Essay Power: Hierarchy and Status quo

Submitted By cyber2020
Words: 548
Pages: 3

Power can be defined as the amount of unshared control possessed by one person over another person. People with power have the ability to give rewards or inflict punishments upon whoever is dependent upon them. (Georgesen & Harris, 2006)
Effects of Power One of the effects of power is for the powerholders to have the opportunity to influence others, and they come to believe that they’re personally responsible for any positive actions of their subordinates. This is known as the metamorphic effect of power. (Georgesen & Harris, 2006) When subordinates perform well, powerholders believe that it is due to their exclusive supervisory skills, and they take credit for the success of their subordinates. Powerholders will minimize the positive contributions of their employees. Another effect of power is known as the system justification theory, which explains the negative effects of power. (Georgesen & Harris, 2006) Powerholders believe in a strong motive to defend and strengthen the status quo. Subordinates tend to get motivated to maintain the unequal status hierarchy and to maintain the status quo, even though in doing so, this, in turn, may work against their self-interests. A third effect of power is known as the social dominance theory, which argues for a multiple level explanation of social hierarchies. One aspect of social dominance theory is the self-legitimizing myth. (Georgesen & Harris, 2006) Powerholders are motivated to maintain their privileged status by embracing hierarchy-legitimizing myths. This occurs when the belief is constructed that the subordinate deserves to be in a lesser position, even if this is not true. People in the organization, including the subordinate in question, eventually begin to believe the myth, which results in the subordinate performing below their capability. The net effect is that the myth becomes self-legitimizing, that is the myth becomes a reality and is no longer a mere myth. When subordinates believe in the myth that they deserve to be in a lesser position and perform accordingly, that will adversely impact the productivity of the organization.
Powerholder Threat vs. Employee Expectancy When a powerholder feels threatened, that can adversely impact the powerholder-subordinate relationship. When the powerholder has a high expectation of a subordinate, it can cause a…