Abuse Power Essay

Assignment Topic: Organizational behavior and leadership research has traditionally been deeply influenced by positive psychology and appreciative inquiry. Yet, in recent times, a wave of corporate scandals and spectacular organizational failures has forced management and organizational theorists to rethink this approach. Unethical CEO behavior, white-collar crime, property deviance, employee grievances and lawsuits, organizational terrorism and workplace violence have all provided the impetus for an examination of darker side of leadership. (Goldman 2009) Why do you think some leaders abuse their power?

When a leader abuses his or her power, what are the consequences for the organization which he or she is leading? How should followers respond to leaders who abused their power? (112 words) Contents Introduction ………………………………………………………………………………….. 3 The dark side of leadership: Causes, Consequence and Employee’s respondent…………… Turu……….. ……………………………………………………………………………… Tutyu…….. ……………………………………………………………………………… uioioui…….. ……………………………………………………………………………… I. Introduction The positive psychology and appreciative inquiry has always been with us in the organizational behavior and leadership.

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However, in recent times, the practice of leadership in contemporary organization indicates that leaders have been abusing their power in management. The darker side of leadership can be seen clearly through practical matters, such as unethical CEO behavior, white-collar crime, property deviance, employee grievances and lawsuits, organizational terrorism and workplace violence. In this writing, I will bring out causes and consequences of this matter as well as solutions and respondents for followers to leaders who abused their power. II.

The dark side of leadership: Causes, Consequences and Employee’s respondent According to Richard L. and Andrew P. (2009, p. 380), they said that power is intangible force in organizations. It cannot be seen, but its effect can be felt. Power is often defined as the potential of one person (or department) to influence other people (or departments) to carry out orders or to do something they otherwise would not have done. Other definitions stress that power is the ability to achieve goals or out comes that power holders desires. The achievement of the desired outcomes is the basis of the definition used here.

Power is the ability of one person or department in an organization to influence other people to bring about desired outcomes. It is the potential to influence others within the organization with the goal of attaining desired outcomes for power holders. Power is the capacity to cause a change in a person, influence may be thought of as the degree of actual change. (sach leadership page 380). Leadership is the ability to get people to do what they do not want to do and like it. Leadership can be an opportunity to use power and influence to accomplish important organizational goals, but power can also be abused.

We all know that some people use power primarily to serve their own interests, at the expense of others and the organization. Personalized leaders are typically selfish and impulsive and exercise power for their own self-centred needs and interests rather than for the good of the organization. In recent times, a wave of corporate scandals and organizational failures has become of increasing concern for organizations. It is a serious alarming bell for the abuse of power of leaders. Therefore, the topics and examinations focus on leader, leadership and the dark side of leadership that have generated and published more interest.

Embedded in and reinforced by this attention is the implicit assumption that leadership is important, that leaders make a difference, and that positive group and organizational effects are produced by leaders and the leadership process. There are two argument constructed in this attention. First, leader-imposed leadership does not make (much of) a difference. Jeffrey Pfeffer (1997, p. 104-112) questions the implicit assumption that leadership is causally related to the performance of organizations (J. pfeffer. “the ambiguity of leadership,” Academy of management review 2, 1 (1997), pp. 104-112).

He contends that there remains great deal of ambiguity surrounding the meaning that is attached to the term, and that concept of leadership is essentially redundant with other important organizational constructs such as influence, social power, and authority. As a result, it is difficult to know whether leadership is needed and whether it is leadership or other factors that account for the differences in organizational performance and whether or not the behaviors of leaders have any significant and meaningful relationship with other organizational outcomes. Second, leadership really does make a difference. David V. Day and Robert G.

Lord (1998) argue that there is ample evidence to indicate that top-level leadership is significantly related to organizational performance. There are instances where leadership has accounted for 45 percent of the variance in organizational performance. The effects of executive leadership may be direct in their impact upon both the external and internal environments of the organization. In addition, many of the effects of leadership are indirect in nature such as creating the culture of the organization, affecting the success of employee involvement programs, creating of psychological ownership and employee performance behaviors. 1 R. Rodger & J. E. Hunter, “Impact of management by Objectives on Organizational Productivity,” Journal of Applied Psychology 76 (1991), pp. 322-336). In sum, leaders and leadership process make a difference (directly and indirectly). At the times the effects of leadership may be neutralized or substituted for by other forces operating within the organization and/or its environment. Finally, it should be noted that the effects of leadership, when produced, are not always positive in nature.

