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Leadership: Power and
Styles &
Power &
Processes &
Characteristics &
Trust, Justice,
& Ethics
Learning &
Decision Making
Personality &
Cultural Values
After reading this chapter, you should be able to answer the following questions:
13.1 What is leadership, and what role does power play in leadership?
13.2 What are the different types of power that leaders possess, and when can they use those types
most effectively?
13.3 What behaviors do leaders exhibit when trying to influence others, and which of these is most
13.4 What is organizational politics, and when is political behavior most likely to occur?
13.5 How do leaders use their power and influence to resolve conflicts in the workplace?
13.6 What are the ways in which leaders negotiate in the workplace?
13.7 How do power and influence affect job performance and organizational commitment?
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n 2017, when she took over GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), Emma
Walmsley became the first female CEO of a major pharmaceutical company. Today, she is number 1 on Fortune’s
International 50 most powerful women’s list. GSK, a $38.9
billion British firm, was founded in 2000 when two of the
world’s oldest drug companies merged together. Today, GSK
has three major divisions: pharmaceuticals, vaccines, and
consumer products (such as Excedrin, Flonase, and Tums).
With more than 100,000 employees, leading this organization is no small feat. When Walmsley was initially chosen
as CEO, the reaction was not positive because she was
perceived as a “status quo” selection. Just six weeks into
her tenure, one of GSK’s largest and most vocal shareholders sold all of his stock and publicly called the company “a
health care conglomerate with a suboptimal business strategy.” However, in just two years, Walmsley has won over
many of the company’s critics. One of GSK’s board members
says that Walmsley is “a force of nature” and “the quickest
study I think I’ve ever met.”
After spending 17 years moving up the ranks at L’Oreal,
Walmsley was offered a job as president of GSK’s global
consumer health care division. During Walmsley’s five years
as president, she increased consumer sales 38 percent,
Andy Buchanan/PA Images/Getty Images
from $6.8 billion to $9.4 billion. What really attracted attention, though, was how effectively Walmsley led a major joint
venture with Novartis through to completion. One board
member said, “It is hard to overstate how seamless that integration was.” Although Novartis had a culture that was very
different from GSK, Walmsley was able to use her power
and influence effectively enough to keep most of the highlevel Novartis people engaged and on board. One executive
said, “They spoke so well of her. They felt really respected,
but it was also really clear she was the boss.”
Taking over as CEO was a well-earned, but big step
up. Walmsley said, “I don’t think anyone can fully explain
what it’s like to be a CEO until you’re actually on the job.
The way I define the job is, firstly, in setting strategy for the
company, and then leading the allocation of capital to that
strategy—because until you put the money where you say
your strategy is, it’s not your strategy.”* Walmsley’s push
since becoming CEO has been to redouble efforts into R&D
and refocus on the pharmaceutical side of the business.
One former GSK executive referred to her as a “courageous,
supportive, and demanding leader.”
*Fortune Media IP Limited
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Leadership: Power and Negotiation
What is leadership, and what
role does power play in
As evidenced by GlaxoSmithKline, leadership in organizations is complicated. It is a mix of factors that has to do with ideas, behaviors, positions, and so forth. Leaders within organizations
can make a huge difference to the success of a company or group. Much of this success depends
on how effectively they use power and influence in achieving their objectives. You could read
the opening example and anoint Emma Walmsley as a great leader and try to simply adopt her
behavioral examples to follow in her footsteps. However, things aren’t quite that simple. As we’ll
discover in this and the next chapter, there are many different types of leaders, many of whom can
excel, given the right circumstances.
There is perhaps no subject that’s written about more in business circles than the topic of
leadership. A quick search on Amazon.com for “leadership” will generate a list of more than
60,000 books! That number doesn’t even count the myriad videos, calendars, audio recordings,
and other items—all designed to help people become better leaders. Given all the interest in this
topic, a natural question becomes, “What exactly is a leader?” We define leadership as the use of
power and influence to direct the activities of followers toward goal achievement.1 That direction
can affect followers’ interpretation of events, the organization of their work activities, their commitment to key goals, their relationships with other followers, and their access to cooperation and
support from other work units.2 This chapter focuses on how leaders get the power and influence
they use to direct others and the ways in which power and influence are utilized in organizations,
including through negotiation. Chapter 14 will focus on how leaders actually use their power and
influence to help followers achieve their goals.
What exactly comes to mind when you think of the term “power”? Does it raise a positive or negative image for you? Certainly it’s easy to think of leaders who have used power for what we would
consider good purposes, but it’s just as easy to think of leaders who have used power for unethical or immoral purposes. For now, try not to focus on how leaders use power but instead on how
they acquire it. Power can be defined as the ability to influence the behavior of others and resist
unwanted influence in return.3 Note that this definition gives us a couple of key points to think
about. First, just because a person has the ability to influence others does not mean they will actually choose to do so. In many organizations, the most powerful employees don’t even realize how
influential they could be! Second, in addition to influencing others, power can be seen as the ability to resist the influence attempts of others.4 This resistance could come in the form of the simple
voicing of a dissenting opinion, the refusal to perform a specific behavior, or the organization of
an opposing group of coworkers.5 Sometimes leaders need to resist the influence of other leaders
or higher-ups to do what’s best for their own unit. Other times leaders need to resist the influence
of their own employees to avoid being a “pushover” when employees try to go their own way.
Think about the people you currently work with or have worked with in the past, or think of students who are involved in many of the same activities you are. Do any of those people seem to
have especially high levels of power, meaning that they have the ability to influence your behavior?
What is it that gives them that power? In some cases, their power may come from some formal
position (e.g., supervisor, team leader, teaching assistant, resident advisor). However, sometimes
the most powerful people we know lack any sort of formal authority. It turns out that power in
organizations can come from a number of different sources. Specifically, there are five major
types of power that can be grouped along two dimensions: organizational power and personal
power.6 These types of power are illustrated in Figure 13-1.
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Leadership: Power and Negotiation
Types of Power
Organizational Power
Legitimate Power
Reward Power
Coercive Power
Ability to
Personal Power
Expert Power
Referent Power
ORGANIZATIONAL POWER The three types of organizational power derive primarily from
a person’s position within the organization. These types of power are considered more formal
in nature.7 Legitimate power derives from a position of authority inside the organization and is
sometimes referred to as “formal authority.” People with legitimate power have some title—some
term on an organizational chart or on their door that says, “Look, I’m supposed to have influence over you.” Those with legitimate power have the understood right to ask others to do things
that are considered within the scope of their authority. When managers ask an employee to stay
late to work on a project, work on one task instead of another, or work faster, they are exercising
legitimate power. The higher up in an organization a person is, the more legitimate power they
generally possess. Fortune magazine provides rankings of the most powerful women in business.
As shown in Table 13-1, all of those women possess legitimate power in that they hold a title that
affords them the ability to influence others.
Legitimate power does have its limits, however. It doesn’t generally give a person the right to
ask employees to do something outside the scope of their jobs or roles within the organization.
For example, if a manager asked an employee to wash their car or mow their lawn, it would likely
be seen as an inappropriate request. As we’ll see later in this chapter, there’s a big difference
between having legitimate power and using it effectively. When used ineffectively, legitimate power
can be a very weak form of power.
The next two forms of organizational power are somewhat intertwined with legitimate power.
