Power Of Individual Essay

Personal Power Essay

Personal power is based on the characteristics of an individual rather than from the position the individual has in an organization. There are many ways managers try to develop their personal power to become more effective managers. Three main characteristics of personal power are expertise, rational persuasion and reference. A manager trying to be more effective would definitely try to develop these characteristics to be able to use their power more effectively.

Expert power is having the power, knowledge, and experience of judgment that subordinates need. A person with expert power is able to control an individual's behavior through knowledge. A subordinate is more apt to obey without question a supervisor or manager that has expert power due to the fact the subordinate is able to trust the knowledge and expertise of the manager. A subordinate would be less apt to obey a manager that does not have as much knowledge. Expert power is an advantage to the manager, as the manager does not have to be too concerned with the employee the employee understands the assignment and trust the manager's expertise. If the subordinate knows the manager is very knowledgeable of the assignment, the employee is apt to do a better job on the assignment.

Rational persuasion is another characteristic of personal power. "Rational persuasion is the ability to control another's behavior because through the individual's efforts, the person accepts the desirability of an offered goal and a reasonable way of achieving it" (Schermerhorn, Hunt & Osborn, 2005,p.273). In order for a manager to use rational persuasion, the manager must have established trust with the employee.

Here are a few suggestions for a manager building trust with...

Loading: Checking Spelling

0%

Read more

A Book Report and Personal Reflection on "The Power of One" by Bryce Courtenay.

652 words - 3 pages In my experience as a student, I have read a countless number of stories for both school and pleasure. While I made an honest attempt to enjoy the novels assigned to me by my teachers to the same degree as those I have chosen myself, I must admit that most novels did not come close to Tom Clancy's Debt of Honor or Jeffery Deaver's

The Power of Personal Goals Essay

2074 words - 8 pages The life of a student-athlete entails much sacrifice and plenty of restless days. Whether frantically finishing homework following an all-day competition or dreading to begin a project as injuries are tended to, such a lifestyle is not suitable for the fainthearted. In realizing the amounts of work that is demanded of the student-athlete, one can indubitably feel overwhelmed. However, levels of preoccupation and tension lessen considerably when...

This 1 page biography is about Adolf Hitler and his rise of power in a political and personal standpoint...

965 words - 4 pages Adolf Hitler was born on April 20, 1889 in Braunau am Inn, Austria. Adolf was the son of Alois and Klara Hitler. His father was a customs official, and used his mother's last name of Schicklgruber, until he adopted the name Hitler. When his father died in 1903, Adolf was relieved from his constant criticism. Adolf, however, had cherished his mother. Her death in 1907 had a traumatic effect on him. He failed in school, which only raised his...

To what extent has your personal response to The Tragedy of Othello has been shaped by the enduring power of Shakespeare's characterisation of Othello.

1168 words - 5 pages My personal response to Othello has been completely shaped by Shakespeare's characterization of Othello. The themes and ideas that Shakespeare tried to convey through the play are all done through the characterization of his characters.Othello is predominantly a traditional Shakespearean tragedy shadowed with post-colonial aspects. This view is supported and demonstrated through the characterization of Othello in Othello.Through...

Organizational Politics – Power and Dependency

1267 words - 5 pages There are two parts of this topic that is discussed. The first are the five bases of power used normally in Organizational Politics. There are two categories that split into two, Formal and Personal Power. So what are these five bases of power and which category is the best one. We will look at these powers and will be comparing them to our scenarios. The second part will cover the relationship between dependency and power. We will then look...

Paper which applies 5 types of power used in the workplace.

767 words - 3 pages Power, the influence one possesses over another, exists in five forms: legitimate, referent, expert, coercive, and reward. The type of power used in an organization affects the employees and the productivity of the organization. It is beneficial to determine which type of power exists in the organization. If the incorrect type of power is used in the business, the company may suffer from high employee turnover rates, low productivity, or some...

Does Money Give Power?

599 words - 2 pages I've chosen to explore the topic money and power. The type of power here is economic power.This type of power is being used every day in our lives, when we use money to buys things, when we give money to people in exchange for goods or services. An example of this is when someone hires a maid, she is being paid money to clean a house, and the employer has...

Power in the Workplace

1340 words - 5 pages The ability to possess power over individuals is an intense trait that all individuals behold. The outcomes of situations are based on the use of this power. Power can be viewed as an art and a skill if used properly to promote productivity, efficiency, and effectiveness within an organization. However, contrary to that, it can be used in a deviant manner to prohibit success. The following analysis will analyze the most productive use of...

Personal Responsibility

874 words - 3 pages PAGE \* MERGEFORMAT 1 PAGE 5 Personal Responsibility and College SuccessCorinne BunceGen/200October 20, 2014Dale McCurdyPersonal Responsibility and College DropoutsAccording to The National Center for Higher Education...

Organizational Behavior

927 words - 4 pages Organizational Behavior describes five forms of power individuals in a group can hold over each other. These bases of power can be broken down into two categories - formal and personal (Robbins, & Judge, 2007, p. 471). Formal power is granted by a person's ranking in an organization's hierarchy and includes legitimate, coercive, and reward powers. Legitimate power is the broadest of the formal powers and "represents the formal authority to...

