Power Essay

essay on power is power

The Power Of Power : Character And Power

Introduction “Character is power.” Reflecting on the quote from Booker T. Washington, our character is essential to maintaining balance with power and power reveals the character. What is character? The Oxbridge dictionary describes character as, “the mental and moral qualities distinctive to an individual. strength and originality in a person's nature. a person's good reputation.” Power comes from the Greek word for power is “dunamis, physical power, force, might,” as defined by the Strong Concordance

Power Of Power In Hrotswitha

In Hrotswitha’s plays, there was a common theme of power and how it impacted the characters in her stories. Both in Callimachus and Dulcitius, she revealed the importance of faith and believing in the power of God. The most prominent idea that she depicted was the powers of gender and coercion. By the end of the plays, the three sisters, Drusiana, and Callimachus were no longer subjected to the trials of the devil, men, status, or wealth because they realized that God was the ruler of all. One of

Power Of Power In Othello

represents freedom. Presidents represent power. The cross represents faith. All of these objects and people have certain tasks assigned to them, requirements that are expected of them. But the symbols and experiences these objects and people represent would be nothing without words. Words make the destruction of a hurricane devastating to those living hours away. Words coalesce with music notes, bringing encouragement and praise. Words make the ideas of freedom, power, and faith attainable and life-changing

Power And Influence Of Power

Power and Influence Power and influence go together because power is influence. There is no greater power than having the ability to influence an individual, group of people, or situation. Leaders, followers and the situation can have influence and obtain power at some point. There are five sources of leader power that are used. These sources have been used in situations that I have personally handled. I have also seen these used, by observing some of my leaders. I will review these sources and situations

Power And Influence In Interpersonal Power

explanation were used to analyze how power and influence assigned and lost, when they originally come from and how to use power and influence tactics in interpersonal relationship and modern organizations. Theories, studies, figures, researches and examples of modern politicians were provided to support the analysis of power and influence. Overall, power is the ability to influence others values and behavior while influence tactics are the specific method to change them. Power is formed personally and positionally

Putin 's Power Of Power

been able to build up his power in a variety of ways throughout his political career. Even throughout power struggles, Putin had been able to prevail. What does Putin have to attribute to his rise in power, was it luck or strategy? Well according to the rhetoric of Gerschewski, there isn’t simply one solid reason or force behind the stability of an autocratic regime. Gerschewski wrote, “Today’s autocracies cannot rely (at least in the long term) entirely on their abuse of power in a strictly hierarchal

The Power Of Power In The Bonfire Of The Vanities

Power is the ability to act on your own accord without any consequences to your own well-being. Additionally, it is the ability to influence the actions of the people around you in a way that benefits you. The influence that power grants is one that allows a person to take control of their life, and because of this, obtaining and holding power has been a basic desire of all humans since the beginning of civilization. Power and its influence are clear components of the novel The Bonfire of the Vanities

The Power Of Power In Lord Of The Flies

How Is Power Held In Lord Of The Flies C.G. Jung states, “There is no coming into consciousness without pain. People will do anything, no matter how absurd, in order to avoid facing their own soul. One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the dark conscious.” Lord Of The Flies shows how savage and absurd a group of young boys can get. It shows how boys can lose control of themselves when they lose an adult figure.The two main sources of power in Lord Of The

Positional Power Vs. Personal Power

10/22/2017 Power Question: Is Positional power more effective in organizational vs personal power. Looking at the topic of power I shall analyzed two theories between positional power and personal power. Collected compared the usage of both power theories and see which is more effective in an organizational. See how I can related my positional in my organization and to improve my personal power in my daily life working in my organization. Positional power One can say that Positional power is a tool

The Five Bases Of Power And Personal Power

Introduction Power in the social dimension is simply the capacity to bring about certain intended consequences in the behaviour of others (Gardner, 1993). So, who have a power and control it? French and Raven (1959) purposed five bases of the power and divided to position power and personal power. Leadership is a process whereby an individual influences a group of individuals to achieve a common goal (Northouse, 2010). How can the leader use their power and influence the subordinate with a great

Power Of Conflict

and resources are semi-interdependent because the if someone believes a specific resource to be scarce, they will engage in conflict with another party whom they believe to possess that resource. Power is something intangible that someone holds that gives them authority over someone or something. Power is present in every relationship; between friends it is usually equal, between

Power In Housing

it existed, power has affected how society was run, and has created with its existence the concept of the powerful and the powerless, or those who comparatively has less power than the former group. That the powerful has the ability to exert dominance over the powerless may be obvious and even readily accepted. However, it is important to realize that power also plays a role in less obvious ways, and that these ways are often just as detrimental, if not more so, than the impacts of power that may arise

The Power Of Stetko

As humans we are naturally predisposed to have a compulsion for power and control. Knowing that you are in charge comes with feelings of authority and influence. Getting to a position of supremacy can be difficult; many use means of assault in order to get the power that they crave. Violence is also widely used as means for revenge and to take back the power that was stolen. Violence in this manner is not only presented in physical form but can also take the form of sexual or verbal assault. Situations

