Management of performance


Identify and critically discuss the influence power, politics and control have on the management of performance

Theories of power, politics and control


There are different ways to define power according to different authors e.g`

Manager x has a power over manager Y to the extent that he can get y to do some thing that y will not otherwise do (Dahl 1957)

The power of tutor F over tutor G is the amount of resistance on the part of tutor G that can be potentially overcome by tutor f (Emerson 1962)

The capacity of a body or group to edit the conduct of other individuals or groups in a way which they wish and without having to modify their own conduct in a way which they do not wish. ( Tawney1931)

According to the Pinto and Kharbanda definition it as “ the ability to get someone to do something that individual would not usually do otherwise”

The Origins (Sources or Bases) of Power

The Interpersonal Power

In the interpersonal power, power is exercised personally by one person over an others. There are countless methods to categorise the origins of power of this type.

French and Raven’s five bases of power

John French and Bertam Raven (1959) proposed 5 types of power, which are listed below.

* reward

* coercive

* legitimate

* Referent

* Expert power

There are different assumptions and ideas of people about theses bases of power one of them is that subordinates and supporters think that managers or in others words leaders have the power of use of expertise, reward and authority in their organizations. The original scheme simply gives descriptions of these bases, but since some are derived from the power holder’s position, while others are more a function of personal characteristics, they are split into two groups.(Rollinson and Broadfield, 2002)

Organizational Origins

Reward Power

It is that power in which reward is given to the staffs or employees

Someone who controls the distributions of rewards to other people has some degree of power over these people, providing that they value the rewards. the more formally structured an organization the more likely it is that the reward power will be controlled or lessen by policies and regulations of organization.

Coercive Power

To force others to do a task by the use of power that a person would not like to do in other case is called coercive power.

This force is reverse of reward power. It shows a someone’s potential to coerce someone else to act in a exacting way, usually because an endorsement can be imposed or a reward suspended in the event of non-cooperation .in coercive power the ability to punish e.g. prevent pay rise, fire, discipline and spreading feeling of fear is very common. this power is used to extract compliance and there is some evidence that firms in Great Britain have tightened up their disciplinary regimes in the last decade(Edwards and Whitston 1989)

Legitimate Power

The ability to control the procedures of other people that go with a particular task

Legitimate power exists where an individual holds a managerial position that carries the right to make decisions or control the proceedings of others. The more formal structure, the more power will exist. In a highly bureaucratic organization it is normal to find that an individual’s decision making authority is very tightly specified. Legitimate power is due to the hierarchy of position and also linked to the size and strength of the department. once it is achieved then rarely challenged. However, if the project team sits outside the normal hierarchy (as many people do) then this form of power is not likely to be well-built for project manager.(Rollinson,D and Broadfield,A. 2002)

Personal Origins

These are associated with the personal characteristics of a power holder.

There are three kinds of power that comes from persons.

Referent power

The potential to persuade others that comes from having attributes or distinctiveness that make someone a basis of reference or exemplar for community

Referent power is not necessarily associated with the location in the managerial chain of command ,any individual who occupies the attributes can hold this type of power in any organization or in any field e.g. football and pop stars have referent power due to their characteristics and people wants to be like them .(Rollinson,D and Broadfield,A. 2002)

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Expert power

The skill to persuade others that exits because a person is seen to hold a particular proficiency

Pockets of expertise often reside low down in an organization, expert power is not essentially connected with rank. People higher up can sometimes be strongly dependent on those below, which mean that expert power can be deployed upward. Expert power Increases in any organisation if decision taken by the expertise of a person which proves accurate.

Contextual bases of power

In 1974 Lukes draws concentration to a significant difference among power over (other) and the power to attain a little.

The ‘power to’ is frequently copied from the related state of affairs that encircle a person or group and these sources have a tendency to balance and strengthen interpersonal bases. there are seven sources of contextual power and these are explained below

Organisational Structure

The official power of an individual in an organization is first and foremost resolute by its structural plan, that establishes definite outline of communication and the authority to make positive decisions (Pfeffer 1981;Tjosvold 1985).so that’s why structure mostly determines the amount of a reward, coercive and legitimate power of a person and an organizational map is little more than a plot of power and authority.

Knowledge and Information

‘Information is authority ‘ who has the knowledge and information about the organization’s business plan , procedures, systems and regarding the contingencies strategies for unseen situations he has the power to control the decisions and the flow of information over others for them it is important in an organization. People in any organization at any position hold this power by becoming the ‘ information Gatekeepers’.

