Grand Canyon University: LDR-610
September 18, 2013
Management of resources including people and product is a slippery slope that many managers navigate on a daily basis; some are more successful than others. Navigating the course of their career and managing resources is the edge of the slope is where doing what is right often can tarnish relationships and cause rift. There are those who are lost in the minefield of power and politics, some of these managers suffer not only a career crisis, often they fall on their sword in an act of career suicide. Managing the delicate balance of politics, power and influence can ensure that the manager survives their trip through the minefield.
What can influence the way a manager or supervisor navigates this minefield, besides experiencing it firsthand, learning about the short comings of other managers and supervisors who share their story. During the course of the project, Tom Green and his experience at Dynamic Displays is a case study in which a student can see how to better apply power and influence to navigate the workplace and a chosen career. Where did the power players of Dynamic Displays appropriately use and miss use power and information?
No two people are alike; Davis expected his replacement to be as much like he was and use his style when Green took on the promotion. It appears as though Green does everything but the expectations that Davis envisions; however, it is not evident that Davis ever clearly laid out the expectations to the subordinate. Davis having held this position prior to Green’s promotion, had expert power from his experience, skills and knowledge (French & Raven, 1959). With his experience from working many years in Green’s position, could have assumed that Green would know what to do within that position.
Davis also has legitimate power, being that he is the marketing director and supervisor to Green. Legitimate power is the power provided to a specific position in a hierarchy (French & Raven, 1959). The use and abuse of power can lead to success for the organization or corruption of the possessor of the power and information (Moriatity, 2011). Although Green feels as though Davis is out for redemption since he did not select his replacement, Green is just as guilty of misusing power by withholding information. Green is working on an updated feature for the airlines ventures of the company, streamlining and expanding the services within the company’s kiosks for the airlines.
Bulach identified that “Some leaders withhold information from employees as a way of controlling them” (Bulach, n.d.). In this case, Green is keeping his superior in the dark about his proposal as a means to shine within the organization, such as he did to earn his promotion with his first big deal. Green is also using his own expert power and experience from his sales experience in sealing deals with clients, without providing hard data as some have requested. As much leeway as Green expects with being a Senior Market Specialist, he is still responsible to a superior.
While Davis, Green and McDonald all want to be treated respectfully, as equals and superiors where necessary. They each have their own areas of legitimate power within the hierarchy; they each have their own individual desire and goal for their position. McDonald was polarizing her position with the promotion of Green, by inflecting her legitimate power in wanting to change the old school chain of thought with his promotion. While at the same time, she did not want to deal with the backlash as a result of the promotion, Davis who was reeling from being left out of the promotion process was exerting his control in establishing the groundwork and parameters for which Green will work for him.
Abuse of Power
The use of power…