The Power Dstance

Power Distance Power Distance is one of Hofstede’s dimensions which is used to measure how the difference in power between the people is seen in a country. A country that has a high power distance is one where people are considered superior according to their gender, status, education, race, or family background. A good example of this dimension is India, mainly because of their caste system and females being looked down upon. Indian population is split into 5 groups, and each group has a separate

Powers Of Powers

Event: Constitutions of the World Part I: Powers of Branches, Powers granted/denied to government. Comparison of the US and Denmark After all, there was a reason why the framers of the Constitution of the United States regulated the powers of the branches of government, and also granted and denied powers to the government. In terms of powers to the branches, the framers wanted to have three separate branches of government with their individual powers, working together to form a more synchronized

Notes On Sources Of Power

Sources of Power in my Life Experience is a key to knowledge. It is a type of power one can simply acquire by observing, encountering, or either undergoing an event. It is a type of power that I have used throughout my life. Expert power. The process of experiencing is when one obtains a skill or a piece of knowledge from an event in their life which can later be utilized in their life. As we gain experience, we become experts in a specific role to which we can help others meet their goals.

Power In A Dystopian Society

Power is used in various forms all over society. It is the ability to have control over others however this ability can be cherished or abused. With great power comes great responsibility, misusing this power causes distress. My chosen four texts explore the connection of how the abuse of power by higher authority causes innocent to be victimized. I will be showing these connections from two different perspectives. In the Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins and 2081 by Chandler Tuttle which are both

Power Struggle In Literature

Power Struggles “A measure of a man is what he does with power.” These wise words were once said by the classical greek philosopher Plato, and can be applied to our society and fictional societies to this day. In literature, it can be applied to the societies of “Lamb to the Slaughter” by Roald Dahl, “Ponies” by Kij Johnson, and “Honor to Us All” from Disney’s Mulan. Marxism (the theory that is used to look at conflicts and imbalances of power in literature/societies) and Feminism (the study/advocacy

Mayella Ewell's Power

someone can be powerful is class power, class means a set or category of things having some property or attribute in common and differentiated from others by kind, type, and or quantity. This is when the person uses their class in a way for others to feel bad for them, tricking them into getting what they want. Mayella Ewell from Harper Lee’s novel To Kill A Mockingbird is a young girl that wrongfully says that a black man, Tom Robinson, raped her. She uses her power to make the court and many others

Power And Control Issues

Within a person’s life there are many instances of major change as well as power and control issues. These impact on a person in many ways, however it is difficult to choose one instance and state that “due to that event I am now…” this is because change occurs gradually and while we are impacted by events an individual cannot state that all behaviours arose from the one event. The event may have impacted the person in a significant way and the person’s behaviour changed by these behaviours, however

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essay on power is power

Essay On Power Of Power

Power in the hunger games.

Power is best understood as pursuing freely chosen ends, towards which our actions are oriented and are then commanding the necessary means towards the pursuit of those ends. Power, therefore, is an enabling capacity. The more power one has, the wider is their range of choices that they may realistically pursue (Bauman & May 2001). Bauman & May notes, “To have power, among other things, means to be able to decide what is not important and what should not matter or concern” (120). This definition of power by Zygmunt Bauman and Tim May was chosen because it best relates to the circumstances in The Hunger Games, in which President Coriolanus Snow possesses power over the Capitol and other districts. He is also the leader of the decision makers

Liazos Theory Of Deviance

Deviance can be broadly defined as the transgressions of social norms. It is a concept in sociology that has drawn many different analytical perspectives. This includes perspectives such as the reactivist, normative, statistical and absolutist. In his work, Liazos attempts to define the current state of the field of study by analyzing works of different authors in the field.

Ego Tripping Poem Analysis

The meaning of power is the capacity or the ability to direct or influence the behavior

Comparing Power In Macbeth And The Hunger Games

But first what is Power? When researching Power words such as authority, control, direct, command and influence all appear. These words all support the following statement “Power is the ability to influence and control the behaviour of others.” The problem with power is that it often leads to those in power abusing it. As Lord Acton famously quoted “Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Macbeth

Constitution Guard Against Tyranny Essay

The Checks and Balances are the ways that the three branches of government check each other to make sure each one doesn’t go crazy with power. Legislative Branch checks the Judicial Branch, Judicial Branch checks the Executive Branch, and the Executive Branch checks the Legislative Branch. (Document C). This helps guard against tyranny because each of the branches can check the other one to make sure the branches don’t get too much power.

