Types of Power Term Paper

Pages: 2 (656 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 2  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Leadership


There are a number of types of power in law enforcement leadership. Among the different types are position power, coercion power, reward power, expert power and charisma power. Each of these powers comes from a different source and is often used in different ways. This paper will analyze these different sources of power for law enforcement leaders.

The first source of power is position power, or formal authority. Law enforcement is often a highly-hierarchical culture in which position power is high. Police in particular work with position power, where those with higher positions of authority are not typically questioned by those below them. One is compelled to act simply on the basis of the position power than the leader has.

The second type of power is coercive power. This type of power is basically when the leader has the ability to coerce another person into doing something that they do not wish to do. Typically, this coercion comes in the form of threats -- demotion, punishment, taking something away.

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The reverse of coercive power is reward power. Reward power comes when somebody has the ability to deliver a reward of some type to a person. Bestowing a reward can serve as a motivator for someone to act in a specific manner. Reward power is the opposite of coercive power -- they are the proverbial carrot and stick, where the reward power is based on the promise of attaining something positive and coercive power is based on trying to avoid attaining something negative.

Reward, coercive and position power are all formal power types (Abudi, 2011). They exist in part because of the formal authority that the leader has. The leader has access to resources to reward, the ability to punish and the position alone commands respect. All leaders in law enforcement will have access to these three types of power, and they can use all of them in the course of their duties.

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There are also informal power… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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