The Classics Of Organization Theory

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In the Classics of Organization Theory (Ch 6), the definition of Power, by Gerald Salancik, Jeffrey Pfeffer, Robert Allen, and Lyman Porter, is blended to read, “power is the ability to get things done the way one wants them done; it is the latent ability to influence people,” (Shafritz, Ott, & Jang, 2011, p. 272). Robert Michels, John R.P. French JR, Bertram Raven, James G. March, and Rosabeth Moss Kanter’s discuss four perspective on power in organizations. These perspectives on power can all be found in a military organization, but I find that not all perspectives would be considered as effective way when accomplishing the military’s organizational goals. Robert Michels, a German sociologist, discusses his perspective on power in…show more content…
John R.P French Jr. and Bertram Raven perception on power in organizations is that there are five sources of power: referent power, expert power, reward power, coercive power, and legitimate power. Referent power is having the power of persuasion. A First Sergeant in a company is as the Senior Enlisted Advisor to the commander. Although the First Sergeant hold a position in the company next to the commander, he does not directly supervise anyone. A First Sergeant’s real power comes from the ability to suggest a course of action to his commander, leaders in the company, and the Soldiers in the unit. He is always looking out for their well-being, and using persuasion to accomplish the commander’s intent. Expert Power is the power that comes from specific skills, knowledge and expertise. A Physician Assistant in a medical platoon is not in the Chain of Command, but because most of the time is the only medical authority around, they hold power over the medics in the platoon, based on the knowledge and training that they provide to the medics, and overall authority of patient care responsible for. Reward power comes from the ability to give something of value to someone else. Platoon Sergeants in a company have the ability to recommend reward for the Soldiers in their unit, such as coins, one to three day passes, and to be excused from the next
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