Power And Influence In The Crucible

Power and influence in society have a huge impact on the way things happen and affects perception. A prime example is the power that presidents and prime ministers have. Given this power they can effectively influence and persuade others. Power and influence is often associated with gender, conflict and roles and relationships. The importance of the power and influence can be thoroughly examined using texts that demonstrate ideas presented as truths. Some of these texts include, The Crucible, Macbeth, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, and many more. The text being examined is The Crucible by Arthur Miller, set in Salem during the 1692 witch trials. The theme of the importance of name will become apparent by studying John Proctor and Abigail

Federalist 10 Analysis

Checks and balances make sure that none of the three branches of government; the legislative branch, the executive branch, and the judicial branch, gain too much power or too little power compared to the other branches.

Analysis Of The Articles Of Confederation Dbq

Ever heard of the Articles of Confederation? Thought not. That’s because within only 8 years of their ratification, they were gotten rid of. This was because, among other things, there were no courts, no national currency, and no taxes. So in May of 1787, 55 men gathered together in Philadelphia to come up with a better plan. They wanted a new form of government that gave power to the people, states, and the federal government. But most importantly, they wanted a government that would prevent tyranny. After 3½ months, they came up with the Constitution. It was meant to establish a Federalist government, spread out power between 3 different branches of government, put in place a system of checks and balances, and give states equal and proportionate

Political Power Dbq

Political and economic are two important power in the history and now. Economic power is the power that is trade and money that is getting traded. Political power is the power to control behavior of people and all the peoples

To Kill A Mockingbird Dbq

What exactly is “power”? Power is the ability to control and have respect in a certain way. In the book, To Kill a Mockingbird, the small town of Maycomb have a trial in which a black man was accused of raping a white woman. But because of her class and gender, Mayella, the woman who claimed rape, lacks power, but her race makes her powerful.

Case Analysis Of Wendy Peterson's Accountback Sales Organization

The capacity the one person has the influence over the other persons such that other persons act in accordance with his/her wishes can be defined as ‘Power’. Conflicts could be both positive and negative. Good conflicts could be encouraged but bad conflicts ought to be prevented.

Power Theory In Organizational Communication

Power is one of the words that holds great effect. It is defined by Webster (2015) as “the ability to control people or things; a person or organization that has a lot of control and influence over other people or organizations”. In general, a person or organization that holds power has authority over others. Thus, power is conceptualized in the organizational communication by critical theorists. For critical theorists, power is the most important concept when it comes to organizational communication. They view power as a “defining, ubiquitous feature of organizational life” (Miller, 2015: 118). Which means that power defines an organization, individual or a group. There are three approaches that help in understanding the concept of power namely, the traditional approach, the symbological approach and the radical critical approach (Miller, 2015: 118). These approaches are explained fully below. Firstly the traditional approach. According to Miller, (2015: 118) the traditional approach “considers power to be a relative entity that people or group possess”, which means that each and every individual, group or organization have power within them.

Essay On Barack Obama's Bases Of Power

Power can be translated to the “ability to influence others” (Agunis, Pierce, & Simonsen, 1998, p. 456). Barack Obama has influenced millions in his lifetime by taking the power he desires to have, from being an attorney, moving up to Illinois State Senator, to becoming a US President for two terms. While he was a Senator in 2004 he was invited to speak at the Democratic National Convention. In his Keynote Address, he expressed different bases of power as he spoke. The bases of power, as explained by Agunis, Pierce, and Simonsen, are reward, coercive, legitimate, referent, and expert. Obama especially exercises three of the bases in his speech, as well as powerful talk. Referent power is considered to be the desire to be associated with the speaker, legitimate power is based off

Three Faces Of Power Theory

understand the 'hidden face' of power as in Steven Lukes' (1974) “three faces of power” it is necessary to explore beyond what initially appears from a policy decision or political standpoint.

Harold D. Lasswell's Definition Of Politics

Undoubtedly politics is “the study of influence and the influential”, there is most certainly truth in Harold D.Lasswell’s definition of politics. Throughout the course of this essay the study of politics will be examined in relation to Laswell’s definition. Furthermore the concept of government and how people influence government action will be looked at. In Lasswell’s book “Politics, Who Gets What, When and How” he clearly outlines the “influential are those who get the most of what there is to get”, in his opinion politics was primarily to do with power and influence. Lasswell’s definition of politics has been in the past supported by prominent political scientists such as Abraham Kaplan and Robert A. Dahl, both men believe the study of politics is largely to do with the use of influence by those who find themselves in influential positions. In their book “Power and Society: an introduction to the social sciences” both Thomas Dye and Brigid Harrison define politics as “the study of power”. One of the Oxford dictionary’s definitions of power is “the capacity or ability to direct or influence the behaviour of others or the course of events”, thus proving there is most certainly a very close link between politics and influence.

