The Seven Influence Tactics Used in Organizational Behavior

An error occurred trying to load this video.

Try refreshing the page, or contact customer support.

Coming up next: Legitimate and Illegitimate Political Behavior in Organizations

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

Take Quiz Watch Next Lesson
 Replay
Your next lesson will play in 10 seconds
  • 0:06 Multiple Types of Power
  • 1:08 Power Tactics
  • 4:01 Lesson Summary
Save Save Save

Want to watch this again later?

Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course.

Log in or Sign up

Timeline
Autoplay
Autoplay
Speed Speed

Recommended Lessons and Courses for You

Lesson Transcript
Instructor
Rob Wengrzyn

Rob has an MBA in management, a BS in marketing, and is a doctoral candidate in organizational theory and design.

Expert Contributor
Joseph Shinn

Joe has a PhD in Economics from Temple University and has been teaching college-level courses for 10 years.

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.

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

Additional Activities

Additional Question


For each of the following examples, determine which of the following power tactics is being described: legitimacy, rational persuasion, inspirational appeal, consultation, exchange, personal appeal, or integration.


  1. Your boss gives you an assignment that he wants to be completed by the end of the week.
  2. You are out to dinner with your friend when she starts to tell you how good of a friend you are and how she appreciates everything that you do for her. Later in the evening, she asks if you can give her a ride to the airport next week for a trip she needs to take.
  3. The President of the United States has a council of economic advisors that advise him on what economic policies should and should not work. This council is made up of experts in their field.
  4. Your classmate agrees to help you study for an economics exam only if you help him study for his accounting exam.
  5. You are moving out of your apartment into a new house. You do not want to pay movers to move all of your furniture and boxes from your old home to your new one, so you reach out to your friends and ask if they will help you move.
  6. The leader of an Emotional Intelligence seminar gave you tips about how to better yourself and understand others more clearly.


ANSWERS:


  1. Your boss gives you an assignment that he wants to be completed by the end of the week. Legitimacy because your boss has power over you and has the ability to require you to complete a task.
  2. You are out to dinner with your friend when she starts to tell you how good of a friend you are and how she appreciates everything that you do for her. Later in the evening, she asks if you can give her a ride to the airport next week for a trip she needs to take. Ingratiation because this person is attempting to first get you in a good mood to get you to agree to help her out.
  3. The President of the United States has a council of economic advisors that advise him on what economic policies should and should not work. This council is made up of experts in their field. Rational persuasion because the President is using experts in the field as a way to determine the best choices to make.
  4. Your classmate agrees to help you study for an economics exam only if you help him study for his accounting exam. Exchange because your classmate is asking you for something in order to get something.
  5. You are moving out of your apartment into a new house. You do not want to pay movers to move all of your furniture and boxes from your old home to your new one, so you reach out to your friends and ask if they will help you move. Personal appeal because this person is attempting to use your friendship as a way to get you to help them out.
  6. The leader of an Emotional Intelligence seminar gave you tips about how to better yourself and understand others more clearly. Inspirational appeal because this person is using motivation as a way to inspire you to do something.

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use Study.com

Become a Study.com member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about Study.com
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 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.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create an account
Support