• 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. John Smithers at Sigtek - Organizational Behavior

    deciding on a targeted quality improvement with each manager and then meeting with them weekly to assess progress. Recommend changing the reward structure. Once Smithers achieved initial buy-in, he should have recommended changing the reward system in order to ensure that management was incentivized to actually implement the quality initiative.

  1. Managing Human Resources in Marks & Spencer.

    The same is true of the end of course questionnaire about the structure and pace of the course and the approach and skills of "the trainer". The trainer is expected to take note of the thumbs up and thumbs down of the feedback and to adjust their approach next time.

  2. The chief objectives of this report include:Ø Settlement of the power conflict between top ...

    Thus, the power conflict between top management and pilots must be settled in the long run. Besides, Cathay's pilots manipulated the coalition strategy to accomplish their goals. HKAOA is a typical coalition of pilots. At present, Cathay employs 1,500 pilots, more than 75% of the pilots are members of the HKAOA.

  1. The Growing Power of Mentoring.

    a hands-on relationship, in which the mentor acts on behalf of the prot�g� - for example, by putting their name forward for challenging assignments. In effect, the role is a combination of guru and advocate. Among the many problems with this approach is that it is more career-focused than developmentally

  2. Function proposal

    floor if required * View - river View Room Two - The Grange Room The Green Room is a smaller more intimate boardroom with its floor to ceiling windows boasting expansive views that can be used for smaller parties, intimate dining of up to 50 people or corporately for meetings.

  1. Diversity in the Workplace

    Mission and values The diversity-oriented organisation will have a strong, positive mission and core values, which make managing diversity a necessary, long-term business objective of the organisation and a responsibility of all employees. The values must reflect the personal and work needs of all employees.

  2. Australian Workplace Relations Report

    It is the government's responsibility to change industrial relations to control these impacts. Recent Changes Under the Howard Government there have been two major changes to industrial relations. These two changes have dramatically altered Australia's Labour Market. Workplace Relations Act 1996 Before the Howard Government came into power, the Australian

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