Thus, the leadership skill is very necessary for a leader to achieve the organizational goals. In recent years, the great success of business leaders that make us tend to think of the positive outcomes associates with leaders. But the risks or liabilities are also entailed. Within organizations in which some people are given official power over the important outcomes of others who have no reciprocal control of their own abuse of this power occurs, and at all levels of the power hierarchy. (pp 41 the use and abuse power, Annette Y. Lee-Chai & John A.

Bargh, 2001). Leaders exercise power in dominant and authoritarian way to serve their self-interests, to manipulate others for their own purposes, and to win at all costs(cung ten zoi cuon duoi, leadership concepts and theories in organization, muc so 17: the ethics of charismatic leadership: submission or liberation, pp166 Jane Howell, Bruce J. Avolio). When a leader’s behaviors become exaggerated, lose touch with reality, or become vehicles for purely personal gain, they may harm the leader and the organization. Then, the negative outcomes are highly ikely, a failure leadership is completely possible. This can cause the serious consequences such as white-collar crime, property deviance, employee grievances and lawsuits, organizational terrorism and workplace violence. Three particular skill areas can contribute to such problems: leaders’ strategic vision, their communications and impression-management skills, and their general management practices which can cause to negative outcomes (pp 437-442, leading organizations: perspective for a new era by Gill Robinson Hickman, the dark side of leadership, Jay A. Conger, sage publications, Inc). ) Problem with the visionary leader Because of the world’s severse competitive business environment, the organizations were faced with pressures to innovate and alter their ways. This came a new breed of business leader that is strategic visionary. Besides many leaders run successfully their organizations, others get the great failures. The key problem is the vision of leader contained the potential for disaster. The unsuccessful strategic visions can be known easily to the inclusion of the leaders’ personal aims that did not match their subordinators’ needs.

Leader might substitute personal goals for what should be shared organizational goals. Moreover the blind drive to create this very personal vision could result in an inability to see problems and opportunities in the environment. Leaders will fail to see competing with higher advance and more successful ideas. In addition, such personal visions encourage the leader to expend enormous amounts of energy, passion, and resources on getting them off the ground. The higher their commitment, the less willing they are to see the viability of competing approaches.

Because of the leader’s commitment, the organization’s investment is also likely to be far greater in such cases. Failure therefore will have more serious consequences. The leader’s perceptions can also lead to a failed vision. Common problems include: an inability to detect important changes in markets (e. g. , competitive, technological, or consumer needs); a failure to accurately assess and obtain the necessary resources for the vision accomplishment; and a misreading or exaggerated sense of the needs of markets or constituents.

Ultimately, then, the success of a leader’s strategic vision depends on a realistic assessment of both the opportunities and the constraints in the organization’s environment and a sensitivity to constituents’ needs. If the leader loses sight of reality or loses touch with constituents, the vision becomes a liability. Vision may fail for a wide variety of reasons: * The vision reflects the internal needs of leaders rather than those of the market or constituents: one of the most serious liabilities of a visionary leader occurs when he or she projects purely personal needs and beliefs onto those of constituents.

When a leader’s needs and wishes diverge from those of constituents, the consequences can be quite costly. * The resources needed to achieve the vision have been seriously miscalculated: the leader is usually driven by desire to expand or accelerate the realization of his vision. The initial vision appears correct, and early successes essentially delude or weaken the leader’s ability to realistically assess his resources and marketplace realities. The costs that must be paid for acquisitions or market share ultimately become unsustainable and threaten the long-term viability of the leader’s organization. A failure to recognize environmental changes prevents redirection of the vision: a leader’s perceptions of the market are so exaggerated or so significantly ahead of their time that the marketplace fails to sustain the leader’s venture. The organization’s resources are mobilized and spent a mission that ultimately fails to produce the expected results. In this case the leader is perhaps too visionary or too idealistic Thought leaders perceive that these actions are producing negative results, they persist. Because failing to do so would damage their favorite perception of themselves.

In addition, organizations depend on visionary leaders. They may idealize their leader and thus ignore negative aspects. As a result, they may carry out their leader’s orders unquestioningly and leaders may in certain cases encourage such behavior because of their needs to dominate and be admired. Therefore they fail to receive information that might be important but challenging to the mission. Finally, problems with “group-think” can occur where the leader’s advisors delude themselves into agreement with the leader or dominant others. Then, decision making process will be distorted.

When “group-think” occurs, the opinion of leader and advisors with closely allied views come to dominate decision making. Doubts that others might have are kept hidden for fear of disapproval. b) Communications and impression-management skills Some leaders excel at communicating, it may be quite easy for them to misuse this ability. They can present information that makes their visions appear more realistic or more appealing than the visions actually are. They also use their language skills to screen out problems in the larger environment or to foster an illusion of control when, in reality, things out of control.