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Definition Essay On Power

essay on power is power

Show More Power Corruption Everyday we walk the halls as individuals, minding our own business, but not realizing the amount of weight we carry around. What is that weight, you ask? The weight of power that is, each individual you pass everyday has a power of their own. It’s not exactly the supernatural powers that we see in movies, but instead the power over something or someone in our life. It can be as simple as leading a group discussion in class to as big as leading a whole nation. Usually when we think of power, our first thoughts are of confidence, and optimistic thoughts, but have you ever thought of how maybe too much of the confidence can overrule the positive to a negative. Power is the ability to direct or influence the behavior of others or the course of events. Power increases the confidence, optimism, internal thought, feelings, behavior, and risk taking of a human mind , but it’s not just these characteristics that define a man to be either a good or bad leader. One of our greatest leaders once said “ Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power. ” ( Lincoln 1). The obstacles or difficulties in life can be controlled by a man, but to be given power is one thing to be …show more content… When ‘power’ is thought of it's usually visualized with much reliability, as addiction is usually always related with negligent situations. Just like in any math equation the negative will always overpower the positive. The feeling of power has been compared to the same effect cocaine has on the human brain . It causes a rush that increases the testosterone levels in both men and women. This then leads to a swell in the measure of dopamine, which can be described as the brain's reward system. The more dopamine that is produced the higher leads to a more negative outcome such as arrogance or impatience. In this case it proves that even with such a good feeling it could lead to a bad

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Dictionary, the word power comes from the Anglo-French word poer, meaning to be able. The word power has many definitions that are commonly used in the English language. Power can be defined as the ability to act or produce an effect, have possession of control, authority, or influence, a physical might, an exponent number, and a source of means of supplying energy. According to Merriam Webster Dictionary, a definition of power is the ability to act or produce an effect. Power is measured by the capability…

Definition Essay: The Power Of Fear

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Definition Essay: The Power Of Life

The Power of Life To think about life, and the real meaning behind it, no one really truly knows the meaning of life. There is a dictionary definition of life; the condition that distinguishes animals and plants from inorganic matter, including the capacity for growth, reproduction, functional activity, and continual change preceding death. But people do not go through the same struggles as others, they do not fall in love the same way and they do not grieve the same way. The power of life is how…

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Essay on Power and Influence

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2.1 tactics in influencing, the effectiveness of influence tactics, choosing the best influence tactics, power bases and sources.

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An Useful Essay on Power

essay on power is power


Dominance is a psychological concept as its locus is in the individual. It appears in interpersonal relations. It is a function of personality and temperament. Dominant individuals play roles in powerless informal groups. Power, on the contrary, is a sociological concept. It appears in statuses which the people occupy in formal groups or organisations. Force involves application of sanctions.

Force is manifes­tation of power and not power itself. Power is the ability to employ force, not its ‘actual employment. Power is latent force. Force is manifest power. Unlike force, power is always successful. Power that fails is not power. It has to accumulate, aggregate and augment. Force and influence are its opera­tional and manifest aspects, and provide base to use power.

Power can be formal or informal. Formal power is known as authority. Power is transformed into authority through the formal organisation of human associations. The right to use force is attached to hierarchical statuses in the organisations. Power is formally allocated not to persons but to positions or statuses by specified norms, rules and laws.

Power, thus, is institutionalised as authority which can be exercised by any man occupying that position. As there are informal organisations and groups, informal power and informal authority also exist. Power remains un-institutionalised in informal organisations. It does not take the form of authority. However, authority itself cannot exist without the immediate support of power and the ultimate sanction of force.

Herbert Gold Hammer and Edward A. Shils have stated three major forms of power on the basis of extent to which behaviour is influenced. It is (i) force, (ii) domination, and, (iii) manipulation. In force, one influences the behaviour of individuals by physical manipulation like assault, confinement, etc. In domination, he influences their behaviour by making explicit to others what he wants them to do, such as, by command, request, etc. In manipulation, he influences the behaviour of others without making explicit the behaviour which he thereby wants them to perform, such as, by utilising symbols or performing certain acts as in propaganda. Legitimacy is the ‘right to rule’.

When the subordinated individuals recognise that right, the power exercised by the weilders of power is regarded as legitimate power. In case, it is not recognised by them, but exercised, it becomes coercion. Legitimate power further appears in three major forms. It is legal when the subordinated individuals recognise it on the basis of a belief in the legality of the laws, decrees, and directives given by the power-weilder.

When the recognition of legitimacy rests on a belief in the sanctity of tradi­tions by virtue of which the powerful exercises his power and in the traditional sanctity of the orders which he issues, it becomes traditional legitimacy. Charismatic legitimacy rests on devotion of subordinated individuals to the personal qualities of the powerful.’ A weilder of power whose authority is recognised as legitimate can exercise any form of power, such as, force or domination.

From the viewpoint of the flow of power-relationship, power can be unilateral, bilateral, multilateral, and bargaining. It is unilateral if only one party to that relationship exercises power over the other. When two parties exercise power over each other, it becomes bilateral, as in case of a bargaining event. In multilateral power-relations, many parties mutually try to influence each other’s behaviour. When the power-weilder alters the behaviour of others without bringing in any intermediary, the exercise of power is called direct.

