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Leader Thought Paper-Power Theory of Raven

In: Business and Management

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BUMO 796 University of Maryland Smith School of Business Spring 2014
Name: Chia-Sheng Chang (Tony)
Title: A master of the Legitimacy of reciprocity
Date: 04/27/2014

I am very excited to choose the Social Power theory of Raven to be the subject for my thought paper. In the following, I will focus on the Legitimacy of reciprocity and discuss it from my personal experience. The law of reciprocity is defined as- the norm that we should repay those who help us. In other words, it implies that- I did that for you, so you should feel obligated to do this for me(Gouldner,1960). In Taiwan, one of our most successful entrepreneurs, Samuel Yin, is indeed a master of the reciprocity law. Being the chairman of Ruentex Financial Group, Samuel is ranked #500 in Forbes 2014. I always remember his motto:“The more goodwill we carry, the more karmic reward we will have”. At this time, most Taiwanese businessman in china invests plenty amount of money to circulate the governors for their business. However, Samuel’s attitude toward cultivating network in china led him to a much higher altitude and even more rewards. Back in 1989, realizing China’s insufficiency in higher education, Samuel donated 10 million USD to establish the best business school in China, Guanghua School of Management of Peking University. Moreover, there are more than 100,000 outstanding students in China’s top universities have received his scholarship before. Nowadays, most of them play an important role in the government or local business in China, and they still remember the sponsor from Samuel when they were poor and in need. According to the common wealth magazine: “RT-Mart in China, which is under Ruentex’s control, has squeezed past Carrefour and Walmart in 2009 to claim the mantle of market leader among China's foreign-invested retailers(Hsiung, 2012). Hypermarket is a governmental-regulated industry in China. Many people who approved RT-Mart’s license actually received Samuel’s scholarship before. Why I think Samuel Yin is the master of the law of reciprocity is that he made lots of pre-deposits before he needed to earn something back. A guiding principle in Chinese society is guanxi - personal relationships with people from whom one can expect (and who expect in return) special favors and services(Staff, 2013). However, Samuel lifts this philistine level of reciprocity to a philanthropist level by greatly sponsoring the education to potential leaders in China, which is always regarded as a great call. For me, the Legitimate power of Reciprocity takes lots of philosophy in practicing. We can hardly calculate an accurate return of investment from the helps that we gave. Therefore, just as what Samuel Yin has said and done: “The more goodwill we carry, the more karmic reward we will have”, I believe that helping potential people with a pure goodwill and without any expectation of short-term reward would be a best strategy to become a master of reciprocity, earning some long-term rewards.

Reference
Raven, B. (1992). A Power/Interaction Model of Interpersonal Influence: French and Raven Thirty Years Later. J. of Social Behavior and Personality, 7(2), 217-244.
Gouldner, A. W.(1960). The norm of reciprocity: A preliminary statement. American Sociological Review, 35, 161-178.
Hsiung, J. (2012, May 16). RT-Mart-The Wolf King of Chinese Retail. Common Wealth, No.497.
Staff, P. (2013, February 7). Negotiating in China: The Importance of Relationship Building. Program on Negotiation. Retrieved April 28, 2014, from http://www.pon.harvard.edu/daily/international-negotiation-daily/negotiating-in-china-the-importance-of-relationship-building/ Hsiao, F. (2013, February 7). Setbacks Are a Spur from God. Common Wealth . Retrieved April 28, 2014, from http://english.cw.com.tw/article.do?action=show&id=14045

The World's Billionaires. (n.d.). Forbes. Retrieved April 28, 2014, from http://www.forbes.com/profile/samuel-yin/

Warner, B. (n.d.). Samuel Yin Net Worth. Celebrity Networth. Retrieved April 28, 2014, from http://www.celebritynetworth.com/richest-businessmen/richest-billionaires/samuel-yin-net-worth/

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