Forms of Power Barbara Acosta University of Phoenix BCOMM230 Julie Bonner August 22, 2011 Forms of Power I have worked in the dental field now for over three years and have experienced all forms of power both good and bad. However, through these forms of power I feel that I have improved and bettered myself and have developed my own form of expert power in this field. Power refers to the capacity that someone has to influence the behavior of another person. The most important part of aspect of power is that it is a function of dependency. The greater someone is dependent on another person, the greater their power is over that person.
There are five forms of power; three of them which are considered formal power and the remaining two are personal power. Formal power is based on an individual’s position in an organization. The three forms of formal power are coercive power, reward power, and legitimate power. Personal power is power that comes from an individual’s unique characteristic. The two forms of personal power are expert power and referent power. The coercive power base is dependent on fear. When I originally began working in the dental field I began as a receptionist with no experience.
The dental field and all its players were very intimidating to me because I had no experience. My manager at the time had coercive power over me because she had the power to fire me if I did not do my job according to her expectations. Her form of training was to show me once and then expect me to pick it up. When I would make mistakes I would here her lecture me about how I should know how to do a certain task by now and how I have already been train to do it the right way. This form of power has its positive and negative results for me.
The positive is that I learned to not make those mistakes and not skip any steps because I did not want to get lectured. The negative is that I developed fear rather than respect for my manager and I no longer wanted to work for her because I felt that a reward power was a more effective way of training me. Reward power is the opposite of coercive power. People comply with the wishes of directives of another because doing so produces positive benefits. At my current company they use reward power in a form of bonuses. Our company has monthly goals and if we reach these goals we get a bonus at the end of the month.
I focus on our collection goal. In order for me to reach our collection goal I work diligently throughout the month by calling patients to pay their bills, pay outstanding balances, send accounts to collections, run payment plans, bill insurances, post payments to accounts, and keep all accounts current. The outcome of my hard work is an additional $400 dollars at the end of the month for me. The upside of reward power for me is that I continue to work hard each and every single month due to the fact that I prefer to have that extra income. Legitimate power represents the formal authority to control and use organizational resources.
Legitimate power includes acceptance by members in an organization of the authority of a position. For example, I work for a corporation which means that I listen and comply with what my manager, regional manager, and owner of the company say or tell me to do. Expert power is influence wielded as a result of expertise, special skill or knowledge. In my opinion I believe I exert expert power in my field of work because I am good at what I do. Over the years I have learned what works and what doesn’t and have learned from my mistakes and turned it into a positive.
A treatment coordinator can be an intimidating position because when you are presenting the treatment to patients you have a fear of being rejected and not selling the treatment that was presented to them. I have learned over the years that you need to exude some sort of confidence to the patient that you are not scared to be rejected but rather prove to them that they need the services you are presenting to them. Lastly, there is referent power which is based on identification with a person who has desirable resources or personal traits.
For example, if you like, respect, or admire someone say for instance someone famous, you are more likely to buy a product that they are endorsing. People buy these products from these celebrities because they wish to identify with these figures and be like them. In conclusion, someone having power over you is not always considered bad and power is not going to go away in a business setting. In my situation I turned a negative and turned it into a positive by learning from the situation and taking what I had learned and improving those skills and developing my own expert power.