Reward power exists when someone has control over the resources or rewards another person
wants. For example, managers generally have control over raises, performance evaluations, awards,
more desirable job assignments, and the resources an employee might require to perform a job
effectively. Those with reward power have the ability to influence others if those being influenced
believe they will get the rewards by behaving in a certain way. Coercive power exists when a person
has control over punishments in an organization. Coercive power operates primarily on the principle of fear. It exists when one person believes that another has the ability to punish him or her
and is willing to use that power. For example, a manager might have the right to fire, demote, suspend, or lower the pay of an employee. Sometimes the limitations of a manager to impose punishments are formally spelled out in an organization. However, in many instances, managers have a
What are the different types
of power that leaders possess, and when can they use
those types most effectively?
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Leadership: Power and Negotiation
TABLE 13-1
Fortune’s 15 Most Powerful Women in Business in 2018
Marilyn Hewson
Lockheed Martin
Chairman, CEO, and president
Mary Barra
General Motors
Chairman and CEO
Abigail Johnson
Fidelity Investments
Chairman and CEO
Ginni Rometty
Chairman, CEO, and president
Gail Boudreaux
President and CEO
Sheryl Sandberg
Safra Katz
Phebe Novakovic
General Dynamics
Chairman and CEO
Ruth Porat
Google, Alphabet
Susan Wojcicki
Google, Alphabet
CEO, YouTube
Lynn Good
Duke Energy
Chairman, CEO, and president
Angela Ahrendts
Senior vice president, Retail and
Online Stores
Tricia Griffith
President and CEO
Judith McKenna
Walmart Int’l
President and CEO
Karen Lynch
Source: Bellstrom, K., G. Donnelly, M. Heimer, E. Hinchliffe, A. Jenkins, B. Kowitt, M. Rodriguez, L. Segarra, L. Shen,
J. Vanian, P. Wahba, and J. Wieczner. “Most Powerful Women.” Fortune 178, no. 4 (October 1, 2018): pp. 58–69.
considerable amount of leeway in this regard. Coercive power is generally regarded as a poor form
of power to use regularly, because it tends to result in negative feelings toward those that wield it.
For a great example of someone learning the potential advantage of using organizational power
effectively, see this chapter’s OB on Screen feature.
PERSONAL POWER Of course, the women in Table 13-1 don’t appear on that list just because
they have some formal title that affords them the ability to reward and punish others. There’s
something else about them, as people, that provides them additional capabilities to influence others. Personal forms of power capture that “something else.” Expert power derives from a person’s
expertise, skill, or knowledge on which others depend. When people have a track record of high
performance, the ability to solve problems, or specific knowledge that’s necessary to accomplish
tasks, they’re more likely to be able to influence other people who need that expertise. Consider a
lone programmer who knows how to operate a piece of antiquated software, a machinist who was
recently trained to operate a new piece of equipment, or the only engineer who has experience
working on a specific type of project. All of these individuals will have a degree of expert power
because of what they individually bring to the organization. Angela Ahrendts, SVP at Apple,
appears in Table 13-1 largely because of her expert power. Apple CEO Tim Cook hired Ahrendts,
who was then CEO of the British fashion company Burberry, because he felt that her expertise
in retail could help deliver a vision for the Apple Store. Ahrendts said, “I told him, ‘I’m not a
techie,’ and he said, ‘I think we have 10,000 of those, you are supposed to be here.’”8 There is perhaps no place where expert power comes into play more than in Silicon Valley, where it’s widely
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Leadership: Power and Negotiation
OB On Screen
This company has been in my life for longer than most of the people working there have been
alive, so I don’t need the lecture on legacy. And this is no longer my father’s company. It’s no
longer my husband’s company. It’s MY company and anyone who thinks otherwise probably
doesn’t belong on my board.*
With those words, Katherine Graham (Meryl Streep) clarifies her legitimate power to members of
her board, advisors, and newspaper editor in The Post (Dir: Steven Spielberg, 20th Century Fox,
2018). The movie, set in 1971, follows the unauthorized release of the “Pentagon Papers,” a highly
sensitive and classified study commissioned by Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara (Bruce
Greenwood) that detailed U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War. Initially, the papers are leaked to
reporters at The New York Times who begin to run a series of stories on the contents of the study
until a court injunction stops them from continuing. In the meantime, The Washington Post’s editor, Bill Bradlee (Tom Hanks) and one of his reporters find the leak and obtain their own copy of
the study, which Bradlee wants to publish.
Moviestore Collection Ltd/Alamy
Following the death of her husband and father, Ms. Graham unexpectedly becomes the sole
owner and publisher of The Washington Post. An interesting part of the movie is watching the
development of Ms. Graham as a leader who starts to recognize the various types of power
she has at her disposal. For much of the movie, she is steamrolled by her advisors, board, and
employees—who all happen to have a lot more journalistic experience than she has (in addition to
being male). The scene in question is the culmination of the movie’s buildup to a decision as to
whether the paper should publish the papers in the face of legal issues, cancellation of the paper’s
upcoming public offering, and even potential jail time for Ms. Graham. Although she attempts to
use multiple forms of power and influence at times throughout the movie—even in this scene—she
is finally willing to utilize her legitimate power to put an exclamation point on her decision.
*Source: The Post.
perceived that the best leaders are those with significant technological experience and expertise.
At Intel, senior advisor and former CEO Andy Grove “fostered a culture in which ‘knowledge
power’ would trump ‘position power.’ Anyone could challenge anyone else’s idea, so long as it
was about the idea and not the person—and so long as you were ready for the demand ‘Prove it.’”9
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Leadership: Power and Negotiation
Referent power exists when others have a desire to identify and be associated with a person.
This desire is generally derived from affection, admiration, or loyalty toward a specific individual.10
Although our focus is on individuals within organizations, there are many examples of political
leaders, celebrities, and sports figures who seem to possess high levels of referent power. Barack
Obama, Angelina Jolie, and Peyton Manning all possess referent power to some degree because
others want to emulate them. The same could be said of leaders in organizations who possess a
good reputation, attractive personal qualities, or a certain level of charisma. Emma Walmsley, as
detailed in our chapter-opening case, clearly wields referent power. Past colleagues refer to her as
having “amazing charisma” and the ability to always speak “with effect.”11
Of course, it’s possible for a person to possess all of the forms of power at the same time. In
fact, the most powerful leaders—like those in Table 13-1—have bases of power that include all five
dimensions. From an employee’s perspective, it’s sometimes difficult to gauge what form of power
is most important. Why, exactly, do you do what your boss asks you to do? Is it because the boss
has the formal right to provide direction, because the boss controls your evaluations, or because
you admire and like the boss? Many times, we don’t know exactly what type of power leaders possess until they attempt to use it. Generally speaking, the personal forms of power are more strongly
related to organizational commitment and job performance than are the organizational forms. If
you think about the authorities for whom you worked the hardest, they probably possessed some
form of expertise and charisma, rather than just an ability to reward and punish. That’s not to say
though that organizational forms of power cannot successfully achieve objectives at times. Some
useful guidelines for wielding each of the forms of power can be found in Table 13-2.
CONTINGENCY FACTORS There are certain situations in organizations that are likely to
increase or decrease the degree to which leaders can use their power to influence others. Most of
these situations revolve around the idea that the more other employees depend on a person, the
more powerful that person becomes. A person can have high levels of expert and referent power,
but if he or she works alone and performs tasks that nobody sees, the ability to influence others
TABLE 13-2
Guidelines for Using Power
• Stay within the rights your position holds.
• Communicate your request politely.
• Make sure you describe the purpose of your request.
• Propose rewards that are attractive.
• Only offer what you can follow through on.
• Be clear on exactly what you are offering a reward for.
• Warn people prior to giving punishment.
• Make sure punishment is fair relative to the nature of the lack of
• Follow through quickly and without discrimination or bias.
• Put forth data or other evidence to support your proposal.
• Communicate why the request is important and the justification
for it.
