Why is power important in an organisation?

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Michael Koren eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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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...

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krishna-agrawala | Student

In organizational context, the term power refers to the ability of individuals to influence the conduct or activities of others. People in an organization draw such power from many sources such as formal authority defined by organizational structure and policies, expert knowledge and skill, ability to control resources, and interpersonal skills.

Power is essential for smooth functioning of any organization. An organization usually consists of many people and the activities of these people need be channelled and coordinated in particular ways to achieve the organizational objectives. To do this most important is the power exercised by managers over their subordinates to direct and control their activities. However, members of organization also exercise power in some form or other over their peers and superiors also.

Power is important for organizations in another ways also. Power may be exercised by individual and groups of individual to achieve their personal objectives, in ways that may interfere with achievement of organizational objectives. Therefore it is important to understand the nature of such such power and regulate it. It is best if ways can be found to channelise such power to assist in achievement of organizational goal. When that is not possible, at least it must be kept in check to minimize negative impact on achievement of organizational objectives.

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