Is exercising coercive power right for a manager?

“Remember that mindsets cannot be changed through force and coercion. No idea can ever be forcibly thrust upon any one.” –  Pervez Musharraf

There are different types of power that a business manager is entitled with to use in the work place, such as, legitimate power, reward power, referent power, coercive power and expert power.

In fact, each and every power has its own pros and cons. It is therefore important to exercise a particular type of power in such a way as to produce the desired effect or to get the things done or to fulfill the intended results effectively and efficiently without hurting the feelings of others. However, effective leadership entails appropriate styles and powers.

Very often sticking on a single method of exercising power may bring unexpected results or creating problematic situations, as such, it is one of the best strategies that different types of powers be exercised in accordance with the demanding situations.

Coercive power is the ability of a manager to force an employee to follow an order by threatening the employee with punishment if the employee does not comply with the order.

When there are situations that demand coercive power, it may be put into effect, while being careful it does not go beyond the limits. Accordingly, in order to promote the deserving or talented employees, reward power should be used to promote them. Similarly, legitimate power is to be used as per the needs, while expert power may be used to demonstrate the abilities and talents of a manager. However, there may be nothing more than facing different problems or making the situations complicated, making use of the only one type of different powers that a manager is entitled with authoritatively.

Evidence reveals that exercising coercive power at all times leads to damage the reputation of the organization and creating lots of problems in the workplace. If it exceeds the extent to which a manager is entitled to exercise, that too, based on the requirement and situational approach, it causes the employees to develop aggrieved feelings and creates the stressful situations. Instead of working in a friendly atmosphere, they begin to regard it as a distressing atmosphere in which their negative feelings are developed to even a greater extent resulting in total social disaster..

One must know the fact that one of the good qualities of a good manager, a leader is he is more inclined to instill good and positive feelings in his subordinates, while demonstrating his expert power and charismatic power to influence them and direct them towards the attainment of predetermined objectives than using coercive power.

Coercive power may be proved as effective in the short run, while expert and charismatic power of a manager becomes a good cause to heighten the organization to the expected level and maintaining its growth and development in the long run with unceasing success.

Written by:
K. A. Fareed (Fareed Siddiqui)
Writer, Trainer, Author, Blogger, Software Developer
BBA, MBA-Finance, MPhil-Financial Management, (MSc-Software Engineering)
(PhD-Management)
MA-English, MPhil-English
Post Graduate Diploma in Computer Applications and Programming
Certificate course in English language proficiency
Level 1 – Leadership and Management ILM – UK
Pursuing CMA-USA
Individual Member of Institute of Management Consultants of India

Professional Presentations

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