• Be consistent, thoughtful, and honest about requests.
• Follow through on commitments.
• Do things for others even when not required to do so.
• Support and uphold others when called for.
Source: For a more detailed list of guidelines and discussion, see Yukl, Gary A. Leadership in Organizations, 7th ed. (c) 2010.
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Leadership: Power and Negotiation
is greatly reduced. That being said, there are four factors that have an effect on the strength of a
person’s ability to use power to influence others.12 These factors are summarized in Table 13-3.
Substitutability is the degree to which people have alternatives in accessing resources. Leaders
that control resources to which no one else has access can use their power to gain greater influence. Discretion is the degree to which managers have the right to make decisions on their own. If
managers are forced to follow organizational policies and rules, their ability to influence others is
reduced. Centrality represents how important a person’s job is and how many people depend on
that person to accomplish their tasks. Leaders who perform critical tasks and interact with others
regularly have a greater ability to use their power to influence others. Visibility is how aware others
are of a leader’s power and position. If everyone knows that a leader has a certain level of power,
the ability to use that power to influence others is likely to be high.
MWH, the Broomfield, Colorado, engineering firm specializing in water projects, with $1 billion in revenue, asked 500 employees in all of its departments where they went when they came up
with a new idea. This would allow MWH to determine who possessed certain types of expertise
and who offered the most help to employees. In a sense, MWH was identifying the individuals in
the organization who were likely to have the most power.13 Companies such as Microsoft, Pfizer,
and Google are increasingly using such networking maps to understand the power structures in
their organizations and who holds the most influence.14
Up until now, we’ve discussed the types of power leaders possess and when their opportunities
to use that power will grow or diminish. Now we turn to the specific strategies that leaders use to
translate that power into actual influence.
Recall that having power increases our ability to influence behavior. It doesn’t mean that we
will use or exert that power. Influence is the use of an actual behavior that causes behavioral or
attitudinal changes in others.15 There are two important aspects of influence to keep in mind.
First, influence can be seen as directional. It most frequently occurs downward (managers influencing employees) but can also be lateral (peers influencing peers) or upward (employees influencing managers). Second, influence is all relative. The absolute power of the “influencer” and
“influencee” isn’t as important as the disparity between them.16
What behaviors do leaders
exhibit when trying to influence others, and which of
these is most effective?
INFLUENCE TACTICS Leaders depend on a number of tactics to cause behavioral or attitudinal
changes in others. In fact, there are at least 10 types of tactics that leaders can use to try to influence
others.17 These tactics and their general levels of effectiveness are illustrated in Figure 13-2.18 The four
most effective tactics have been shown to be rational persuasion, inspirational appeals, consultation,
and collaboration. Rational persuasion is the use of logical arguments and hard facts to show the
target that the request is a worthwhile one. Research shows that rational persuasion is most effective
when it helps show that the proposal is important and feasible.19 Rational persuasion is particularly
TABLE 13-3
The Contingencies of Power
There are no substitutes for the rewards or resources the
leader controls.
The leader’s role is important and interdependent with others in
the organization.
The leader has the freedom to make his or her own decisions
without being restrained by organizational rules.
Others know about the leader and the resources he or she can
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Larry Page (left), CEO of
Alphabet (parent ­company
of Google), is known for
his willingness to allow
employees to use ­rational
persuasion (data) to
change his mind on an
Leadership: Power and Negotiation
important because it’s the only
tactic that is consistently successful in the case of upward
influence.20 At Alphabet, for
example, data is all-important.
CEO Larry Page has been willing to change his mind in the
face of conflicting information.
Douglas Merrill, former Google
CIO, said, “Larry would wander around the engineers and
he would see a product being
developed, and sometimes he
would say, ‘Oh I don’t like that,’
but the engineers would get
Paul Sakuma/Associated Press
some data to back up their idea,
and the amazing thing was that
Larry was fine to be wrong. As long as the data supported them, he was okay with it. And that was
such an incredibly morale-boosting interaction for engineers.”21 An inspirational appeal is a tactic
designed to appeal to the target’s values and ideals, thereby creating an emotional or attitudinal reaction. To use this tactic effectively, leaders must have insight into what kinds of things are important
to the target. Tony Hsieh does his best to use inspirational appeals when talking about the benefits of
his company’s new organizational structure to his employees at Zappos and what he believes it can
bring the company.22 Consultation occurs when the target is allowed to participate in deciding how
to carry out or implement a request. This tactic increases commitment from the target, who now
has a stake in seeing that his or her opinions are valued. A leader uses collaboration by attempting to
make it easier for the target to complete the request. Collaboration could involve the leader helping
complete the task, providing required resources, or removing obstacles that make task completion
difficult.23 Ginni Rometty, CEO of IBM and number 4 in Table 13-1, is known inside and outside the
organization for her collaborative tactics. Rometty and IBM entered into an alliance with its biggest
rival, Apple, to bring IBM services to Apple’s iOS platform. Apple CEO Tim Cook says of Rometty,
“I think she’s wicked smart. She has an incredible ability to partner and can make tough decisions
and do so decisively. And she sees things as they really are.”24
Influence Tactics and Their Effectiveness
Most Effective
Moderately Effective
Least Effective
Rational Persuasion
Personal Appeals
Source: Adapted from Lee, S., S. Han, M. Cheong, S. L. Kim, and S. Yun. “How Do I Get My Way? A Meta-Analytic
Review of Research on Influence Tactics.” Leadership Quarterly 28 (2017): pp. 210–228.
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Leadership: Power and Negotiation
Three other influence tactics are sometimes effective and sometimes not. Ingratiation is the
use of favors, compliments, or friendly behavior to make the target feel better about the influencer. You might more commonly hear this referred to as “sucking up,” especially when used
in an upward influence sense. Ingratiation has been shown to be more effective when used as a
long-term strategy and not nearly as effective when used immediately prior to making an influence attempt.25 Personal appeals occur when the requestor asks for something based on personal
friendship or loyalty. The stronger the friendship, the more successful the attempt is likely to be.
As described in our OB Internationally feature, there are cultural differences when it comes to this
kind of an appeal just as there are with other influence attempts. Finally, apprising occurs when
the requestor clearly explains why performing the request will benefit the target personally. It differs from rational persuasion in that it focuses solely on the benefit to the target as opposed to
simple logic or benefits to the group or organization.
OB Internationally
When Google hired Kai-Fu Lee to be vice president of engineering and president of Google
Greater China, with a more than $10 million compensation package, the company was counting
on his continued ability to use the same skills that allowed him to be a huge success at Microsoft.
What was it that Lee possessed that made him so worthwhile? Lee argues that it was his understanding of guanxi (pronounced gwan-she). In the Chinese culture, guanxi (literally translated
“relationships”) is the ability to influence decisions by creating obligations between parties based
on personal relationships.
Guanxi represents a relationship between two people that involves both sentiment and obligation. Individuals with high levels of guanxi tend to be tied together on the basis of shared institutions such as kinship, places of birth, schools attended, and past working relationships. Although
such shared institutions might “get someone in the door” in the United States, in China, they
become a higher form of obligation. Influence through guanxi just happens—it’s an unspoken
obligation that must be addressed. It is, in a sense, a blend of formal and personal relationships
that exists at a different level than in the United States. There is no such thing as a “business only”
relationship, and the expectation is simply that if you take, you must also give back. Lee (who left
Google) and his guanxi were so great that Google’s Chinese product managers insisted that their
business cards read “Special Assistant to Kai-Fu Lee” and that their desks be placed within 100
feet of his so that they could effectively do business outside the company.
