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The Seven Influence Tactics Used in Organizational Behavior

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  • 0:06 Multiple Types of Power
  • 1:08 Power Tactics
  • 4:01 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Rob Wengrzyn
Power is not always used where we can see it. Sometimes, it is more a part of a person's actions than someone directly telling you to do something. In this lesson, we will address different power tactics and how they are sometimes used in the workplace.

Multiple Types of Power

We have all, at one time in our lives, been on a car lot to purchase a car. Back in the day, we had the vision of the guy in the plaid jacket and the red pants saying that a little old lady drove this cream puff of a car only on Sundays. Over the years that has changed to car salespeople using more tact when dealing with the public. Now, they talk to us and try to hit a chord that relates to what we need. They can appear consultive, they can ingratiate themselves with us, or even try to inspire us to buy a car we do not need.

Though you may not know it, these are all forms of translating power into specific actions. In the business world, that power transformation focuses on having someone do something we want him or her to do, very much like the car salesperson wants you to purchase the car. Some are focused on trying to be our friend, appearing as an expert, tapping into our personal beliefs or even just being plain old rational about things. No matter what, there is power present in the workplace, and many people know how to use it to get what they want.

Power Tactics

It is important that we understand and identify the different types of power tactics that are present. The interesting thing is, once we identify and discuss them, you will begin to notice them a lot more in your place of business. You will begin to see when people are using these tactics and, in some ways, better understand how to deal with them. Let us take a look at power tactics.

Legitimacy

This comes from having a position where power is associated with status or rank. For example, a vice president at a bank has legitimate power due to his or her position. If he or she gives someone below them in the organizational chart an order, they have to follow that order. Thus, legitimately, the vice president has power.

Rational Persuasion

This power usually comes from someone who is an expert in their field and is based on using logic and evidence to influence others. A great example of this is a doctor. They are an expert in what they do (or at least we hope they are), and when they tell us we have to lose weight or have to quit smoking, they are doing it from a rational, expert position.

Inspirational Appeal

When someone arouses our enthusiasm for an issue by hitting on what we value or what we want to become or obtain, they are using inspirational appeal. Think of someone telling you that if you continue to work hard and put in the effort, there will be a promotion for you. That person is tapping into your aspirations to get a better job with more pay. Many managers and motivators use this type of power.

Consultation

'Jim, I really need your help with this project to try and get corporate to give us the money to do it, and we can share in the success.' That is an example of consultation power. This type usually relies on coercion or reward in order to get what the person wants. They appear to be using you as a consultant to help them, and legitimately, they might very well be, but it is a tactic to get others to do what the person wants them to do.

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