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Manifestation of Leadership Power Struggles on EmployeeEssay

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Manifestation of Leadership Power Struggles on Employee Behavior and Its Effects on Organizational Productivity and Performance

Throughout the history of mankind, the drive to obtain power and status has been the fundamental motivation of human behavior. Man quests for power in order to influence other people's behavior, and gain control over resources. Similarly, organizational environment is similar to a political systemic environment where power has become a key mechanism to influence organizational outcomes and decision-making. Power is defined "as an agent's potential influence over the attitudes and behavior of one or more designated target persons" (Yukl 1989 p. 14). Legitimate power is derived from individual position within an organization leading to control over resources, decision-making, information, rule making, rewards and punishments. The power enjoyed by a leader within an organization makes the subordinates to form an obedient to authority as well as loyalty to organization. Similar to nation states that engage in power struggles to control natural resources, and achieve superiority over other nations, leaders also engage in power struggle to gain control of subordinates, exert influence, and control of organizational resources. Since everybody is likely to gain control of resources within an organization, the consequence is power struggle that may have both negative and positive consequences for both employee and organizational productivity.

Objective of this paper is to investigate the manifestation of power struggles on employee behavior and its impact on organizational productivity and performances.

Power Struggles Manifestation on employee behavior and its impact on Organizational Productivity and Performances

Power struggle refers to rivalry among leaders for control and dominance of resources within an organization. In other words, power struggle is a violent or an unpleasant competition of power. The concept of power struggle is also a situation where two or more people within an organization compete for influence. During the power struggle process, the winner is an individual who makes the overall structure prevails. In essence, power can be exercised and gained through various means, and formal power consists of legitimate power, reward power and coercive power. On the other hand, informal power is based on the characteristics of an individual or expertise that an individual possesses. Typically, informal power is based on skills, knowledge, expertise and referent power that an individual possesses over others due to respect, and admiration possessed.

Greer, (2014) argues that people use power to rise to the top in order to prioritize their desires and goals over others. It is essential to realize that power is so valued that people who are able to reach the top position cling to the position and fight to remain in the position, which consequently leads to power struggle. (Keller,2009). Since many organizations are the tools that leaders can employ to accumulate vast resources, power struggle typically occurs in order to possess to control resources. In essence, the goal to displace other is the features of power struggle.

Greer (2014) identifies the strategy that power can be used to influence employees within an organization. The author argues that power change people's behavior and people who are able to rise to the position of power within an organization prioritize their desires and goals over other and fail to take perspective of other employee into an account. Moreover, leaders who are in possessed of power tend to disregard feelings of other people and sometime be aggressive in order to preserve their power. Greer (2014) maintains that power struggles can damage organizational structure because power conflict can result to a situation where companies can lose experienced and highly skilled employees. Broom, (2015) supports the argument by pointing out that power struggle can make organizations to waste vast amount of productivity, energy, time and creativity. Typically, passive aggression, duplication of effort, personality conflict, blaming, gossiping, poor communication, poor judgment and lawsuits are the by-products of power struggle that can prevent organizations to reach their fullest potentials. The author further argues that organizations where leaders are indulging in power struggle can face challenges in increasing their productivity, ideas, thoughts and opinion needed for effective organizational management.

Alam, (2014) contributes to the argument by pointing out some individuals play power politics in order to satisfy their personal interests at the expense of the organizational productivity. Main goal of these individuals is to gain control of power to influence organizational decision making process. Typically, these individuals play politics with intent to gain power and achieve success at all costs. The overall outcome include decline of employee morale, which consequently lead to lower productivity. One of the negative aspects of power politics is that the leaders playing the politics will attempt to oust the skilled and experienced employees who do not support their interests. By consequence, the results are low employee morale leading to low employee productivities.

Longo, (2010) highlights the negative aspect of power struggle within healthcare organizations by pointing out that power struggle can lead to disruptive behaviors among healthcare workers, which can consequently threaten the well-being and safety of both staff and patients. The author further points out that power struggles among leaders can lead to frustration, stress, psychological and physical disorders. By consequence, many nurses have r left their place of works when power struggle continues without solutions. A major outcome of power struggle is also disruptive behaviors that consequently threaten the performances of healthcare team. The disruptive behaviors can also lead to communication and collaboration breakdowns. (Henry, 2009).

Hotepo, et al. (2010) take different position by pointing out that power struggle is inevitable within an organization because of incompatibility of goals of managers. Typically, power struggle will occur in an organization as long as people compete for resources, power, security and recognition. By consequence, the leaders will attempt to frustrate one another with aim to achieve their objective. Despite the negative effects of power struggle within an organization, power struggle can be beneficial to organizations.

Power struggle "can be positive when it encourages creativity, new looks at old conditions, the clarification of points-of-view, and the development of human capabilities to handle interpersonal differences." (Hotepo, et al. 2010 p1) .

When management is engaging in power struggle with one another using their skills and knowledge to achieve their objectives, the positive effects include organizational productivity and innovativeness, individual development, and improving of quality decisions. (Keller, 2009). The outcome of power struggle can reduce trust among employee, which consequently reduce motivation to collaborate. Moreover, when employees work in a tense environment, they face challenges in relating to other employees and consequently undermine the active knowledge sharing among employee.

Robbins, Judge, Odendall (2009) contribute to the argument by pointing out power struggler can increase stress and anxiety, decrease job satisfaction, reduce employee performances and increase employee turnover. Typically, employees working within a power struggle environment will experience higher stress, and psychological withdrawal.

Typically, "Self-serving political actions can negatively influence social groupings, cooperation, information sharing, and many other organizational functions." (Mutambara, Botha, Bisschoff, 2014 p 504).

Findings

The study explores the power struggle within organizations and its manifestation on employees' behaviors. The study also discusses the impact of power struggle on organizational performances and productivity. The study identifies power struggle as a rivalry for control of resources and power. One of the causes of power struggle within an organization can be a disagreement over leadership, budget, or other core values. By consequence, a power struggle process can lead to disruptive behaviors among employees leading to relationship conflicts and stress. The study also argues that power struggle can make organization to waste vast amount of resources and consequently lead to a decline in productivity and employee performances.

Mutambara, Botha, Bisschoff, (2014) argue that boardroom power struggle may not promote organizational performances. Typically, power struggle within an organization can influence employee to indulge in discretionary behaviors leading to deterioration in performances. Moreover, power struggle can lead to low morale among employee, reduce job satisfaction and reduction of organizational productivity.

Despite its negative effects, a power struggle can still be beneficial to organizational performances if the struggle is task focused. Despite the benefits identified with the power struggle, the negative aspects of power struggle is more problematic to organizations than benefits that organizations stand to derive from the power struggle process. The major concern of power struggle is that it consumes time, and resources, which can consequently disrupt the work activities. Moreover, the consequence of power struggle is high when people intend to promote their self-interest at the expenses of organizational goals.

Conclusion

Power struggle is a rivalry among leaders with intent to control resources. The study investigates power struggles manifestation on employee behaviors and its impact on organizational productivity and performances. The paper reveals that organizations can lose enormous resources if leaders engage in power struggle, which can consequently reduce employee performances and organization productivity.

Reference

Alam, A. (2014). Power and Politics in Organization final Project. Leed. University Press.

Broom, M. (2015).Two Perspectives of Power in Organizations and Their Relationship to Conflict. Center for Human Systems.

Dierkes, M. & Ikujiro, J.C. (2003).Handbook of Organizational Learning and… [END OF PREVIEW]

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