Evidence suggests that companies like Microsoft and Google that possess guanxi have higher
levels of performance. American managers who go to work overseas must be conscious of these
different types of relationships and expectations. In addition to understanding the power of
guanxi, evidence suggests that Chinese managers from different areas (e.g., Hong Kong, Taiwan,
mainland China) have different beliefs when it comes to which influence tactics are the most
effective. There is also recent evidence that the norms around guanxi in China are changing with
time. If anything, it goes to show that managers need to be acutely aware of both general and more
specific cultural differences when trying to influence others in China.
Sources: S. Levy, In the Plex: How Google Thinks, Works, and Shapes Our Lives (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2011);
R. Buderi, “The Talent Magnet,” Fast Company 106 (2006), pp. 80–84; C.C. Chen, Y.R. Chen, and K. Xin, “Guanxi
Practices and Trust in Management: A Procedural Justice Perspective,” Organization Science 15 (2004), pp. 200–9; R.Y.J.
Chua, “Building Effective Business Relationships in China,” MIT Sloan Management Review 53 (2012), pp. 27–33; P.P.
Fu., T.K. Peng, J.C. Kennedy, and G. Yukl, “A Comparison of Chinese Managers in Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Mainland
China,” Organizational Dynamics 33 (2003), pp. 32–46; Y. Luo., Y. Huang, and S.L. Wang, “Guanxi and Organizational
Performance: A Meta-Analysis,” Management and Organization Review 8 (2011), pp. 139–72; M. Wong, “Guanxi
Management as Complex Adaptive Systems: A Case Study of Taiwanese ODI in China,” Journal of Business Ethics 91
(2010), pp. 419–32; M.M. Yang, Gifts, Favors, and Banquets: The Art of Social Relationships in China; (Ithaca, NY: Cornell
University Press, 1994); X. Zhang, N. Li, and B.T. Harris, “Putting Non-Work Ties to Work: The Case of Guanxi in
Supervisor-Subordinate Relationships,” Leadership Quarterly 26 (2015), p. 37.
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Leadership: Power and Negotiation
The three tactics that have been shown to be least effective and could result in resistance from
the target are pressure, coalitions, and exchange tactics. Of course, this statement doesn’t mean
that they aren’t used or can’t be effective at times. Pressure is the use of coercive power through
threats and demands. As we’ve discussed previously, such coercion is a poor way to influence
others and may only bring benefits over the short term. The next tactic is the formation of coalitions. Coalitions occur when the influencer enlists other people to help influence the target. These
people could be peers, subordinates, or one of the target’s superiors. Coalitions are generally used
in combination with one of the other tactics. For instance, if rational persuasion is not strong
enough, the influencer might bring in another person to show that that person agrees with the
logic of the argument. Finally, an exchange tactic is used when the requestor offers a reward or
resource to the target in return for performing a request. This type of request requires that the
requestor have something of value to offer.26 It differs from apprising in that the benefit is something that the requestor gives to the target and not something that simply results from the action.27
Although exchange “can” be effective at times, it is very unpredictable and can even end up have
a negative effect on influence.
Two points should be noted about leaders’ use of influence tactics. First, influence tactics tend
to be most successful when used in combination.28 Many tactics have some limitations or weaknesses that can be overcome using other tactics. Second, the influence tactics that tend to be most
successful are those that are “softer” in nature. Rational persuasion, consultation, inspirational
appeals, and collaboration take advantage of personal rather than organizational forms of power.
Leaders that are the most effective at influencing others will generally rely on the softer tactics,
make appropriate requests, and ensure the tactics they use match the types of power they have.
Mondelez International’s recently retired CEO Irene Rosenfeld was known for her ability to persuade. A former executive with Kraft said, “When she is trying to persuade you of something, she
will be relentless in coming back with facts and showing you she has the support of other people,
she will be totally emotionally and intellectually committed to her idea.”29
RESPONSES TO INFLUENCE TACTICS As illustrated in Figure 13-3, there are three possible
responses people have to influence tactics.30 Internalization occurs when the target of influence
agrees with and becomes committed to the influence request.31 For a leader, this is the best outcome because it results in employees putting forth the greatest level of effort in accomplishing
what they are asked to do. Internalization reflects a shift in both the behaviors and the attitudes
of employees. Proper use of the personal forms of power are most likely to result in internalization. Compliance occurs when targets of influence are willing to do what the leader asks, but they
Responses to Influence Attempts
Target agrees with and becomes
committed to request
(Behavioral and attitudinal changes)
Most Effective
Target is willing to perform request,
but does so with indifference
(Behavioral change only)
Target is opposed to request and
attempts to avoid doing it
(No change in behavior or attitude)
Least Effective
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Leadership: Power and Negotiation
do it with a degree of ambivalence. Compliance reflects a shift in the behaviors of employees but
not their attitudes. This behavior is the most common response to influence attempts in organizations, because anyone with some degree of power who makes a reasonable request is likely to
achieve compliance. That response allows leaders to accomplish their purpose, but it doesn’t bring
about the highest levels of employee effort and dedication. Proper use of organizational forms of
power are, at best, most likely to result in compliance. Still, it’s clearly preferable to resistance,
which occurs when the target refuses to perform the influence request and puts forth an effort to
avoid having to do it. Employee resistance could come in the form of making excuses, trying to
influence the requestor in return, or simply refusing to carry out the request. Resistance is most
likely when the influencer’s power is low relative to the target or when the request itself is inappropriate or unreasonable.32
In this section, we look at two major areas in which leaders have the ability to use power to influence others. The first is through navigating the environment of organizational politics within the
organization. The second is through using power and influence to help solve conflicts within the
organization. As it turns out, it’s easy for these two areas to coincide.
ORGANIZATIONAL POLITICS If there was perhaps one term that had a more negative connotation than power, it might be politics. You’ve probably had people give you career advice such
as, “Stay away from office politics” or “Avoid being seen as political.” The truth is that you can’t
escape it; politics are a fact of life in organizations!33 Although you might hear company executives, such as former Vodafone CEO Sir Christopher Gent, make statements such as, “[When I
was CEO], we were mercifully free of company politics and blame culture,”34 you can be pretty
sure that wasn’t actually the case—especially given that England’s Vodafone is one of the world’s
largest mobile phone operators. Tony Hsieh changed the entire organizational structure at Zappos
to try to either get rid of or at least diminish internal politics. However, a number of managers
worked hard to try to hang on to the power they had in the old organizational structure and that
involved them using politics.35 Whether we like it or not, organizations are filled with independent, goal-driven individuals who must take into account the possible actions and desires of others
to get what they want.36
Organizational politics can be seen as actions by individuals that are directed toward the goal
of furthering their own self-interests.37 Although there’s generally a negative perception of politics, it’s important to note that this definition doesn’t imply that furthering one’s self-interests is
necessarily in opposition to the company’s interests. A leader needs to be able to push his or her
own ideas and influence others through the use of organizational politics. Research has recently
supported the notion that, to be effective, leaders must have a certain degree of political skill.38
In fact, universities and some organizations such as Becton, Dickinson, and Company—a leading
global medical technology company based in Franklin Lakes, New Jersey—are training their future
leaders to be attuned to their political environment and develop their political skill.39
Political skill is the ability to effectively understand others at work and use that knowledge
to influence others in ways that enhance personal and/or organizational objectives.40 Research
indicates that there are four dimensions of political skill.41 Networking ability is an adeptness at
identifying and developing diverse contacts. Social astuteness is the tendency to observe others
and accurately interpret their behavior. Interpersonal influence involves having an unassuming and
convincing personal style that’s flexible enough to adapt to different situations. Apparent sincerity
involves appearing to others to have high levels of honesty and genuineness. Taken together, these
four skills provide a distinct advantage when navigating the political environments in organizations. Individuals who exhibit these types of skills have higher ratings of both task performance
and organizational citizenship behaviors from others, especially when the social requirements of
the job are high.42 To see where you stand on political skill, see our OB Assessments feature.