Power and Politics

1745 words - 7 pages Organizations depend on structure to get things done. That structure is political and power and based to keep the established order in attaining the organizational goal. Organizational structure is formed using a hierarchy of power to maintain control-employing influence and inspiration to coerce employees to embrace the organizational goal and thereby increasing the organizations primary function, to sale, trade, generate revenues and obtain...

The other day I saw the following quote on a bumper sticker:

“A government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take everything you have.”
–Gerald R. Ford

It got me thinking about the relationship between power and freedom, and how that relationship applies not only to governments but also to businesses, authority figures, laws, programming languages, and even games.

The first interesting thing about the relationship between power and freedom is that it works very differently for individuals by themselves than it does for individuals working with groups. For the lone individual, freedom and power are synonymous: the more power you have, the better you are able to do the things you like and avoid the things you don’t like, which is as good a definition of freedom as I’ve ever heard. An individual’s best strategy for maximizing their own happiness and well-being is to maximize their power.

The same is true of groups working with other groups–when things get interesting is when individuals working in groups try to manage each others’ power. For the individuals within a group, it’s still in their best interest to try to get as much power as possible. However, an individual’s power over others in the group is zero-sum: the more one individual has, the less everyone else in the group can have. The best strategy for the group as a whole, then, is to try to maximize the absolute power of everyone in the group (thereby making the group as a whole more powerful), while minimizing differences in relative power.

This is where president Ford’s observation comes in: all else being equal, governments, corporations, and other large organizations benefit by deliberately limiting the amount of power that any one individual within the organization can have over other individuals (as opposed, say, to their influence over the group as a whole, which may necessarily be much greater for some than for others). This extends to the power the organization itself wields: ideally, it should not be much greater than the power any given individual can wield, whether through government processes themselves or by other means. This is the purpose of checks against governmental power (such as due process, the three branches of government, term limits, and the fact that every government official is still subject to the law): they prevent the government from being able to wield too much power over any given individual, while still ensuring that the individuals themselves don’t wield too much power over each other.

Needless to say, the US government could stand some improvement on all those points, but that’s a subject for its own essay or ten. What I find interesting is that this dichotomy seems to manifest itself in programming languages as well as bureaucracies: the most powerful programming languages for working alone or in small groups also tend to be the most flexible, while programming languages for working in large groups are more restricted. On one end of the spectrum, languages like Lisp and Smalltalk are notorious for having dozens or even hundreds of incompatible “dialects,” most of which were created by some lone hacker who wanted to do things just a little bit differently than everyone else. Such languages allow and even encourage this kind of thinking by letting you tinker and meddle with their insides in ways that other languages don’t–they start from the assumption that the programmer knows what they’re doing, and that the language’s job should be to get out of the way as quickly as possible. “You want to be able to access arbitrary bytes in memory and manipulate them directly?” says C. “No problem!” “You want to be able to redefine and extend control flow operators like if, while, and equals?” say Lisp and Smalltalk. “No problem!” Languages like these give the greatest possible freedom and flexibility–and hence power–to the individual programmer.

On the other end of the spectrum are languages like Java and C++ that continue to use inherently limiting features such as compilation, static typing, “special-case” primitive data types, and enforced encapsulation. Even though other features like functional programming, duck typing, run-time modification, and macros lend individual programmers much more power, such “group work” languages shun them. The first reason is simply that programming languages are not just technologies, they are conventions, and nothing changes slower–but the other reason is that for large groups of people, it is more advantageous for them to limit the power of any given individual working within that group. An individual working alone benefits from having the entire source of the language open and available for tinkering, but allowing individuals working in large groups to tamper with each others’ code, let alone the language itself, is asking for trouble.

So how does this relate to games? What would it mean for a player to have more or less freedom in a videogame, and how would that translate to playing a solo game versus playing in a group? Not surprisingly, it turns out that the same principles apply: the most successful single-player games are the ones that allow individual players as much agency, power, and freedom as possible. Consider, for instance, the open-form plot of Mass Effect, the sandbox mechanics of Grand Theft Auto and The Sims, or the one-man-army player characters of games like Uncharted and God of War. On the other hand, successful multiplayer games strive to eliminate differences in relative power between players (except those due to skill), while still retaining each individual player’s sense of power and freedom.

What intrigues me most about this dynamic is the flexibility single-player games have in catering to it. The necessity of either explicit competition or explicit cooperation in multiplayer games means that the game’s goals must be explicit as well. In single player games, however, a player’s “power” can come in an infinity of different flavors, some explicit, some implicit. It could be the narrative freedom of Grand Theft Auto or Mass Effect, or it could be the power fantasy of God of War–but it could also be the interpretive freedom afforded by games such as Braid and Every Day the Same Dream, the intellectual puzzle-solving freedom of games like Portal, or the freedom to explore in games like Gone Home and Proteus. It’s an important lesson: “power” doesn’t just mean “the ability to kill tons of dudes,” power means freedom. I’m inclined to believe we haven’t even begun to explore all the different ways in which games can make players feel powerful, without giving them a sword or gun.  What do you think?

Like this:

LikeLoading...

Related

0 comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *