Power as a Source of Conflict

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Power is a measure of an entity's ability to control its environment, including the behavior of other entities. The term authority is often used for power, perceived as legitimate by the social structure. Power can be seen as evil or unjust, but the exercise of power is accepted as important to humans as social beings. In the corporate environment, power is often expressed as upward or downward. With downward power, a superior influences subordinates. When a system experiences upward power, it is the subordinates who influence the decisions of the leader (Greiner & Schein, 1988). Power is broadly defined as "the capacity to bring about change." It takes many forms, comes from many places, and
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This will eventually lead to informal groups being formed secretly where “lesser” staff can voice out their feelings, suggestions and complaints among peers. The frustration of not being heard by those in power will then build up and eventually explode into conflict.

Where you occupy a recognized position, then subordinates will obey the rules regarding that position (rather than obeying you, per se). Formal positions include presidents, ministerial heads, policemen, and so on. When power exists in the hands of dictators they more often than not impose certain conditions on those under them, which is more often than not an infringement of fundamental human rights. Citizens are forced to comply with these conditions and this can cause uprising from citizens who have had enough and eventually will spring into a conflict between those in power and those not. As propounded by Karl Marx, absolute power corrupts absolutely, those in power tend to only see the intended end results and do not take into consideration the impacts of the various courses of action on the lay citizen. Most of them see citizens as just tools or a means to an end. People wish to receive some degree of decent, humane treatment. When the effects on the average citizens are not taken into consideration these citizens will bear the blunt of harsh rules, laws, policies and decrees of governments. It is, in a sense, to treat them as if they are
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