Although organizational politics can lead to positive outcomes, people’s perceptions of politics
are generally negative. This perception is certainly understandable, as anytime someone acts in
a self-serving manner, it’s potentially to the detriment of others.43 In a highly charged political
environment in which people are trying to capture resources and influence one another toward
What is organizational
politics, and when is political
behavior most likely to occur?
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Leadership: Power and Negotiation
OB Assessments
How much political skill do you have? This assessment is designed to broadly measure political
skill. Please write a number next to each statement that indicates the extent to which it accurately describes your attitude toward work and people while you were on the job. Alternatively,
consider the statements in reference to school rather than work. Answer each question using the
response scale provided. Then sum up your answers for each of the dimensions. (Instructors:
Assessments on expert power, referent power, need for power, and self-monitoring can be found in
the PowerPoints in the Connect Library’s Instructor Resources and in the Connect assignments
for this chapter.)
1. It’s easy for me to picture myself in other people’s shoes.
2. I can find similarities and talk about things easily with others.
3. I’m good at understanding the thoughts and feelings of others.
4. Most people feel relaxed around me when I want them to feel that way.
5. I can make people feel good after having a conversation with them.
6. I almost always find a way to make a connection with people I spend
time around.
If your scores sum up to 23 or more, you have a higher than average level of political skill. If your
scores sum up to 22 or less, you have a below average level of political skill.
Source: For a more detailed measure of political skill, see G.R. Ferris, D.C. Treadway, R.W. Kolodinsky, W.A. Hochwarter,
C.J. Kacmar, C. Douglas, and D.D. Frink, “Development and Validation of the Political Skill Inventory,” Journal of
Management 31 (2005), pp. 126–52.
potentially opposing goals, it’s only natural that some employees will feel stress about the uncertainty they face at work. Environments that are perceived as extremely political have been shown
to cause lower job satisfaction, increased strain, lower job performance (both task and extra-role
related), higher turnover intentions, and lower organizational commitment among employees.44
In fact, high levels of organizational politics have even been shown to be detrimental to company
performance as a whole.45
As a result, organizations (and leaders) do their best to minimize the perceptions of self-serving
behaviors that are associated with organizational politics. This goal requires identifying the particular organizational circumstances that cause politics to thrive. As illustrated in Figure 13-4, organizational politics are driven by both personal characteristics and organizational characteristics.46
Some employees have a strong need for power that provides them with an incentive to engage in
political behaviors. Still others have “Machiavellian” tendencies, meaning that they’re willing to
manipulate and deceive others to acquire power.47
Organizational factors that are the most likely to increase politics are those that raise the level
of uncertainty in the environment. When people are uncertain about an outcome or event, they’ll
generally act in ways that help reduce that uncertainty. A number of events can trigger uncertainty, including limited or changing resources, ambiguity in role requirements, high performance
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Leadership: Power and Negotiation
The Causes and Consequences of Organizational Politics
Personal Characteristics
• Need for power
• Machiavellianism
Organizational Characteristics
• Lack of participation in decision
• Limited or changing resources
• Ambiguity in roles
• High performance pressure
• Unclear performance evaluations
Organizational Politics
Negative Employee Reactions
• Decreased job satisfaction
• Decreased organizational
• Decreased task performance
• Increased strain
pressures, or unclear performance evaluation measures.48 A lack of employee participation in
decision making has also been found to increase perceptions of organizational politics.49 These
sorts of organizational factors generally have a much stronger effect on political behavior than do
personal factors. That’s actually a good thing for organizations, because it may be easier to clarify
performance measures and roles than it is to change the personal characteristics of a workforce.
CONFLICT RESOLUTION In addition to using their power to shape office politics, leaders can
use their influence in the context of conflict resolution. Conflict arises when two or more individuals perceive that their goals are in opposition (see Chapter 12 on team processes and communication for more discussion of such issues). Conflict and politics are clearly intertwined, because
the pursuit of one’s own self-interests often breeds conflict in others. When conflict arises in organizations, leaders have the ability to use their power and influence to resolve it. As illustrated in
Figure 13-5, there are five different styles a leader can use when handling conflict, each of which
is appropriate in different circumstances.50 The five styles can be viewed as combinations of two
separate factors: how assertive leaders want to be in pursuing their own goals and how cooperative
they are with regard to the concerns of others.
Competing (high assertiveness, low cooperation) occurs when one party attempts to get his or
her own goals met without concern for the other party’s results. It could be considered a win–lose
approach to conflict management. Competing occurs most often when one party has high levels
of organizational power and can use legitimate or coercive power to settle the conflict. It also generally involves the hard forms of influence, such as pressure or coalitions. Although this strategy
for resolving conflict might get the result initially, it won’t win a leader many friends, given the
negative reactions that tend to accompany such tactics. It’s best used in situations in which the
leader knows he or she is right and a quick decision needs to be made.
How do leaders use their
power and influence to
resolve conflicts in the
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Styles of Conflict Resolution
Concern for Own Outcomes
Leadership: Power and Negotiation
Concern for Other’s Outcomes
Avoiding (low assertiveness, low cooperation) occurs when one party wants to remain neutral,
stay away from conflict, or postpone the conflict to gather information or let things cool down.
Avoiding usually results in an unfavorable result for everyone, including the organization, and
may result in negative feelings toward the leader. Most important, avoiding never really resolves
the conflict. Accommodating (low assertiveness, high cooperation) occurs when one party gives
in to the other and acts in a completely unselfish way. Leaders will typically use an accommodating strategy when the issue is really not that important to them but is very important to the other
party. It’s also an important strategy to think about when the leader has less power than the other
party. If leaders know they are going to lose the conflict due to their lack of power anyway, it
might be a better long-term strategy to give in to the demands from the other party.
Collaboration (high assertiveness, high cooperation) occurs when both parties work together to
maximize outcomes. Collaboration is seen as a win–win form of conflict resolution. Collaboration
is generally regarded as the most effective form of conflict resolution, especially in reference to
task-oriented rather than personal conflicts.51 However, it’s also the most difficult to come by
because it requires full sharing of information by both parties, a full discussion of concerns, relatively equal power between parties, and a lot of time investment to arrive at a resolution. But this
style also results in the best outcomes and reactions from both parties. Compromise (moderate
assertiveness, moderate cooperation) occurs when conflict is resolved through give-and-take concessions. Compromise is perhaps the most common form of conflict resolution, whereby each
party’s losses are offset by gains and vice versa. It is seen as an easy form of resolution, maintains
relations between parties, and generally results in favorable evaluations for the leader.52 Women
are also more likely to use compromise as a tactic in comparison to men, whereas men are more
likely than women to use competing as a tactic.53 Recent research shows that individuals with
higher levels of emotional intelligence (see Chapter 10) are more likely to adopt constructive
forms of conflict management (the green areas of Figure 13-5).54 Like most things when it comes
to power and influence, it’s not as much a function of which style you use, but rather when you use
it that determines success. It is a mistake to think that one specific style is superior to another—
research has shown that whether a certain style is effective is dependent on lots of situational
issues.55 For instance, trust (see Chapter 7) is extremely important when using the more cooperative forms of conflict resolution, especially when there is a larger degree of conflict.56 For more
discussion of when to use the various conflict resolution strategies, see Table 13-4.
