.

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Power is important for any organization. When a person has power, that individual has the ability to make something happen. If managers had no power, employees could easily ignore their directives, but since managers can impact a person’s employment or salary, workers are more likely to follow their directives.

Let’s take a look at a local public school district in the state of Wisconsin. The school board sets the policies for the school, and an administrative team, consisting of at least a superintendent, principal, and business manager, is hired to help formulate and articulate the policies of the school board. The teachers are the people who are most likely going to implement the policies and directives that come from the administration. Since the principal and/or superintendent has the power to give directives and to enforce their implementation, a teacher must follow those directives or risk losing his or her job, being suspended, or being denied a future pay raise or promotion. Without sufficient power to carry out administrative directives, the administration would be subject to the whims of the teachers. If teachers could pick and choose what policies they would and wouldn’t implement and not have to be worried about the consequences of their decisions, there would likely be a very disorderly environment within the school and little may get accomplished.

Power is a way to keep people in line, and it sets up a chain of command within an organization. Power also allows for the mission of an organization to be implemented.

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Power is important in an organization because it helps to accomplish one's objectives. The more power an individual or group of individuals within any particular organization wields, the more influence it will have and the more it will achieve. That is the point of pursuing power: control one's environment and dictate outcomes.

Power within an organization can be accumulated in a number of ways. The owner of a business, obviously, has more influence in that company's operations than the employees. A famous comic strip, The Wizard of Id, once ran a cartoon that included an exchange between peasants responding to the notoriously narcissistic king's exclamation to "remember the golden rule." When one peasant asks, "What's that," another responds, "Whoever has the gold, makes the rules." That is how life works. Money is power, and whoever has the money wields far more influence than those who do not. Warren Buffet and Bill Gates enjoy a degree of influence in America out of proportion to their percentage of the nation's population simply because their business successes helped them to amass enormous wealth. That wealth, in turn, provides them the ability to influence public affairs. Financial contributions to favored causes helps such individuals to affect outcomes. The ability to affect outcomes is power. 

Within organizations, absent power, one's ability to influence operations or policies is severely limited. Moral authority will only get someone so far. The more power an individual secures, the more likely he or she will achieve his or her objectives.

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On many levels, power is extremely important in terms of providing direction and assisting in the management process.  When examining it from the top down elements, power and authority can help to give structure to an organization, assist employees in performing better, and allow short and long term goals to be articulated and reached.  The charting of an organization's success can be largely dependent on top down directives.  On another level, power coming from the bottom up can also be important.  Such a conception of power can help to give voice to workers and those whose voice might be marginalized.  Individuals who can collectivize from the bottom up can advocate for rights and articulate a responsive vision that organizations must appropriate in the process of striving for success and sustainability.

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