• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Explain how organizational structure and culture relate to power and influence in the workplace.

Extracts from this document...


Module - Social, Cultural and Ethical Dimensions Student Identification Number -0363205/1 Word Count 1492 Explain how organizational structure and culture relate to power and influence in the workplace. Power is the potential or actual ability to influence others in a desired direction (Gordon, pg 286). Influence refers to authority, persuasion, manipulation and control. The ability to influence leads to more power. In the work place, influence can occur in downward, upward and lateral directions. Downward influence is directed to those lower in the chain of command, upward influence is exerted by employees to their bosses, and lateral influence is directed by workers to their peers. These relationships can be captured in the organizational structure of an organization. Organizational structure refers to the delineation of jobs and reporting relationships in an organization, as such, it coordinates the work behaviour of employees in accomplishing the organization's goals (Gordon, pg 398). An organizational chart as seen in Figure 1 shows these relationships Figure 1. A hypothetical organizational chart to show how employees of an enterprise are grouped Here, workers B and C are at the same hierarchical level in the organization, both report directly to A, while workers D, E, F and G are all at the same level. ...read more.


However, acting collectively as a group, they may be transformed to a very powerful body, with substantial influence and power. This is sometimes the case during industrial action where the combined actions of the workers could cripple an organization. In organizations, goals are accomplished by the various groups through the coordinating mechanisms of mutual adjustment, direct supervision, standardization of work processes, standardization of outputs and standardization of skills. Mutual adjustment (informal but direct communication between individuals) is an example of lateral influence by peers, while direct supervision (direct supervision by manager of one or more employees) demonstrates downward influence. Power and influence is also related to the control of and access to resources. The greater the amount of resources a group or person controls, the more power the group or person has. For example, the bursar of a college is thought to have a great deal of power as he holds the keys to the purse and in some instances is only answerably to the board. Also, in a production-oriented company, workers in this department would be able to influence decision-making and as such have more power than workers in the marketing department. ...read more.


Rational persuasion involves logical arguments and factual evidence in persuasion that a proposal or request is viable and likely to result in the attainment of task objectives. Chinese managers however, believe that rated coalition tactics, upward appeals and gifts are more effective. Coalition tactics seeks the aid of others in persuasion, while upward appeals relates to the request being approved by higher management. Other tactics include pressure tactics (demands, threats or intimidation used), ingratiating tactics (flattering of another before asking), inspirational appeals (emotional request appealing to their values and increasing their confidence) and consultation tactics (seeking another's participation in making a decision). The author suggests, that the culture of the region impacts on an organization's culture and thus plays a part on the way power and influence is manifested. Organizational structure and culture are interrelated and impact directly on power and influence in the workplace. In relation to organizational structure, people often obtain power form the position or job they hold in an organization, as such the higher the position the greater the position power. This relates to increased authority, centrality and control of rewards and punishments. Also, the amount of power and influence demonstrated by workers or groups is many times in weak culture organizations directly related to the type of relationship they hold with the boss. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE People in Business section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE People in Business essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Sainsbury's organizational structure.

    5 star(s)

    Due to fast flow of communication it is easier and clear between each layer. This when decisions are made they will be specific to order instructions. Strengths of Sainsbury's structure * It gives them a greater sense of unity and purpose as they can see themselves as members of a team.

  2. Power - The ability to exert influence; that is, the ability to change the ...

    Instead of attempting to use influence in changing the behavior of subordinates, this person relies on power (using negative incentives and force). Influence - It is said that authority is only one of a number of forms of influence.

  1. As a short-term business Consultant, I have been hired by Alton Towers PLC to ...

    It improves earnings through motivating the staff. Through the employees being skilled and motivated they will work harder increasing productivity and profit. On a whole there will be a positive impact. * Alton Towers could benefit from achieving an ISO 9000 is if a business has the repretation for having

  2. Managing Human Resources in Marks & Spencer.

    Business that have development programme which identify how workers can improve, appraise workers abilities and view the development of employees as important are more likely to employ an internal candidate. If Marks and Spencer needs to reduce its workforce in a particular department it may consider retraining its employees and redeploying them to another part of the organisation.

  1. Function proposal

    * Room Hire - $350 * Function Duration - area reserved till midnight. After midnight the area will be open to the public * Room Facilities - direct access to designated smoking area, bar area, male/female bathrooms, projector, audio visual, built in screen, built in microphones, speaker system & dance

  2. Organisational structures

    Finance, R&D, Administration, Personnel, Marketing, Sales Logistics and Production. An organisational chart also shows the level of responsibility and authority for individuals or departments, it also shows the span of control, so the number of people a person in supervising. At Mars they operate a line structure is the relationship between a senior and a subordinate at any level within the organisation.

  1. Stress in the Work-Place

    The basis of this method is talking privately about problems. To this effect, confidentiality as an issue becomes imperative, paving the way for a deferential, trusting relationship developing between the client (employee) and the counsellor. Normally although supportive, the counsellor gives not very much advice but rather, encourages the clients to draw on their own resources.

  2. Report is based on a thorough understanding of how the college is organized and ...

    Quality of Work Candi has governors from the University of North London, namely Ms Jean Fawcett and Mr. Stephen Pilgrim. The advantage of having governors from the university is that the college could be advised about the quality of work required within the college.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work