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TABLE 13-4
Leadership: Power and Negotiation
When to Use the Various Conflict Resolution Styles
• A quick decision is really important.
• When you believe you are right, other solutions are wrong,
and there is no middle ground.
• When someone will try to leverage your unwillingness to
compete against you.
• If the issue is not as important as others from a timing
• When there is no acceptable alternative and you can’t win.
• Arriving at a solution will cause more strife than a solution
is worth.
• When people’s emotions are running high and backing off
might help to come up with a resolution.
• If acquiring more information would help to arrive at a better solution.
• When both parties have legitimate concerns and compromise won’t solve the problem.
• When different perspectives or learning might help arrive
at a better alternative.
• To build commitment by working together toward a consensus decision.
• If you arrive at the conclusion that your choice or solution is
wrong or that an alternative is better.
• When you want to show that you are reasonable and/or to
build up credit with others.
• When others care substantially more about the outcome
than you do and the ongoing relationship is important.
• If you are going to lose and want to preserve your dignity.
• When a strong approach isn’t worth the damage it might
• If both parties are committed to their choices and they are
equally powerful.
• Arriving at an interim solution allows you to examine a complicated issue more fully.
• When time pressure doesn’t allow for a protracted
• When other approaches haven’t worked.
Source: Adapted from Thomas, K. W. “Toward Multi-Dimensional Values in Teaching: The Example of Conflict
Behaviors.” Academy of Management Review (1977): pp. 484–490.
One example of conflict resolution is the ongoing battles that Uber faces with the cities that it
tries to do business in.57 Early in its existence, Uber took a very one-sided competing approach when
moving into new markets—moving in without formal permission, developing clientele, and then using
that support to fend off city councils or opposition groups that might have an issue with the way
Uber does business. Ex-CEO and current board member Travis Kalanick called the approach “principled confrontation.”58 While this approach worked (and might have been necessary for Uber’s
success), in some instances Kalanick recognizes that it’s not the best approach for all situations.
One reason is that the battles it causes can even affect the culture of the organization. “In everything from the way performance reviews were geared to the way bonuses were distributed, people
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Leadership: Power and Negotiation
Uber CEO Dara
Khosrowshahi is trying to
undo some of the damage
that ex-CEO Travis Kalanick
created with his consistent
win–lose conflict resolution
Johannes EISELE/AFP/Getty Images
were incentivized to backstab
and undercut each other constantly,” says one longtime
ex-employee.59 Current Uber
CEO Dara Khosrowshahi is
the opposite of Kalanick and is
known for taking a much more
collaborative approach and one
that doesn’t leave cities and
employees feeling like they’re
always being taken advantage
of.60 To see how to approach
conflict resolution on a daily
basis with a collaborative attitude, see this chapter’s OB at
the Bookstore feature.
What are the ways in which
leaders negotiate in the
There is perhaps no better place for leaders to use their power, influence, political, and conflict resolution skills than when conducting negotiations. Negotiation is a process in which two
or more interdependent individuals discuss and attempt to come to an agreement about their
different preferences. Negotiations can take place inside the organization or when dealing with
organizational outsiders. Negotiations can involve settling a contract dispute between labor and
management, determining a purchasing price for products, haggling over a performance review
rating, or determining the starting salary for a new employee. Clearly, negotiations are a critical
part of organizational life, for both leaders and employees. Successful leaders are good at negotiating outcomes of all types, and doing it well requires knowledge of power structures, how best to
influence the other party, and awareness of their own biases in decision making.61
NEGOTIATION STRATEGIES There are two general strategies leaders must choose between
when it comes to negotiations: distributive bargaining and integrative bargaining.62 Distributive
bargaining involves win–lose negotiating over a “fixed-pie” of resources.63 That is, when one person gains, the other person loses (also known as a “zero-sum” condition). The classic example
of a negotiation with distributive bargaining is the purchase of a car. When you walk into a car
dealership, there’s a stated price on the side of the car that’s known to be negotiable. In these
circumstances though, every dollar you save is a dollar the dealership loses. Similarly, every dollar
the salesperson negotiates for, you lose. Distributive bargaining is similar in nature to a competing approach to conflict resolution. Some of the most visible negotiations that have traditionally
been approached with a distributive bargaining tactic are union–management labor negotiations.
Whether it be automobile manufacturers, airlines, or nurses at hospitals, the negotiations for these
sessions are typically viewed through a win–lose lens.
Many negotiations within organizations, including labor–management sessions, are beginning
to occur with a more integrative bargaining strategy. Integrative bargaining is aimed at accomplishing a win–win scenario.64 It involves the use of problem solving and mutual respect to achieve an
outcome that’s satisfying for both parties. Leaders who thoroughly understand the conflict resolution style of collaboration are likely to thrive in these types of negotiations. In general, integrative
bargaining is a preferable strategy whenever possible because it allows a long-term relationship
to form between the parties (because neither side feels like the loser). In addition, integrative
bargaining has a tendency to produce a higher level of outcome favorability when both parties’
views are considered, compared with distributive bargaining.65 As an example, picture a married
couple negotiating where to go on vacation. The husband wants to go to stay in a log cabin in the
mountains while the wife wants to stay at a luxury resort on the beach. This would seem to be
a case of distributive bargaining—one party will win and the other will lose! After much discussion though, the couple finds that location (in the mountains) is more important to the husband
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Leadership: Power and Negotiation
OB At the Bookstore
by Brene Brown (New York: Random House, 2018)
In tough conversations, hard meetings, and emotionally charged
decision making, leaders need the grounded confidence to stay
tethered to their values, respond rather than react emotionally, and
operate from self-awareness, not self-protection. Having the rumbling skills to hold the tension and discomfort allows us to give
care and attention to others, stay open and curious, and meet the
With those words, Brene Brown describes what she feels is important for leaders to think and act on during potential conflict situations in organizations. A number 1 New York Times bestseller, Dare
to Lead is a leadership book that focuses on a leader’s ability to be
grounded and have perspective during periods of conflict that might
arise. Built around her research and interviews with more than 150
CEOs, Brown believes that leadership in today’s world requires for
©Roberts Publishing, Inc.
leaders to have the courage to be “vulnerable.” To Brown, vulnerability is not a weakness, but rather “the emotion we experience during times of uncertainty, risk,
and exposure.”*
Brown’s belief is that many organizations tend to create a culture of avoidance because people
are afraid to have difficult conversations with each other. When everyone takes an avoiding (low
assertiveness, low cooperation) stance toward conflict, no one wins. This style happens when
managers are afraid to have tough conversations. Brown calls on leaders to be brave. She says, “A
brave leader is not someone who is armed with all the answers. A brave leader is not someone who
can facilitate a flawless discussion on hard topics. A brave leader is someone who says I see you.
I hear you. I don’t have all the answers, but I’m going to keep listening and asking questions.”*
She sees the strong leader as the one who approaches most situations with a concern not only for
their own outcomes but for those of others as well. They will also be willing to be assertive and
stick their necks out to deal with situations that others will want to shy away from. In essence, she
argues that good leaders will consistently take a collaborating approach to conflict management
with the people in their organizations and the decisions that they must deal with on a daily basis.
*Source: Brown, Brene. DARE TO LEAD. New York: Random House, 2018.
and style of accommodations (luxury hotel) is more important to the wife. The two can come to
a solution that provides mutually beneficial outcomes to both parties—a luxury hotel in the mountains.66 However, not all situations are appropriate for integrative bargaining. Integrative bargaining is most appropriate in situations in which multiple outcomes are possible, there is an adequate
level of trust, and parties are willing to be flexible.67 Please don’t approach your next used car
purchase with an integrative bargaining strategy!