When it is exercised through subordinates or interme­diaries, it is regarded as indirect. From the point of view of control or autonomy, power can be concentrated or diffused. When power is exercised through a large number of subordinate units, it tends to become diffused as the power-weilder is rarely able to exercise control over them. The subordi­nates begin to exercise some amount of independence and take initiative. Power is concentrated when the power-weilder exercises ways and means to have control over it.

Geographical areas also shape form and extent of power. Power spreading over the whole globe or dominant among nations is known as international power. Power of a country may be dominant in some region, and get the status of regional power. Power limited within the territory of a nation is popularly designated as national power. Extent of influences rule, and their comparative weight make powers of various nation-states as super, major, medium, and ordinary. Consequences of the behaviour of power-weilder can be intended or unintended.

As power is social and relational, it is also distributive. Political Science is interested in knowing who gets it, how much, in what way and the bases of its distribution. It cannot be possessed like a thing or commodity. It arises out of relations existing among human beings, called by Lasswell as ‘inter­personal’. If we go deeper, it would appear that ultimately, it, belongs to the areas of human mind – psychological, pathological, even neurotic.

Power can be generated even by withdrawing from it, thereby generating a sense of veneration, loyalty and personal commitment to the powerless power-weilder. In this sense, both Buddha and Gandhi wielded power. When analysed further, we would find that such power is based on similarity of ingrained values, directly or indirectly, operating in the minds of both power-weilders and their followers. In this sense, power requires cooper­ation or non-cooperation, as the case may be, and the inculcation of certain values which may not be fully understood by them at all.

They should somehow feel and acknowledge those values and some faith in them. Ultimate acknowledgement of the will or capacity of the superior power-weilder to influence others is final arbiter of power. Acknowledgement, which may be given in a direct or indirect manner, is more important than the possession of power as a material thing. The acknowledgement, according to Hacker, can be based on the consideration of power-weilder’s knowledge, skill, physical powers, property, personality, fear, etc.

When a person acts in deference to the wishes of the power-weilder, it implies acknowledgement of the superiority of the will or capacity of the power-weilders. If there is no obedience to his wishes, and the affected party is ready to undergo all the consequences, no power exists. Power very much depends upon proper assessment of the contours of obedience. A power-weilder has to keep an eye on them.

To make power effective, it is necessary to use it. Its non-use renders the powerful powerless. Power is concreticised in action or activity, which must have some aim or objective in view. As such, power instead of being an end-in-itself, is instrumental to gain other objectives. Politics understood as ‘struggle for power’ does not convey its proper meaning. It is rather a struggle to launch certain values through power over others.

These values may include narrow self-interests or broader social interests or a mix of the two. These values also have an intimate relationship with the needs and demands of human nature. Man wants both liberty and social order.

Therefore, conflicts as well as cooperation become ingredient of power. In order to realise those values or objectives, power mainly depends on organi­sation. One may have knowledge. Divine grace, ideology, manifesto, ideals, etc. but cannot realise them without organisation of a church, a political party, or other a band of followers. Political power comes out of an effective organisation and by adopting tactics appropriate to sustain it. It requires great skill and refined techniques to keep organisations attached with pre-determined goals.

There can be many goals of power, such as:

(i) Collective good,

(ii) Conscious pursuit of self-interest, or

(iii) Pursuance of unconscious motives.

These goals can be modified or reformulated in view of change in leadership or prevailing circumstances. Either the weilders power, or subordinates or clientele can bring about change in goals consciously or unconsciously, even by procedural set-up. It requires unusual statesmanship to realise these goals. Power has to be restructured, applied, augmented and allocated in a proper manner.

In sum, power can be visualised in many ways. Felix E. Oppenheim has summarised various views on power, as:

(i) Exercise of control;

(ii) Exclusion of rational persuasion;

(iii) Inducements;

(iv) Intentional control;

(v) Relationship between preferences of the powerful and respondent’s behaviour;

(vi) Involvement of conflict with respondent’s intentions or interests.

But Terence Ball is not satisfied with Oppenheim’s conception of power as ‘all relationship in which one actor determines another actor’s behaviour by almost any means and for any end whatever.” Ball finds it as unduly broad, as all instances of influences are not instances of power. Not all instances of power are instances of influence. Oppenheim makes his conception of power as coextensive with social causation, and renders it too broad to be useful for empirical analysis.

Force is different from power. The latter is ability to employ force. Force and other manifest forms of power remain invisible in the lap of power like electricity in clouds. To make power or one’s capacity effective, one has to develop all traits to employ, force properly along with adequacy and availability of all means of power, such as personality, influence, force, organisation, etc. Power has to be supported by sanctions.

A sanction is a power-act initiated primarily as a reprisal for non-conformity with a prior act of power. It results either in the deprivation of values already possessed or an obstruction of values which otherwise would have been realised. There are several forms and levels of sanctions. Military power represents the apex of coercive sanctions, socialised and trained in an effective organisation.

