Case Study: The Great Leader

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The great leader – How to become a brilliant boss

French and Raven

One of the most notable studies on power was conducted by social psychologists John French and Bertram Raven in 1959. They identified five bases of power:

1. Legitimate power – This comes from the belief that a person has the right to make demands, and expect compliance and obedience from others.

Legitimate power is that which is invested in a role. Kings, policemen and managers all have legitimate power. The legitimacy may come from a higher power, often one with coercive power. Legitimate power can often thus be the acceptable face of raw power.

2. Reward power – This results from one person's ability to compensate another for compliance.
Reward power is thus the ability to give other people what they want, and hence ask them to do things for you in exchange.
Rewards can also be used to punish, such as when they are withheld. The promise is essentially the same: do this and you will get that.

3. Expert power – This is based on a person's superior skill and knowledge.

Expert power is that which is used by Trades Unions when they encourage their members to strike for better pay or working conditions. It is also the power of the specialist R&D Engineer when they threaten to leave unless they get an exorbitant pay rise or a seat by the window.

4. Referent power – This is the result of a person's perceived attractiveness, worthiness, and right to respect from others.

This is the power from another person liking you or wanting to be like you. It is the power of charisma and fame and is wielded by all celebrities (by definition) as well as more local social leaders.

5. Coercive power – This comes from the belief that a person can punish others for noncompliance.

This is the power to force someone to do something against their will. It is often physical although other threats may be used. It is the power of dictators, despots and bullies. Coercion can result in physical harm, although its principal goal is compliance. Demonstrations of harm are often used to illustrate what will happen if compliance is not gained.

Tannenbaum and Schimidt

Tell - Manager makes decision and announces it
An autocratic style in which the leader gives specific instructions and monitors staff closely is most useful when the team cannot tackle the task unaided, is unwilling, new or suffered a previous leader who allowed standards to deteriorate. It is the style most people accept in a crisis.
Sell- Manager makes decision and then "sells" decision
A persuasive style, in which the leader gives clear direction and supervises closely but also explains decisions, encourages suggestions and supports progress. It is most useful when motivation is lacking. It is also the best style where a task is non-negotiable but where the team's motivation is vital to achieve the results required.
Consult- Manager presents ideas and invites questions - Manager presents tentative decision subject to change - Manager presents problem, get suggestions, makes decision
This is a collaborative style in which the leader discusses the task and listens to the team's ideas, taking them into account as he or she makes the key decisions. It is most useful when the team has sufficient skills and competence to make a contribution but where the leader feels a need to retain control. That need can result from an imbalance between the team's competence and the risk involved in the task.
Participate/Join - Manager defines limits; asks group to make decision - Manager Permits subordinate to function within limits defined by superior A facilitating style in which the leader allows the team maximum responsibility, this is most useful when the team is competent and has a positive attitude towards the task. You can let them get on with it and use this style as an important part of their development.