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Karen's Case

In: Business and Management

Submitted By onumkt
Words 3893
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Section A
(What type of power was evident in this case and how was it used?)

The Leadership Challenge

The social setting of large and complex organizations can be characterized as highly diverse, highly interdependent, and rich in opportunities to generate power dynamics. The first characteristic, diversity, pertains to differences among organization members with respect to goals, values, outcomes, assumptions, and perceptions. Interdependence relates to the situation in which multiple actors have power over each other due to job-related interdependence. When a high degree of interdependence exists in the workplace, unilateral action is rarely possible. For all decisions of any significance, many people will be in a position to retard, block, or sabotage action because they have some power over the situation. The greater the diversity, and the greater the interdependence the more differences of power there will be. Because of the interdependence, people will not be able to resolve these differences either by edict or by walking away. As a result, high levels of diversity and interdependence in the workplace are quite naturally linked to conflicting opinions about action and thereby influence attempts to resolve that conflict. Thus, the leadership challenge becomes one of making diversity and interdependence work for organizational success. Whether the organization is private or public not-for-profit, the challenge is similar.

Negative Power Dynamics

That leader influence can produce negative behavioral dynamics. This model confirms that power abuse is a reality in complex organizations of high diversity and job-related interdependence. Oftentimes leader influence simply fails or is used for personal self-aggrandizement. This kind of failure of leader power can lead to prolonged power struggles and intra-organizational or inter-organizational warfare.…...

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