Individual Assignment: Influencing Group Communication

Individual Assignment: Influencing Group Communication

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Consider the organization where you work or an organization with which you are familiar. Reflect on your professional experiences or possible professional experiences within this organization. Consider how these experiences relate to the five bases of power, which are coercive power, reward power, legitimate power, expert power, and referent power.


Writea 700- to 1,050-word paper describing the five bases of power. Indicate which power bases are formal and which are personal. How might each of these power bases affect communication in your selected group or organization?

Format your paper consistent with APA standards.

Influencing Group Communication

In any organization, a person can see the five bases of power at work, some powers more than others depending on the individual in charge and the circumstances. The power used by such individuals can affect communication within the organization, whether positive or negative. There are five bases of power, being coercive, reward, legitimate, expert and personal. Coercive power, reward power and legitimate power are all formal powers. A person’s position in a company can give him influence over others below him, thereby affording him formal power. Coercive power is dependent on fear. A person reacts to this power out of fear of the negative results that might occur if he/she failed to comply. If a person has the ability to dismiss, suspend, or demote another person, this gives them coercive power over them. This power also comes from withholding key information which makes others dependent on them if they need this information at any time (Lesikar, Flatley & Rentz, 2008). Reward power is based on positive benefits given to workers if they comply with another’s directives. Although formal, it is the opposite of coercive power. Rewards distributed because of a job well done can either be financial or nonfinancial. Financial rewards come in the form of raises or bonuses and nonfinancial rewards can come in the form of recognition, promotions and preferred work shifts or assignments. Legitimate power represents the formal authority to control and use of organizational resources. This power includes acceptance by members in an organization of the authority of a position. When these ones speak on a matter, others who also work alongside or under them usually comply. Personal power comes from an individual’s unique characteristics. You don’t have to have a formal position in an organization to have this power. Two bases of personal power are…
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