Copyright

Expert Power in Leadership: Definition & Examples

An error occurred trying to load this video.

Try refreshing the page, or contact customer support.

You're on a roll. Keep up the good work!

Take Quiz Watch Next Lesson
 Replay
Your next lesson will play in 10 seconds
  • 0:04 Definition of Expert Power
  • 2:01 Example
  • 2:53 Lesson Summary
Autoplay
Autoplay
Create an account to start this course today
Try it free for 5 days!
Create An Account

Recommended Lessons and Courses for You

Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Shawn Grimsley
In this lesson, you will find out what expert power is, learn some of its important concepts, and be provided examples illustrating its use. You'll also have an opportunity to take a short quiz after the lesson.

Definition of Expert Power

Expert power is power based upon employees' perception that a manager or some other member of an organization has a high level of knowledge or a specialized set of skills that other employees or members of the organization do not possess. Expert power can actually turn power dynamics upside down because its use is not limited to the formal leaders of an organization. Any member of an organization who has a high level of knowledge or a set of specialized skills that others in the organization do not posses may exert expert power.

For example, let's say you're a high-paid lawyer at a Wall Street law firm. You must have a case filed with the court by the end of the day or your client loses the right to file the lawsuit, which happens to be worth millions of dollars. Your word processing program crashes, and you think you may have lost the legal complaint. The court clerk's office closes in less than one hour, not nearly enough time to redraft. You approach your secretary to see if she can do anything. All of a sudden, you find yourself at the mercy of a secretary who tells you that the file can be recovered if you follow her directions. For that brief moment, who had the power? Who follows whose order?

There's a catch-22 when power is based upon expert authority, which can be a huge disadvantage to both the manager and the organization. The power a person is able to exert because of her expertise will diminish if she shares her knowledge. Why? As others learn the knowledge and skills from the leader sharing her expertise, the respect for her superiority based on such knowledge and skills diminish because they are no longer unique or specialized. A manager has two choices: share the knowledge or withhold the knowledge. If the knowledge is shared, the manager's authority will decrease overtime. However, if the knowledge is withheld, the organization will not be as effective as it could be overtime.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.
Create your account

Register for a free trial

Are you a student or a teacher?
I am a teacher
What is your educational goal?
 Back

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 10 million people use Study.com

Become a Study.com member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 49 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 2,000 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Click "next lesson" whenever you finish a lesson and quiz. Got It
You now have full access to our lessons and courses. Watch the lesson now or keep exploring. Got It
You're 25% of the way through this course! Keep going at this rate,and you'll be done before you know it.
1
The first step is always the hardest! Congrats on finishing your first lesson. Go to Next Lesson Take Quiz
5
Way to go! If you watch at least 30 minutes of lessons each day you'll master your goals before you know it. Go to Next Lesson Take Quiz
10
Congratulations on earning a badge for watching 10 videos but you've only scratched the surface. Keep it up! Go to Next Lesson Take Quiz
20
You've just watched 20 videos and earned a badge for your accomplishment! Go to Next Lesson Take Quiz
50
You've just earned a badge for watching 50 different lessons. Keep it up, you're making great progress! Go to Next Lesson Take Quiz
100
You just watched your 100th video lesson. You have earned a badge for this achievement! Go to Next Lesson Take Quiz
200
Congratulations! You just finished watching your 200th lesson and earned a badge! Go to Next Lesson Take Quiz
300
Congratulations! You just finished watching your 300th lesson and earned a badge! Go to Next Lesson Take Quiz
500
You are a superstar! You have earned the prestigious 500 video lessons watched badge. Go to Next Lesson Take Quiz
1K
Incredible. You have just entered the exclusive club and earned the 1000 videos watched badge. Go to Next Lesson Take Quiz
20
You have earned a badge for watching 20 minutes of lessons.
50
You have earned a badge for watching 50 minutes of lessons.
100
You have earned a badge for watching 100 minutes of lessons.
250
You have earned a badge for watching 250 minutes of lessons.
500
You have earned a badge for watching 500 minutes of lessons.
1K
You have earned a badge for watching 1000 minutes of lessons.