It’s possible for leaders to develop a reputation for how they negotiate over time, making it
more difficult for them to approach new negotiations in a different way. For instance, Charlie
Ergen, cofounder and board chair of Dish Network, has a reputation for approaching negotiations with a distributive (win–lose) framework. One analyst commented, “The only way Charlie
can succeed is if he wins. There aren’t too many situations where people would get themselves
into it with Ergen.” His reputation “makes it hard for people to partner with him.” Ergen
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Charlie Ergen, cofounder
and chairman of the board
for Dish Network, has
developed a reputation as
a ruthless negotiator.
Leadership: Power and Negotiation
(a one-time professional gambler) says that he
sees business as a card game where he likes to
“play the odds.”68
NEGOTIATION STAGES Regardless of the
strategy used, the actual negotiating process
typically goes through a series of stages:69
• Preparation. Arguably the single most important stage of the negotiating process, during
preparation each party determines what its
goals are for the negotiation and whether or
not the other party has anything to offer. Each
party also should determine its best alternative to a negotiated agreement, or BATNA. A
Brian Brainerd/Contributor/Getty Images
BATNA describes each negotiator’s bottom
line. In other words, at what point are you willing
to walk away? At the BATNA point, a negotiator is actually better off not negotiating at all.
In their seminal book, Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In, Roger Fisher
and William Ury state that people’s BATNA is the standard by which all proposed agreements
should be measured.70
• Exchanging information. In this nonconfrontational process, each party makes a case for its
position and attempts to put all favorable information on the table. Each party also informs the
other party how it has arrived at the conclusions it has and which issues it believes are important. When the other party is unfamiliar, this stage likely contains active listening and lots of
questions. Studies show that successful negotiators ask many questions and gather much information during this stage.71
• Bargaining. This stage is the one most people imagine when they hear the term “negotiation.”
Success at this stage depends mightily on how well the previous two stages have proceeded. The
goal is for each party to walk away feeling like it has gained something of value (regardless of
the actual bargaining strategy). During this stage, both parties likely must make concessions
and give up something to get something in return. To the degree that each party keeps the other
party’s concerns and motives in mind, this stage will go much more smoothly.
• Closing and commitment. This stage entails the process of formalizing an agreement reached
during the previous stage. For large, complex negotiations such as labor contracts established
between an organization and a union, it can be a very long stage. For others, such as a negotiation between two coworkers about how they might handle their future relationship, no formal
documents or contracts are required, and a simple handshake might suffice. Ideally, there will
be no issues or misconceptions about the agreement arrived at during the bargaining stage. If
they do exist, the negotiation process can regress back into the bargaining stage, and the process
starts all over again. The stage also might be simply a recognition that the parties ended at an
impasse with no agreement! In this case, several options are still available, as we discuss in the
Application section at the end of this chapter.
NEGOTIATOR BIASES It is important for negotiators to be aware of their biases when approaching a negotiation. While there are numerous biases to be aware of, the perceived power relationship between the parties and negotiator emotions are two of the most important. Research has
shown that when negotiators perceive themselves as being in a position of power in comparison to
the other party, they are more likely to demand more, concede less, and behave more aggressively
during negotiations—in other words, they are likely to take a more distributive approach to negotiations.72 Similarly, when two parties perceive themselves as relatively equal in power, they take
a more integrative approach to negotiations.73 As we all know, negotiations are generally a very
emotion-laden affair, and negotiator emotions can also play a large role in the ability of two parties
to reach successful conclusions during bargaining.74 (See Chapter 10 for a discussion of the ability
of individuals to control their emotions during stressful times such as negotiations.) As it turns
out, both positive and negative emotions can influence negotiation success in a negative way.75
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Leadership: Power and Negotiation
Positive emotions, while they generally lead to a more integrative bargaining approach, can also
cause negotiators to be overconfident and make decisions too quickly. Negative emotions tend to
lead toward a more distributive bargaining approach and lower judgment accuracy.76
So what explains why some leaders are more powerful and influential than others? As shown
in Figure 13-6, answering that question requires an understanding of the types of power leaders
acquire, what kinds of influence tactics they have available to them, and how they can use that
influence to alter the attitudes and behaviors of their employees. Leaders acquire both organizational (legitimate, reward, coercive) and personal (expert, referent) forms of power, which gives
them the ability to influence others. They can then use that power to influence others through
influence tactics. Those tactics can help achieve organizational goals or may be applied more specifically to dealing with organizational politics, conflict resolution, or negotiation situations. In
the end, there are three possible responses to influence attempts: internalization, compliance, and
resistance. The effectiveness of those attempts will depend on leaders’ skill at performing them
and how well they match the forms of power they have with the appropriate types of influence.
How important is a leader’s ability to use power and influence? In other words, does a leader’s
power and influence correlate with job performance and organizational commitment? Figure 13-7
summarizes the research evidence linking power and influence to job performance and organizational commitment. The figure reveals that power and influence are moderately correlated with
job performance. When used correctly and focused on task-related outcomes, power and influence can create internalization in workers, such that they are both behaviorally and attitudinally
focused on high levels of task performance. That internalization also helps increase citizenship
behavior, whereas the compliance associated with power and influence can decrease counterproductive behavior. These job performance benefits make sense given that the effective use of power
and influence can increase the motivation levels of employees, whereas the ineffective use of power
and influence can increase the stress levels of employees.
Figure 13-7 also reveals that power and influence are moderately related to organizational commitment. When a leader draws on personal sources of power, such as expert power and referent
power, a stronger emotional bond can be created with the employee, boosting affective commitment. The effective use of such power should increase job satisfaction and a sense of trust in the
leader, all of which are associated with increased commitment levels. As with job performance,
however, it’s important to note that an ineffective use of power can also decrease commitment
levels. In particular, repeated uses of coercive power or repeated reliance on hard influence tactics
such as pressure or coalitions could actually decrease organizational commitment levels.
How do power and influence
affect job performance and
organizational commitment?
There is always the possibility that, despite a leader’s best effort, negotiations and/or conflict management will result in an impasse between two parties. In many organizations, disputes that might
escalate into actual legal battles are settled through alternative dispute resolution.77 Alternative
dispute resolution is a process by which two parties resolve conflicts through the use of a specially trained, neutral third party. There are various types of alternative dispute resolution that
offer each party more or less control over the outcomes in question.78 Which types of resolution
are chosen are generally a function of time pressures, dispute intensity, and the type of conflict
involved.79 Two of the most common forms are mediation and arbitration.
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Leadership: Power and Negotiation
Why Are Some Leaders More Powerful Than Others?
Organizational Power
Legitimate Power
Reward Power
Coercive Power
Ability to
Personal Power
Expert Power
Referent Power
Influence Tactics
Most Effective
Moderately Effective
Least Effective
Personal Appeals
Applied in order to:
• Achieve organizational goals
• Navigate the political environment
• Engage in conflict resolution
• Negotiate outcomes
Most Effective
Least Effective
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Leadership: Power and Negotiation
Effects of Power and Influence on Performance and Commitment
Power and
Power and influence have a moderate positive effect on Performance. When used
effectively, they can increase internalization and compliance, which facilitates Task
Performance. The internalization and compliance facilitated by power and influence can
also increase Citizenship Behavior and decrease Counterproductive Behavior.
Power and
Power and influence can have a moderate positive effect on Commitment. The use
of personal forms of power, such as expert and referent, is associated with increased
Affective Commitment. It should be noted, however, that more organizational forms
of power, or hard influence tactics, can decrease that form of commitment. Not much
is known about the impact of power and influence on Continuance Commitment or
Normative Commitment.