Interpersonal and contextual bases of power

(Rollinson,D and Broadfield,A. 2002)


If a sub-unit has the access to appropriate resources its means that unit has the power in an organization to achieve its goal

the one most significant uses of resource power occurs when one sub-unit becomes a fundamental source for most other sub-units. There is a example of this type of power in production and maintenance departments of French tobacco factory, Crozier (1964) gives a penetrating insight into this situation. Using Crozier’s ideas, in1971 Hickson et al. proposed a theory of sub-unit power on the bases of strategic contingencies, which is defined as the events or activities that are extremely important in achieving organizational goals. this model was subsequently verified by Hinnings et al. (1974).

There is often emphasis placed on different activities within the organisation depending upon either its own strategy or external events happening at that time. At one time the emphasis may be on innovation, at another upon product output, at another upon cash flow. These are examples of ‘strategic contingencies’. Those departments or individual which can help the organisation tackle these contingencies hold power.(power slides sunspace)

Decision making

The talent to influence how decision are made significantly increases power and from time to time it is probable to do this without in reality taking part in the decision making process.

Because some decisions are made successively in organisations, the person or group that makes its decisions early on in the series can bound the choice of options open to those who make their decisions afterwards.


Structure establishes formal patterns of interaction, the persons who act together habitually create casual links that are helpful for increasing or supporting their power. these links enable people to stay ‘in the known’ and make sure that this power can be occupied in the prospect.

In1978 Pfeffer and Salanick dispute that these networks are frequently more powerful than official mechanisms. Networks also have a political significance. People are able to enlarge their power by making power blocks and coalitions that enable them to sketch on each other’s power when compulsory.( Rollinson,D and Broadfield,A. 2002)

Organisational culture

Culture is a soundless and highly inconspicuous basis of power. A culture have inherent understandings and assumptions about the way that definite matters can be deal with organisational culture and values and these become embedded in codes of behaviour that frequently award a great contract of power on specific individuals and groups.

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Lukes (1974) has called the cultural norms( respect and deference) the third dimension of power.

The external environment

Organisations have a control over its external environment like technology changes and competitions etc .but this control is something different as compared to others and act reversely Because the external environment reduces the organizational power

Organizational politics

Organizational politics is defined as it involves those tricks taken within the organizations to obtain, build up and exercise power and other possessions to attain favored outcome of someone in a circumstances where there is ambiguity about choices.(pfeffer 1981)

Pinto and Kharbanda contrast 2 schools of thoght – one essentially negative (politics is bad and should be removed if possible), the other neutral (politics exists and is not necessarily bad)

Organisational politics( -ve viewpoint)

“Social influence attempts that are proposed to encourage or defend the self interests of individuals and groups and that threaten the self-interests of others, individuals and units etc.

Factors giving rise to political behavior.

Individual factors

Individual factors can play a part in promoting political activities and those who have convinced personality distinctiveness seem to have a outlying higher tendency to take part in politics. people with a strict personality habitually like high-risk situations and are sometime willing politicians who are quite irresponsible in their use of political tactics(Farmer et al. 1997; Ferris and Kacmar 1992; Ferris et al. 1996; Meyer and Rowan 1977).

Organizational factors

Sometimes it is require to find away from the person and identify the circumstances in which political behavior is most prevalent; such situations can be derived from the works of Miles (1980) and Robbins (1996) and is given below

Ambiguous Goals

In most organizations, particularly at higher levels, there is usually some ambiguity about goals. e.g goals such as ‘increase the market share’ or ‘enter new markets’ are common but neither specify exactly what should be achieved.

limited or inadequate Resources

When resources are disseminated in an organization some people acquire the whole thing that they wish especially when cutbacks are in development. This creates a circumstances of winners and losers and the losers can slot in in all sorts of strategy to try to get that they see to be their equitable share, e.g. by presenting misleading information and lobbying etc.

Technology and Environment

Changes in external circumstances or in the technology used by an organization increase the uncertainty of organizational life. So to reduce this uncertainty, politically technology and environment is controlled.

Non-programmed Decisions

Where a decision is required on how to deal with a completely novel situation there are seldom any procedures to guide decision making so in such a condition decisions are made politically.