In fact, there are several sources of power: brute force, position, connection, ‘persuasion and influence, self-confidence, charisma and reputation, consciousness and will, and coefficients of power. Through legitimising processes, it transforms into Law and Authority. About non-justified Power, Lord Action, long ego has said, “Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” In fact, it corrupts both, those who exercise it and their victims.

Power, in general, is what make things go, wheels to turn, ships to sail, man to move in particular ways. It is energy. Energy becomes power only when it is harnessed, guided, and controlled. Out of control energy is not power. Negative or out of control power is negative and destructive. In order to be usable, it has to be made creative constructive and directive.

Power in human affairs involves the control of human behaviour for particular ends through the express or implied threat of punishment for those who refuse or fail to comply. But this can be done through education, indoctrination and influence. Power is the ability to take and enforce decisions – laws, decrees, rules or regulations. Power serves as a protection against the danger of feeling or being regarded as insignificant.

There can be public or private power systems. Public power claims juris­diction other over all persons who reside in a given territory. Political power, says, Locke, is the right of making laws with penalties of death and conse­quently all less penalties for regulating and preserving property and of employing the force of the community in the execution of such laws. Persuasion is more common than the use or threat of force. It is more effective and enduring. Therefore, we talk of will, consent, consensus or deference.

All this makes the power system legitimate, investing it with authority. Without authority, political power appears as naked force. This is accomplished by political socialisation through family, schools, churches, other voluntary groups, political parties, pressure groups, media, charis­matic leadership and symbolism.

To keep power away from being corrupt, constitutional limitations through laws and courts are imposed. Its scope and domain is made limited and fixed. Its operation can be liberal, conser­vative or authoritarian. It may or may not come under the influence of outside forces.

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Essay on Power of an Individual | Organisation | Management

essay on power is power

Here is a compilation of essays on ‘Power of an Individual’ for class 9, 10, 11 and 12. Find paragraphs, long and short essays on ‘Power of an Individual’ especially written for school and college students.

Essay on Power of an Individual

Essay Contents:

Essay # 1. Introduction to Power :

Study of power is important in the corporate environment. Power depends from person to person and its use depends upon the attitude of an individual. Power in public life is different than corporate world. While former is situational, the latter is object oriented. In public life, its promises may or may not work as desired.


Proper use of power in organization is necessary so that the sources of power is not misused and directed towards attainment of organizational goal. It is important to understand the manager who uses power to understand employee behaviour, because methods of using power are different for different managers in the organization.

It is therefore essential to allow minimum power that may be necessary to maintain peaceful environment. The study to understand how power is acquired and used for attainment of organizational goals is essential.

Essay # 2. Definition of Power:

Power is derived from the official position held by an individual in an organization. As Rosabeth Kanter says, “power is the ability to get things done.” Those in power are able to marshal their resources in a way that helps them achieve their goals. They are able to be effective in their jobs and earn the respect of others. Having power as resource can help you gain support, information, supplies—everything and anything that is needed to be productive in your job.

Power is a tool and resource, a means as an end while politics represents tactics used by employees to use to manipulate power in organizational setting. Leaders use power as a means of attaining group goals. Leader use power to ensure compliance of job assigned to them. Power is also used to control various activities of individuals and groups. A purchase manager may be given power to procure raw material worth only Rs.10,000 in one transaction.

This is to control his activities. A leader may use punitive power to prevent individual from restraining undisciplined activities. Manager having power to promote his subordinates uses it to attain organizational goals. Power should be used for attainment of growth of the organization and should be reward oriented in nature. Threat of power is not desirable as it has negative re-enforcement character inbuilt in it.

When we discuss power, authority is associated with it. Authority is acquired from the organizational hierarchy. When we say that HR manager has an authority to employ an individual, this authority is associated with the appointment of an as HR manager.

It is therefore legitimate. Authority relationship of various individual is contained in organizational pyramid chart, higher one goes, higher the authority. Authority and power go hand in hand. To be effective, power and authority should be equalized.

Authority and power are synonymous. But in present environment it is observed that while authority remains constant there is a tendency to exercise more power. This is because of the politics played by an individual to maintain higher influence over resources. On the contrary, there may be situation when an individual does not use full potential of his authority for one reason or the other.

Interpersonal and group conflicts are indicative of more influence one wants to exercise in the organizational setting. These happening are common to every layers of organizational hierarchy. Power is therefore personal and acquired. Power is an ability of a person to possess what he feels as valuable and deprive another person of the same.

According to Wolfe, power is potential ability of a person to induce forces on another person towards movement or change in a given direction within a given behaviour region, at a given time. Cavanaugh2 states that ‘Power’ is a multifaceted concept, which has been analyzed from interpersonal influence process, as a commodity to be traded, as a type of causation and as an issue in the study of values and ethics.

