Differences Between Power And Authority

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Question 1: Distinguish between power and authority. Do you believe the foundation of criminal justice organizations is power or authority? Why? Give examples in everyday criminal justice life that reflect the differences among these concepts.

Answer: According to Stojkovic, Kalinich, and Klofas (2015), power can be defined as “A construct that underscores that importance of how compliance among subordinates is achieved” (p. 288). Power can be at both a person and organizational level and there are five forms, including coercive power, reward power, legitimate power, referent power, and expert power (Stojkovic, Kalinich, & Klofas, 2015). In contrast, authority is “demoting the compliance with particular directives essential for achieving a common or shared goal” (Stojkovic, Kalinich, & Klofas, 2015, p. 290). The three forms of author include, traditional authority, charismatic authority, and legal authority (Stojkovic, Kalinich, & Klofas, 2015). Power can become authority over time and authority is useful for when individuals must be supervised within an organization (Stojkovic, Kalinich, & Klofas, 2015). I believe the foundation of criminal justice organizations is authority because everyone is trying to attain the same goal and be successful (Stojkovic, Kalinich, & Klofas, 2015). If power is distributed among too many employees, then that could lead to role conflict (Stojkovic, Kalinich, & Klofas, 2015). It is important to have supervisors with authority over
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