1. Identify the reason why Alex could not confront his senior about his work and its relation to organization behavior?
2. Explain how managers use power to determine the abilities and talents of the employees keeping in mind that power and performance are related?
When one is on the verge of joining a new company, there are a lot of expectations and anxiety. This was no difference for Alex who had a series of thoughts and theories as he awaited his new assignment at one of his dream companies, Cognizant, in the superpower, United States of America. It is common knowledge that one would want to perform a background check about a company that one is set to join so as to avoid little embarrassment when one start working. For this reason, Alex had already done a significant amount of research about Cognizant specifically how they use power in that organization. Through the research, Alex was informed that the organization used power that is autonomous. This is where the leaders’ words are final and that they direct the employees on what to do to achieve a particular task. Also, Alex was aware of organizations whose leaders had autonomous power hence misused it causing such organizations to lose customers and fall due to bad reputation. While at Cognizant, Alex had a myriad of questions that were running through his head. Among of the questions was whether power that is used in organizations assist the employees in achieving the set results. Another question that came out strongly in Alex’s head was whether the systematic use of power in an organization is important vis-à-vis the known talents and the abilities of the employees.
For formality purposes, the first day of Alex’s orientation was characterized by being introduced to the company officials. Alex was also introduced to his teammates, and he was also taken through the blueprints of the company and its future expectations. For his first assignment, Alex’s team was delegated a very challenging task. However, Alex found the task not to be as challenging as it was being anticipated since their team leader was knowledgeable and smart hence made the task seem to be easy. Few weeks into his new job at his new company, Cognizant, Alex had already become conversant with all aspects that pertain the organization and also the use of power that is practiced. Despite the fact that Alex did fine work in his assignments, his senior always was not impressed by Alex’s work thus leaving him perplexed. It was clear that the expectations of his senior on the quality of work was high. In many occasions, Alex’s senior kept on emphasizing that his presentation was not up to the required quality. This made Alex to have little motivation in his work hence was unable to personally confront his senior to get advice on areas that he can improve.
It is imperative to note that power is an extremely significant tool in any organization and it is a conduit that can be used to connect the managers and the followers. Consequently, an open type of leadership should be applied since it will assist in knowing more about the employees at almost a personal level. In his experience at Cognizant, Alex was able to be endowed with the knowledge that the power that exists in an organization, is as a result of the type of the organizational structure. This is because it is undoubtedly clear that the hierarchy of an organization is in tandem with the organization’s structure and shows clearly who is in power (Tannenbaum, Weschler and Massarik, 2013). Organizations which are characterized by a significantly long hierarchy means that there are many people that one is required to answer to thus an authoritarian type of leadership is eminent in such an organization. Alex came to the realization that power is the one that influences the kind of beliefs, behavior, and norms that employees of an organization. Case in point, if at all Alex’s senior would explain to Alex the reason why his presentations are not up to standards, Alex would have known areas to change and produce satisfactory results.
As per Burtis and Turman, (2010), there are a couple of relationships that exist in an organization such as employee to employee, manager to manager, and manager to employee. Among them, manager to employee relationship is the most common. As per Newman and Newman, D. (2015), manager to employee relationship is the most common, and it is where power is most practiced which in turn influences the behaviors and the work output of the employees. The type of communication that exist in manager to employee relationship should be less commanding and clear so as to enable employees to have peace while doing their work hence better results can be registered. In the light of the above knowledge, Alex saw it imperative that he discusses the issues that he has with his senior, to his coworkers in the bid to improve the quality of his work output. In his quest, Alex was able to know the types of power that exist not only at Cognizant but all the types of powers that can be practiced in organizations. The different forms of power that Alex came into the knowledge of include;
Different forms of power
Power and influence are one and the same thing and can be used interchangeably. In an organization, when one is in a position of power, it means that influence is granted to such a person and results are expected. Griffin, (2017) reiterates that power, especially in an organization, is divided into two forms, personal power, and social power. Regardless of the division, power is used in an organization to consolidate employees and to guide them reach the goals and the targets of an organization. The structure of an organization is responsible in stipulating the kind of power that is found in organization which in the end each type of power has distinct roles. Case in point, reward power in an organization, gives a manager an opportunity to be able to identify top performing employees and encourage them through monetary rewards or even invectives (Jalilvand, and Nasrolahi Vosta, 2015). Expert power is the ultimate source of personal power. This is regarding the skills, abilities and the talents of a manager in a certain area of work. When manager shows off the knowledge and skills that the manager is endowed within a certain area, the employees will have kind of admiration that will help them be motivated to perform better. Coercive power as the last kind of power is utilized by a manager to administer punishment to the employees who fail to abide by the rules and regulations of an organization. Coercive power can administer a wide range of punishments. For instance, a manager can decide to have pay cuts of late comers, warning letters, suspension or even one can be relieved from one's job. Coercive power in an organization is imperative as it shows the employees that ethical conduct at the workplace is paramount (Carroll, 2015).