Politics is a process whereby power is acquired and used to influence behaviour of others. It is endemic to every organization. People form groups, camps or cliques when they play politics. People playing politics for power where ethics, moral values, organizational goals are of little concern.

Dalton identified following six areas where politics was being played actively:

1. Pressure for economy.

2. Co-operation of officially powerless experts with their administrative superior line and staff-relationship.

3. The conflict between labour and management for interpreting agreements.

4. Uncertainly about standards and strategies of promotion.

5. Difficulty in linking reward with productivity.

6. Practicality of policies.

Dalton observed that various type of alliances tend to develop among individuals; these alliances may be vertical, horizontal or mixed and are prime means of acquiring influence. This phenomenon of acquiring and exercising power seriously changes the command and control system in the organization. It forces to deviate from the established norm and process.

ADVERTISEMENTS: (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); Essay # 3. Bases of Power :

French and Raven and Raven have put forward following six bases of power:

(a) Rewards:

This power source derives from the person’s control over resources, for example power to control human resources, pay and promotion. Greater the perceived value of each rewards the greater the power. These rewards can be extrinsic in nature with tangible values as well as intrinsic such as praise or recognition.

(b) Coercive:

The power to punish or reward, the power to threaten and to use one’s position to force others to take action. It reflects the extent to which a manager can deny desired rewards or administer punishment to control other people. For example a threat to meet given targets otherwise there would be reduction in salary.

(c) Legitimate:

The power which is exercised in accordance with organizational rules. This power which is exercised with the authority of organization. Power derives from our cultural system of rights, obligations and duties, whereby position is accepted by people, i.e. right of private property.

(d) Referent:

This depends on charisma or personal attraction of the individual. Interpersonal skill and emotional support from others are the sources of power for a person. Stronger the association, stronger the power. For example Mahatma Gandhi, people believed in his ideology.

(e) Expert:

Power which derives from knowledge. Sometimes called sapient authority, this is power based on an acknowledgement of others expertise e.g. Physician.

(f) Information:

Information about people, events or other facts assist prediction about future behaviour or events.

Power exists within two parties i.e. those exercising it and those responding to power. Power is the capacity to mobilize resources for effective use. Mobilizing capacity depends on the situation involved.

For details see Figure below:

Source and Effectiveness of Power

Capacity to exercise power depends upon the situation which provides opportunities or restrictions on the use of power and the personality of those wishing to exercise the same. Asymmetry of power refers to the perceived differences between the power of involved parties and its relationship.

Personality refers to physical and psychological advantage an individual has over other persons. For example Sachin Tendulkar enjoys charisma and power related to it due to his personality. The military power relies upon the notion of legitimacy. If it is challenged the whole system will collapse.

Essay # 4. Sources of Power:

1. Knowledge as Power:

Information Technology has taken a big leap in the last two decades. Information is necessary for top management to take decisions. Information is vital to carry out various operations in the business environment.

Thus a person or a group holding information becomes more powerful than their counter part. Flow of information is necessary for continuous production or service operations. Persons who are in position to control the flow of information wield enormous power to influence the behaviour of others.

2. Resource as Power:

Resources are necessary for any organization. While material or tangible resources can be procured easily, it is the availability of these resources, at right time, at right place in a required quality and at a competitive price. Any person having monopoly over scares resources wield power.

When project is required to be started, it is government agencies which delay the project for want of various resources, like power, water, etc. Human Resources are critical. Any person having direct or indirect control over making skilled persons available holds power. Organization cannot survive without adequate availability of various resources.

3. Decision making as Power:

Decision making as power in organization rests with the head of the organization. Decision making is delegated to departmental heads depending upon the nature of work, ability of the departmental heads and the trust enjoyed by them. Decision making is one of the most important processes of management.

Decisions are influenced, may be by subordinates, peers, friends or even family members who are psychologically close to decision maker. Therefore, both a person having decision making authority and a person who can influence decision making have power in the organization. Hiring a close relative, purchases in the organization, client selection etc. are day to day events in the organization which, indicate the power centers.

4. Power Centers:

There exist people in the organization who desire to be more strong. They also want people dependent on them. Specialists, people with special powers deliberately delay decisions or hold resources so that they become more demanding. Power centers exist in various departments. It may in form of reservoir of power.

5. Dependency:

Strength of power depends upon degree of dependency. Greater the dependency on the power holder greater influence will the power holder exercised over his subordinates. Dependency is directly related between power holder and those do not have it.

Power holder holds power of retention to be able to increase dependency managers have two dimensional power base. One is the power generated by the organizational authority and the second, the personal power by virtue of personality as proposed by Whetten and Cameron.


Centrality refers to activities which are central to organizations. Finance is central activity in the organization hence the finance manager holds power in excess of his authority . Finance manager further allocates funds to various departments. Department heads therefore also become powerful not because they can further allocate funds to their subordinates but because centrality of activity.

Managers of various departments have power based on their departmental position. In addition they enhance then- power position by virtue of opportunities they get to control activities that are central to the organization. This gives managers authority to control various units and sub-units.

When resources are in abundance there is no problem as everybody would get them based on their requirement. When resources become scarce, a person obtaining it will appear to be more powerful.

Finance is a scares resource if a director of an institute manages to obtain additional funds from AICTE or by way of consultancy obviously he becomes more powerful in the eyes of management. Same is true of a faculty which may not be judged by efficiency of imparting knowledge but by obtaining finance for the institute from external sources.


Management is related to planning for organization. It is basically related to identification of organizational objectives, evaluation of various alternatives and selection of best course of action and planning resources to put in action the course selected.

Uncertainty of availability of required manpower with specific skills, raw material, finance can play havoc with the plans. There are situations when government policies change with the change government that further makes situation more critical. A manager who has a vision and can appreciate what is likely to happen in future and takes corrective actions in advance obviously garner additional power.

According to Kanter5 most power goes to those people, in those functions, that provide greater control over what the organization finds currently problematic. For e.g. sales and marketing people when markets are competitive, production experts when materials are scares and demand is high; personnel or labour relations specialists when government regulations impinge; finance and accounting types when business is bad and money tight. There is a turning to those elements of the system that seem to have the power to create more certainty in the face of dependency, and to generate a more advantageous position for the organization.

Substitutability :

Greater the value of a person in the organization, the greater the power it holds. There are some people who amass power because of their speciality. By virtue of their contribution to the organization they become indispensable. However situation changes due to marketability of a particular brand of profession. Software engineer were in great demand in the organizations.

They demanded high salaries and perks. They were indispensable a few years ago. As of now they have very restricted market for them. They could not be substituted by another person. What is important is that people have a tendency to take advantage of their specialization and high demand in the market and exploit organizations by using added amassed power.

Essay # 5. Allocation of Power :

Division of Work:

Work is divided in the organization based on technical and functional requirements. Though all jobs are important from the organizational point of view, yet it cannot be denied that some job is comparatively more important than the other and persons holding those jobs hold more power irrespective of their personal leadership qualities.

Division of work brings dependence hence power. There is also a smoothing effect phenomenon hidden in division of power because of distribution of power among various appointments thus leading to minimizing absolute power with a particular authority.

Essay # 6. Organizational Power :

Organization allocates power in two ways:

(a) Structural power:

Organization structure has hierarchy of authority. Higher the position higher the legitimate authority. Mere granting of authority does not make a person powerful unless he uses it effectively. Invoking sanctions, awarding promotions or even punishments makes a manager powerful. If a leader does not use power, displays lack of interest, does not keep pace with development, delays decisions and lacks effective communication it makes a manager ineffective and powerless.

(b) Functional Power:

Functional power is related to a job a person does. By virtue of division of labour explained above, people in organization do a very specific element of a job. Interdependence of employees develops rather smoothly which culminates in completion of job. Any specialization in isolation does not lead to power generation; rather it diminishes its effect. Scarce skill, longer duration of a person in organization, extent of access to vital information is some of the factors that makes a person more powerful.

Power comes from functional exclusiveness which can be achieved as under:-

1. Devote more effort, time and energy on unbeaten, unattended fields.

2. Develop friendly work relations.

3. Share information with your subordinates and make them part of decision making. By seemingly sharing, one attains more power.

4. Communicate judgments rather than justifying it.

5. Handle expertise carefully and yet let there be exclusiveness of skill.

6. Be available when required. Gather relevant information before decision.

Essay # 7. Distinction between Power, Authority and Influence :

If leadership is about influencing others, how do we go about developing that influence with people? How do we get people to do our will? How do we get their ideas, commitment, creativity, and excellence, which are by definition voluntary gifts? … To better understand how one develops this type of influence, it is critical to understand the difference between power and authority. …

The ability of a person or a group to influence the beliefs and actions of other people. It is the ability to influence events. Power can be personal power. A person gets his personal power from his personality or from his expert knowledge.

Doctors, Lawyers, Engineers, Programmers, etc. get their power from their expertise and professional knowledge. Power can also be legitimate or official power. This power comes from a higher authority. Power is comprised of a relationship between two or more people.

The right given to a manager to achieve the objectives of the organisation. It is a right to get the things done through others. It is a right to take decisions. It is a right to give orders to the subordinates and to get obedience from them. A manager cannot do his work without authority.

Authority cannot be bought or sold, given or taken away. Authority is about who you are as a person, your character, and the influence you’ve built with people. It is one’s expression of one’s self, which is treated, power erodes relationships.


The capacity to have an effect on the character, development, or behaviour of someone or something, or the effect itself, the power to shape policy or ensure favourable treatment from someone, especially through status, contacts, or wealth.

We can list the influences of organizational behavior:

1. Organizational culture

2. Organizational climate

3. Management style and philosophy

4. Organizational structure and process. 

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essay on power is power

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essay on power is power

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