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"Differences between power and authority"

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  • Essay length: 626 words
  • Submitted: 04/11/2004
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AS and A Level United Kingdom

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"Differences between power and authority"

There are many differences between power and authority, Max Weber describes authority as three types traditional, charismatic and legal rational. Traditional authority means that the authority has been passed down through tradition. One example of this is the British monarchy that has authority as they are the head of state which has been passed down through tradition for the past thousand years.

Charismatic authority means that the person who has charismatic authority has gained his authority through the use of his own charisma (which originates from the Greek work "charis" which means gift) and speech making. One example of this is the British Prime Minister Tony Blair who gained his authority to rule through the use of the British political system and by gaining votes from the British public which is down mainly to his own charisma.

Legal rational authority is where authority is attached to certain bureaucratically placed positions. One example of this the Lord Chancellor who has gained his authority by being appointed by the British Prime Minister.

However with power Max Weber describes it as the ability to influence a desired outcome (in principle the ability

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