Through this extensive discussion with his coworkers, Alex was able to understand the type of power that is being practiced at his new company Cognizant. However, Alex was unable to understand why his senior was not impressed by his work even on a single occasion. However, Alex’s senior always reminded him of the existence of room for improvement in future. Alex’s friendly nature earned him a lot of friends at Cognizant that cut across all the departments. His relationship with is coworkers made him have knowledge of how power is used in his organization. Alex was able to know that the team leaders had been granted a lot of power and had absolute control over the members of the team. At Cognizant, team leaders are chosen depending on their knowledge on particular areas regarding tasks. Only those who showed profound knowledge on a task were selected as team leaders. This makes the team leaders depict a kind of superiority thus acting as the numero-unos. Alex believed that team leaders cannot exercise this kind of power on their own and they must have been directed to exercise this kind of powers. In this regard, Alex saw it imperative to ask the very team leaders about the source of the powers.
Cognizant company is a company that is widely known for its ability to pool talents from all divide hence forms a multicultural workforce. In his bid to find out the type of power practiced by team leaders, Alex was able to note that power is manifested in three ways, latent power, manifest power and invisible power (Tjosvold, 2009). Latent power is the type of power that can not only be seen but also felt. For instance, one asks a manager for a time off, one is given the off asked. Manifest power is the type of power where those who exercise this kind of power ensure that people know they have authority (Fischer, 2008). For instance, a manager who at every instance scolds the employees and threatens for their dismissal, practice manifest power. The type of power that cannot be seen but can be felt is called the invisible power. The board of directors of an organization practice this kind of power where every decision executed with a lot of awareness and cautiousness and proper judgment is applied at every step of a decision.
The discussions about power with coworkers enabled Alex to be aware of the type of actions that managers take, are depended on the power they practice. According to Tjosvold, Sun, and Wan, (2005), the personality of an individual depicts a lot on how an individual can be able to use the power that is bestowed. Also, Alex was able to comprehend that power is also practiced depending on the situation and the type of people that are involved in a situation. He was able to learn that his group was diverse since the team members had different cultural backgrounds. The leader of a team is tasked with the responsibility of directing the team members in achieving the goals set for a task, solving disputes and ensure that there is a participation for all members.
According to Holland, Cooper, and Hecker, (2015), the norm and beliefs of members of an organization are related a lot to the power that is practiced in such an organization. Manager-employee relationship is the type of relationship that is majorly seen and practiced in almost all organization. This is where the employee depends on the manager to know what to do. Anyone in a new organization would want to be seen as reliable by ensuring that any given task is completed in due time or earlier than expected. In this case, Alex was no different, he ensured that he delivered his work long before time to his senior. To his surprise, his senior was not impressed with his work at all, almost every instance that Alex, submitted his presentations he was sent back to do some corrections which were later accepted. Alex was not in the knowledge that he was practicing latent power while his manager was practicing expert power. As a reminder, latent power is the power that is seen a little but felt most while expert power is the kind of power that is shown by a manager through the prowess of the understanding of a particular field (Odeku, and Animashaun, 2012). This implies that Alex was dealing with a manager who had a profound knowledge of the assignment that Alex was dealing with. Such a manager cannot condone any ill done work which does not represent perfection. The fear of losing the job was the sole reason why Alex was unable to confront his senior to personally ask what was wrong which his work and what he could have done to make his work better. It is assumed that when dealing with an expert manager, one has to pretend that one also has the capability to master the area of expertise, failure to that, such a manager will end up implying that one has no qualification of a job (Krause, 2007).
The only thing that makes the difference between a normal employee and a manager is power (Oyler and Mildred, 2009). This is where a manager can direct the employees on what to do. The managers know that their power can utilize the provided resources of providing by an organization and point it towards a specific direction with the assistance of their followers (Haunschild, Nienhueser, and Weiskopf, 2009). An organization usually comprises a lot of people with different backgrounds, sex, different cultures and more importantly different personalities. The differences in personalities, educational and cultural backgrounds are what that make people have different abilities and talents at a workplace. When managers have this understanding of the employees, where there is a different pool of talents and abilities, a wise manager will ensure that one practice different kind of powers depending on a particular person. Also, managers should ensure that they have knowledge that power can be divided into personal and social powers which can be further divided into reward power, coercive power and also legitimate power (Buckham, 2013). As pointed out by Chang, (2012) the above powers can be used by managers to achieve a different kind of results or set goals. The hierarchical structure of an organization is what determines the legitimate power. This means that one must not use a power that belongs to another person. Reward power which is granted to almost all managers is the ability of a manager to recognize openly the good efforts depicted by the employees through incentives in monetary terms of in any other form.
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