When leaders rely greatly on their impression management skills in communicating, they do themselves a disservice. A research in impression management indicates not only that one’s self-descriptions are effective in deceiving an audience, but also that they may deceive the presenter as well. Such positive responses encourage leaders to internalize their own self-enhancing descriptions c) Management practices that become liabilities Some leaders are known for their impulsive, autocratic management style. Others become so disruptive through their unconventional behavior that their organizations mobilize against them.

Moreover, leaders can be poor at managing their superiors and peer. In general, some of the very management practices that make leaders unique may also lead to their downfall. * Managing upwards and sideways Leaders’ aggressive style may also alienate many potential supporters and ultimately leave them without sufficient political support for their ambitious plans. In a large organization, leaders tend to promote a feeling of being “special” among members of their operating units. They also have a habit of ignoring corporate staff requests for reports or information.

Such behaviors and tactics were ultimately harmful both to the leader and to the organization. The executive eventually went down from the organization. * Relationships with subordinates Visionary leaders are often described as autocratic. Leaders’ impatience with the speed of the vision’s achievement increases the problem and encourages them to be more practical, more controlling. And, in the way leaders manage, they are also an impulsive dynamic at work, then, they can override subordinates’ suggestions. * Administrative skills Some visionary leaders are so attractive by the “big picture” that they fail to understand necessary details.

Once an idea or project begins to appear as a reality, they feel the need to move on next challenge, and leave subordinates behind with their projects. Furthermore, because some leaders have high needs for visibility, they incline toward activities that give them high people contact and respect. Such activities do generally not bring the benefit for organization while spending much of time to the details. * Succession problems It is difficult for others with leadership potential to develop fully in the shadow of leaders whom subordinates develop dependencies. Consequences of dark side behavior due to negative outcomes

Behavioral versus outcome origins of the dark side perspective An important issue in this area relates to whether the dark side perspective of politics by actual behaviors in which people engaged or based on the outcomes that organizational politics produces. This dark side label is driven by both behaviors and outcomes. The outcomes associated with such behavior (dark side) are usually found to be negative. It should be noted, however, that political activity is often attributed to individuals in the organization who hold high positions and who have high legitimate power (Madison, Allen, Porter, Renwick, & Mayes, 1980(Madison, D. Allen, R. , Porter, L. W. , Renwick, P. , &Mayes, B. (1980). Organizational politics: An exploration of managers’ perceptions. Human Relations, 33, 79-100. )). With the negative outcomes because of the reasons examined above can lead leaders to the negative behaviors. This harms to others and organization. These are costly consequences of dark side behaviors because of the dark side of leadership. * Dark side behaviors that harm others There are several forms of dark side behaviors injurious to human welfare that primarily and most directly harm others.

These are verbal and psychological violence, physical violence, sexual harassment, and general unsafe work practices (Ricky W. Griffin and Anne M. O’Leary-Kelly, 2004(pp 9-13) the dark side of organizational behavior). * Verbal and psychological violence may result in turnover among the targets, a climate in the workplace of hostility and fear, or retaliation from these individual against their abusers. Physical violence such as homicides and murders in workplace, the victims incur the greatest costs – physical pain and suffering, lost work time, medical expenses, psychological damage, or death.

Organization may incur medical and legal expense, lost work time, and a damaged culture and public image. * Sexual harassment can be seen as a form of verbal, psychological, or physical violence. The costs of sexual harassment to the victim or victims are similar to those of the other forms of violence: damaged self-esteem or self-concept, stress, or physical damage. Similarly, there may also be corresponding costs to the organization and even to the perpetrator. General unsafe work practices such as using equipment or machinery in ways that deviate from normal practice, breaking traffic laws while driving on organizational business, using the chemicals or other toxic materials without following normal safety practices, and not following standard security rules or procedures. The potential costs of behaviors such as these to other individuals include serious injury or death. Costs to the organization include medical and legal fees, lost production time, government intervention and control, damaged public relations, and the intrusive effects of unauthorized individuals into sensitive work areas. Dark side behaviors harm self. * Alcohol and illicit drug abuse: the potential effects of alcohol and illicit drug abuse on the individual abuser include psychological damage to the body, financial hardship due to the costs of acquiring alcohol and illicit drugs, social and interpersonal difficulties, marital and family difficulties, and impaired judgment and decision making. And, of course, many of these outcomes may have consequences for others as well. From the organization’s perspective, alcohol and illicit drug abuse at work can result in lower performance and higher accident rates, absenteeism, turnover, and insurance premiums. Smoking: the costs to individual smoker can be clear in terms of health. For the organization, the costs of smoking by employees include higher insurance premiums, lost productivity as workers move to and from their smoking area, and the expense of monitoring compliance with no smoking rules. * Specific unsafe work practices: that is most likely to result in harm to the individual. Additional costs to the organization include lost productivity, medical and legal expenses, and property damage. * Suicide: the effects of suicide of suicide on survivors are widely recognized.

