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Please use the Leadership Reflection Questions template provided to format your paper. Note that APA format is NOT required for Leadership Reflection Question assignments – only case studies and the final paper. Please remember the 750 word minimum for these assignments.

Part 1: Leadership Function of Power

Please read the attached article (

Leadership Function of Power

). Then address the following two question sets.

Provide an analysis, examples and evaluation of power use as described below.

Define and describe the concept of “hard power” and the three types of this kind of power. Identify a work situation for


of these three types of power in which the use of “hard power” (coercive, reward, legitimate) might be appropriate. For each situation:

Identify and define the type of hard power used.

Provide rationale for why the use of hard power is appropriate.

Define and describe the concept of “soft power” and the two types of this kind of power. Identify a work situation for


of these two types of power in which “soft power” (expert, referent) might be appropriate. For each situation:

Identify and define the type of soft power used.

Provide rationale for why the use of soft power is appropriate.

Note: The individuals involved in your examples do not need to be formal (positional) leaders.

Part 2: Leadership Diversity

View the TedTalk of Mellody Hobson, Color Blind or Color Brave.

Ms. Hobson speaks about the importance of being “color brave” and that meaningful and intentional dialog is critical to stop discrimination in the workplace. She highlights work done by ESPN president John Skipper that personifies being “color brave” to ensure diversity hiring and workplace practices at ESPN.

As a new leader, you have been tasked with creating a new diversity program. The program should embrace a culture of inclusiveness, provide a platform for “color brave” and allow individuals an opportunity to network with all levels within the organization.