Organizational Change

Any situation relating to change contains a amount of doubt and the bigger the change the bigger the amount of doubt. So organizational changes in the form of uncertainties and ambiguities are managed politically Hence organizational change giving rise to political behavior

Role Ambiguity

If someone occupies a role in which the required behavior is unclear or ambiguous, the person has a golden opportunity to redefine the role in a way that best suits him or herself.

Unclear criteria for evaluating the performance

When their will be a unclear criteria for evaluating the performance of individuals in an organization then political behavior will arise to do this.

Organizational culture and structure

The structure and culture of an organization give rise to political behavior. In addition, where a structure centralizes decision making in the hands of small number of people , others can feel starved of information and influence, which prompts them to engage in politicking (Kacmar and Perrewe 1993).

Small Trust

When people do not trust each other their tendency to use secret while in their communication is larger. this happens when they identify that others commonly engage in politicking because in this situation they can come to believe that they have no alternative to behaving the same way themselves (Valle and Perrewe 2000).

Political tactics

Several authors have attempted to catalogue political tactics, an exacting task because it is very difficult to observe politics at work. Nevertheless, using the writings of Pfeffer(1981) and Mintzberg(1983), a list of tactics can be brought together which is as below. Since the purpose of these tactics is to acquire or maintain power in an organization

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These are some political tactics

1. manage of Information

2. control of Information Flows

3. Use of external Experts

4. Control of Agendas

5. Image Building

6. Union(alliance and coalition) Building

7. Control of Decision Parameters

8. Blaming or Attacking others

9. Networking

10. Impression management

Through these political tactics power can be achieved in any organization.


In every organization, it is compulsory to know and to regulate the goals and objective that had made in the organization. This all process is called control.

All managers have to formulate the department or unit to control because with control, the performance of the controlled department enhanced.

When search is made on the definitions of control then a lot of definition found in different sense given by different authors. One of the general definition is below.

The regulation of the activities of an organization so that some predefined objects and goals segments performance retain within the acceptable cross(Berney and Griffin 1992).

Purpose of organizational control.

In every organizational department, control has its on impact as it increase it work efficiency, performance increased, in production department, it decrease cost per unit as by controlling over FOH. Control is not an event or meeting in the organization that held only one time or annually or half annually but it is an ongoing process that continue till organization continue.

In the organizational control, following criteria is assessed( Rollinson,D and Broadfield,A. 2002).

* Observe what the organization has got.

* Make a comparison at that things that an organization has gained and what was the actual aims.

* Make remedies for unwanted actions that come in the way of control.

To achieved the goals and make paining.

With this process named control, it is totally possible to allocate the outcomes of an activity or process are same as was intended. Therefore is correct to say that goals and objectives of an organization are the important part of control. Since the system of control is intended to be help or aim to gain or achieve goals of the organization. It is overtly desirable that a control should exist for every goal and object of the organization that is set.( Rollinson,D and Broadfield,A. 2002).

Management performance.

Make up of different people who see themselves being its members for the achievement of set goals and eventually to get profit, is an organization. Every organization has objects and goals and there are some people called managers who help to fulfill these goals and objects and there is a process called management. In this process of management, there are

* Planning

* Organizing

* Leading

* Controlling

* And coaching

The members of the organization by using the organizational resources.

These managers are the responsible for the performance of management(Neenham,D and Dransfield, R.2001).

Performance management is about to build a culture where staffs and employees make a working relationship to take the responsibilities of overall performance of the organization and also to built their own skills and behavior as well. In this culture, a flexible framework is provided to work the staffs and employees in freedom. It is an on going process in the organization, not an event or meeting or faction( Armstrong, M and Baron, A.2004).

Tools for checking the performance management.

It is not easy to allocate the exact performance of the department but followings mentioned tools could be used.

1. Learning and development.

2. Coaching and leading.

3. Performance standers.

4. Development reviews.

5. Pay.

6. Appraisal.

7. Measurement.

8. 360 degree feedback.

9. Teams.

10. Performance problem solving.

These all tools in different department could be used to check the performance of the department. For instance, in the finance department, an appraisal annually is conduct to allocate accounting figures that shoe the performance of finance department. Similarly, the performance of all the department is checked(Armstrong, M and Baron, A.2004). So in the good performance of the organization mean is that the organization is going to the ways of success and prosperity.

Impact of power, influence and control over performance management.

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