Aside from the obvious grief of the person’s family, his or her colleagues, and other business associates will suffer as well. * Dark side behaviors injurious to the organization This dark side has costs that are more directly related to organization itself. The organization costs may then result in subsequent costs of the organization. * The dark side behaviors that have specific financial costs * Inappropriate absenteeism or tardiness * Theft of organization assets or property * Destruction of organization assets or property * Violation of laws, codes, or regulations The dark side behaviors that have nonspecific financial costs * Destructive political behaviors * Inappropriate impression management behaviors * Breach of confidentiality * Sustained suboptimal performance In sum, the abuse of power can lead to resistance and conflict from subordinate members, which, in turn, further presents the organization’s goals. That is a direct consequence of the exertion of power. People have a very basis need to be treated fairly, and are strongly motivated to react against a system or treatment by individual members of that system when they perceive they are not being treated fairly.

Thus, when the powerholder uses his or her power in an unfair manner, to attain his or her own selfish goals, the relationship between the powerful and the powerless is no longer perceives as just, and so given the right opportunity the subordinates will attempt to engage in overt or covert resistance the use and abuse of power, multiple perspectives on the Cause of Corruption, Annette Y. Lee-Chai, John A. Bargh,2001, pp 44) With the high costs of power abuse and negative outcomes, the dark side behaviors of leaders can occur highly.

They result in disastrous consequences for the individual, the group, and the organization. This can see clearly according to the current negative wave of leadership such as white-collar crime, property deviance, employee grievances and lawsuits, organizational terrorism and workplace violence. It is true and may lead to the corruption of organization. Followers respond to leaders We recognize that changing organizations requires a consideration of power and politics (culture, leadership, and power: the keys to organizational change Ronal W. Clement, pp37, business horizons/January- February 1994).

With the current scandal waves of leadership indicate a recognition that managing and changing organizations depend heavily on the use of power. The charismatic leaders with wrong visions paid a high cost for abusing power to enable to attain the personal goals. Managerial tyranny is the dark side of the charismatic leaders (the paradox of managerial tyranny, Hao Ma, Ranjan Karri, Kumar Chittipeddi, business horizons 47/4 July-august 2004,pp35). Especially, when tyrants only focus on self-interest, this affected seriously to organizations and followers.

These followers need to have strategic to cope with them. It is extremely difficult to change these leaders because they are in high position and far too powerful and permanent in their influence. To effectively deal with them is to understand their unique motivations, pressure points, then behave in a manner that conforms to this understanding (the paradox of managerial tyranny, Hao Ma, Ranjan Karri, Kumar Chittipeddi, business horizons 47/4 July-august 2004,pp38). Depending on the behavioral environments, follower can have suitable strategies as following: i.

The strategy of acquiescence If subordinates have no alternative, they can decide to stay on in the tyrannical environment. They can choose to ingratiate leaders and get into the leader’s power circle, thus become part of the power structure. ii. The strategy of quitting This is a difficult strategy when dealing with abusive charisma. When senior executives quit the job, other subordinates can interpret a failure leadership happening. It sends a powerful message to the rest of organization. For those who cannot tolerant under such conditions, it is better to resign and find another job.

Subordinates who quit a organization send strong signals to beware the use of power of leader in controlling. iii. The strategy of insurrection It is also a difficult and courageous strategy and usually get failure in organizations. What weakens and destroys the abusive power are external factors such as competitor’s actions or internal factors such as a decrease in company’s performance. III. Ket luan The positive side of charismatic leaders can be seen clearly through the successful organizations such as Lee Iacocca, Steven Jobs.

But it has at times produced negative outcomes for both followers and organizations. These negative charismatic leaders are in high power, which is associated with goals, they focus on their personal goals, change and innovation. As a result, they lack of ability to focus on the tasks related to effective management. In other words, the leadership skill is very important and significantly related to organizational performance. Leadership is not a process that requires people to use power over others in order to gain compliance or force people.

Leadership is process of influence that enlists and encourages others in the attainment of organizational goals. Power has largely meaning to attain desired goals, but power can also harm to organization. Power used to sever the organization’s need, not the individual’s and power does not automatically produce its misuse. A successful leader is a person who has leadership talent and using power precisely. REFERENCE Richard L. & Andrew P. (2009). The Leadership Experience. Cengage Learning Australia: Cengage Learning. P. 380 J. Pfeffer (1997). The ambiguity of leadership. Academy of management. P. 104-112


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