3. Provide an overview of a program that you would develop at your organization.

4. What obstacles do you think you would face and who would you need to involve to obtain the appropriate support?

PROPOSAL Management
Leadership as a Function of Power
Leadership As A
Function Of Power
Gary Yukl’s research on leadership provides us with insights into the
use of power and how its components can influence the behavior of
subordinates and peers.
By R. Dennis Green
ow can power be used to influence
behavior? How many types of
power exist? Which are most likely
to produce the compliance and commitment we seek from subordinates and peers?
These kinds of questions have been studied
and discussed for centuries. A scholarly
analysis of recent research is offered by
Gary A. Yukl, State University of New York
at Albany, in his several textbooks on leadership.
Leadership in Organizations, Second
Edition, published in 1989, reviewed the
research to date on power and how it influences behavior and leadership effectiveness. Two of his tables on the subject and
selected short excerpts are included here.
Yukl considered whether effective leaders
have more power or different sources of
power than ineffective leaders, and
whether they exercise power in different
ways. His findings are particularly germane
to proposal management professionals who
may correlate persuasion and influence as
one and the same.
Yukl found that most research classified
five different types of leader power, relying
upon the power taxonomy proposed by
French and Raven in their Studies of
Social Power. Their classifications are listed
in Table 1 on the following page.
APMP Fall 1999
PROPOSAL Management
Leadership as a Function of Power
Table 1. Power Taxonomy
Type of Power
Reward power
The target person complies in order to obtain rewards he or she believes
are controlled by the agent.
Coercive power
The target person complies in order to avoid punishments he or she
believes are controlled by the agent.
Legitimate power
The target person complies because he or she believes the agent has the
right to make the request and the target person has the obligation to comply.
Expert power
The target person complies because he or she believes that the agent has
special knowledge about the best way to do something.
Referent power
The target person complies because he or she admires or identifies with
the agent and wants to gain the agent’s approval.
Taxonomy from J. French & B.H. Raven, Studies of Social Power, Institute for Social Research, Ann Arbor, MI (1959).
How do these types of power influence behavior and what
type of outcome does each produce? Yukl’s findings are
summarized in Table 2. “By drawing upon a diverse literature in the social sciences that includes research on power,
leader behavior, motivation, communication, counseling,
supervision, and conflict resolution, it is possible to develop some tentative guidelines for leaders,” he writes. “These
guidelines vary in degree of empirical support; some are
fairly well supported, while others are mostly speculative.
However, for managers faced with the immediate necessity
of influencing others, the guidelines provide the best advice
possible… The guidelines are usually phrased in terms of
leader influence attempts with subordinates… but most of
the principles’ underlying guidelines apply equally well to
influence attempts with peers, and many apply to influence
attempts with superiors.”
Clearly, as persuaders, we have an interest in gaining compliance with our requests and objectives. Compliance is
one of three potential outcomes. The two types of power
most likely to produce compliance are reward power and
legitimate or position power, such as that attendant to
positions of manager or chief.
In the context of legitimate power, Yukl explains that
authority is exercised by making a legitimate request,
either verbally or in written form. A polite request is more
effective than an arrogant demand. Compliance with the
request is more likely if it is perceived to be within the
leader’s scope of authority. An illegitimate request is likely to
be ignored, or otherwise resisted, especially if the requested
APMP Fall 1999
activity is tedious, dangerous, or unpleasant. Legitimate
requests should be made in a clear, concise manner, using
language that the target person can easily understand.
Reward power is most commonly used by making an
explicit or implicit promise to give a person something
under the leader’s control for carrying out a request or performing a task. Compliance is most likely if the reward is
something valued by the target person. Recent research
also suggests that effective managers provide sincere, public
recognition to subordinates in the form of awards, ceremonies and special symbols. Significant rewards accompany
the recognition, but the focus is on the person’s contributions and achievements, not on the reward. Used in this
way, reward power can be a source of increased referent
power over time.
Commitment is an even more desirable outcome because
of the trust and emotional pledge that it engenders.
Commitment is most likely when the powers used are expert
and referential.
Expert power “is commonly exercised in the form of rational
persuasion. The leader presents logical arguments and supporting evidence for a particular proposal, plan, or request.
Success depends on the leader’s credibility and persuasive
communication skills in addition to technical knowledge
and logical or analytical ability. Proposals or requests
should be made in a confident manner, and the leader
should avoid making contradictory statements or vacillating between inconsistent positions.”
Expert power is based on a knowledge differential between
the leader and the target person. Rational persuasion is
most effective when the target person shares the leader’s
PROPOSAL Management
Leadership as a Function of Power
Table 2. Sources of Leader Influence over Subordinates and Likely Outcomes
Source of
Leader Influence
Type of Outcome
Reward Power
Possible —if used in a
subtle, very personal way
LIKELY*— if used in a
mechanical, impersonal way
Possible —if used in a
manipulative, arrogant way
Coercive Power
Very unlikely
Possible — if used in a helpful,
non-punitive way
LIKELY*— if used in a hostile
or manipulative way
Legitimate Power
(or “Position” Power)
Possible — if request is
polite and very appropriate
LIKELY*— if request or order is
seen as legitimate
Possible —if arrogant demands are
made or request does not appear proper
Expert Power
(or “Skill” Power)
LIKELY*— if request is persuasive and subordinates
share leader’s task goals
Possible —if request is persuasive but subordinates are apathetic about task goals
Possible —if leader is arrogant and
insulting, or sub ordinates oppose task
Referent Power
(or “Friendship”)
LIKELY*— if request is
believed to be important
to leader
Possible —if request is perceived Possible —if request is for something
to be unimportant to leader
that will bring harm to leader
*Indicates most common outcome.
“The most common way to exercise referent power is merely
to ask the target person with whom one has a friendship to
do something… It is useful to indicate the importance of
the request because a request that is important to the
leader is more likely to result in subordinate commitment.”
Resistance is the most likely outcome when coercive power
is used by a leader. “It is best to avoid using coercion except
when absolutely necessary, because it is difficult to use and
it is likely to result in undesirable side effects such as anxiety
and resentment. In work organizations, the most appropriate
use of coercion is to deter behavior that is very detrimental
to the organization, such as illegal activities, theft, violation
of safety rules, reckless behavior that endangers others, and
direct disobedience of legitimate requests.”
“Research on the use of different forms of power by leaders
suggests that effective leaders rely more on personal power
than on position power. Nevertheless, position power is still
important, and it interacts in complex ways with personal
power to determine a leader’s influence on subordinates.
The potential to use position power for influence attempts
with peers or superiors is much more limited, and here personal power is clearly the predominant source of influence.”
“Descriptive research on influence behavior usually deals
with influence tactics such as rational persuasion, exchange
tactics, pressure tactics, legitimate requests, and personal
appeals (including ingratiation). The research finds that the
selection of influence tactics varies with the relative status of
the target person and the purpose of the influence attempt.”
“The success of an influence attempt depends greatly on
the manner in which power is exercised. Effective leaders
are likely to use power in a subtle, careful fashion that minimizes status differentials and avoids threats to the target
person’s self esteem. In contrast, leaders who exercise power
in an arrogant, manipulative, domineering manner are likely
to engender resistance.”
“The amount of position power necessary for leader effectiveness depends on the nature of the organization, task, and
subordinates. A leader with extensive reward and coercive
power is tempted to rely on them excessively, instead of using
referent and expert power. This path leads to resentment
and rebellion. On the other hand, a leader lacking sufficient
position power to reward competent subordinates, make
necessary changes, and punish chronic troublemakers will
find it difficult to develop a high-performing group.” APMP
SOURCE: Leadership in Organizations, Second Edition, By
Gary A. Yukl, State University of New York at Albany. 1989,
1981 by Prentice Hall, Inc. (Reference pages 34-53.)
Also see Yukl’s other books, including: Leadership in
Organizations, Fourth Edition (1998) and Skills for Managers
and Leaders: Text, Cases and Exercises (1990).
APMP Fall 1999
Proposal Management is the professional journal of the Association of Proposal Management Professionals (APMP), an organization dedicated to advancing the arts, sciences and technology of proposal management and promoting the
professionalism of those so engaged. The material in this reprint is protected by copyright and may not be reproduced without the express written permission of APMP. Though all journal articles are peer reviewed, APMP cannot warrant the
competencies of its contributing authors or the research, services and products they describe.
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