Represents a strong correlation (around .50 in magnitude).
Represents a moderate correlation (around .30 in magnitude).
Represents a weak correlation (around .10 in magnitude).
Sources: Sparrowe, R. T., B.W. Soetjipto, and M.L. Kraimer, “Do Leaders’ Influence Tactics Relate to Members’ Helping
Behavior? It Depends on the Quality of the Relationship.” Academy of Management Journal 49 (2006): pp. 1194–1208;
Yukl, G., H. Kim, and C. M. Falbe. “Antecedents of Influence Outcomes.” Journal of Applied Psychology 81 (1996):
pp. 309–317; and Carson, P. P., K. D. Carson, and C. W. Rowe. “Social Power Bases: A Meta-Analytic Examination of
Interrelationships and Outcomes.” Journal of Applied Social Psychology 23 (1993): pp. 1150–1169.
Mediation requires a third party to facilitate the dispute resolution process, though this third
party has no formal authority to dictate a solution. In essence, a mediator plays the role of a neutral, objective party who listens to the arguments of each side and attempts to help two parties
come to an agreement. In serious, potentially litigious situations, trained mediators offer a relatively easy and quick way out of difficult disputes. A more definite form of alternative resolution is
the process of arbitration. Arbitration occurs when a third party determines a binding settlement
to a dispute. The arbitrator can be an individual or a group (board) whose job is to listen to the
various arguments and then make a decision about the solution to the conflict. In some ways,
arbitration is much riskier for both parties, because the outcome of the dispute rests solely in the
arbitrator’s hands. The arbitrator’s role isn’t to make everyone happy, but rather to arrive at the
most equitable solution in his or her opinion. In conventional arbitrations, arbitrators can create
a solution of their choosing, mixing and matching available alternatives. In contrast, in final-offer
arbitration, each party presents its most fair offer, and the arbitrator chooses the offer identified
as most reasonable.
The two forms of alternative dispute resolution can be voluntary or mandatory, with many
companies starting to create policies that make alternative dispute resolution mandatory for
employees. However, there is some evidence that taking away the “voluntariness” of the process
lowers employees’ feelings of procedural justice (see Chapter 7).80
Of course, the goal of dispute resolution is always to have the two parties come to a voluntary agreement. Traditionally, mediation is the first step in alternative dispute resolution; if the
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Leadership: Power and Negotiation
mediator cannot help the two parties come to an agreement, the process continues to arbitration.
Research suggests though that an opposite approach might lead to better results. That is, the two
parties undergo the arbitration process, and the arbitrator makes a decision, which is placed in a
sealed envelope. The two parties then go through the process of mediation; if they still can’t come
to an agreement, they turn to the arbiter’s decision. Flipping the order resulted in significantly
higher voluntary agreement rates between the two parties.81
13.1 Leadership is the use of power and influence to direct the activities of followers toward
goal achievement. Power is the ability to influence the behavior of others and resist
unwanted influence in return. Power is necessary, in that it gives leaders the ability to
­influence others.
13.2 Leaders have five major types of power. There are three organizational forms of power:
Legitimate power is based on authority or position, reward power is based on the
­distribution of resources or benefits, and coercive power is based on the handing out
of punishments. There are two personal forms of power: Expert power is derived from
­expertise and knowledge, whereas referent power is based on the attractiveness and charisma of the leader. These types of power can be used most effectively when leaders are
central to the work process, highly visible, have discretion, and are the sole controllers of
resources and information.
13.3 Leaders can use at least 10 different influence tactics to achieve their objectives. The most
effective are rational persuasion, consultation, inspirational appeals, and collaboration.
The least effective are pressure and the forming of coalitions. Tactics with moderate levels
of effectiveness are ingratiation, exchange, personal appeals, and apprising.
13.4 Organizational politics are individual actions that are directed toward the goal of furthering
a person’s own self-interests. Political behavior is most likely to occur in organizational
situations in which individual outcomes are uncertain.
13.5 Leaders use power and influence to resolve conflicts through five conflict resolution
styles: avoidance, competing, accommodating, collaborating, and compromising. The most
effective, and most difficult, tactic is collaboration.
13.6 Leaders use both distributive and integrative bargaining strategies to negotiate outcomes.
The process of negotiating effectively includes four steps: preparation, exchanging
­information, bargaining, and closing and commitment.
13.7 Power and influence have moderate positive relationships with job performance and
organizational commitment. However, for these beneficial effects to be realized, leaders
must wield their power effectively and rely on effective influence tactics in negotiating
Key Terms
Legitimate power
Reward power
Coercive power
Expert power
p. 412
p. 412
p. 413
p. 413
p. 413
p. 414
Referent power
p. 416
p. 417
p. 417
p. 417
p. 417
p. 417
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Rational persuasion
Inspirational appeal
Personal appeals
Exchange tactic
Organizational politics
Political skill
p. 417
p. 418
p. 418
p. 418
p. 419
p. 419
p. 419
p. 420
p. 420
p. 420
p. 420
p. 420
p. 421
p. 421
p. 421
p. 423
Distributive bargaining
Integrative bargaining
Exchanging information
Closing and commitment
Alternative dispute resolution
Leadership: Power and Negotiation
p. 424
p. 424
p. 424
p. 424
p. 426
p. 426
p. 426
p. 428
p. 428
p. 428
p. 428
p. 428
p. 429
p. 431
p. 431
Discussion Questions
13.1 Which forms of power do you consider to be the strongest? Which types of power do you
currently have? How could you go about obtaining higher levels of the forms that you’re
13.2 Who is the most influential leader you have come in contact with personally? What
forms of power did they have, and which types of influence did they use to accomplish
13.3 What would it take to have a “politically free” environment? Is that possible?
13.4 Think about the last serious conflict you had with a coworker or group member. How was
that conflict resolved? Which approach did you take to resolve it?
13.5 Think of a situation in which you negotiated an agreement. Which approach did you take?
Was it the appropriate one? How might the negotiation process have gone more smoothly?
Case: GlaxoSmithKline
One of Emma Walmsley’s biggest challenges when she stepped into the CEO role at
GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) was to use her power and influence effectively to start to change
the strategic focus of the company. Under the prior CEO, Sir Andrew Witty, GSK had taken
an approach rather opposite that of most of its competitors. Instead of selling fewer drugs at
­obnoxiously high prices, Witty pushed GSK to sell lots of drugs at lower prices throughout the
world, including developing and underserved markets. While this approach led to plaudits such
as GSK being named number 1 on Fortune’s “Change the World” list, it also brought a large
amount of criticism from shareholders, who believed that the company was not as focused as it
could be on growth and profits. Walmsley set out to make her own mark on the organization and
to balance both of those priorities.
Even though she had already been with the company for five years, Walmsley was still
­considered to be an “insider-outsider” when she took the CEO job, given the 17 years she spent
with L’Oreal and her marketing background. Walmsley embraced that view and believes that it
allowed her to bring in multiple perspectives to a complicated company. Once she was announced,
Walmsley spent the next six months on what she refers to as a “GSK listening tour,” discussing
viewpoints about the organization from both insiders and outsiders. Shortly after taking over as
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Leadership: Power and Negotiation
CEO, Walmsley gathered all of the top research and development (R&D) people in the company
and made them listen to stock analysts giving their opinion about the company’s R&D performance.
One employee said it was a “punch in the nose” but that Walmsley’s overall message was,
“Everything’s on the table here. The world is saying it’s broken. Let’s see if we can fix it.”
Although Walmsley is regarded as being a good listener, she is also known for having an
­honest and urgent approach to leadership with a bias toward rational persuasion. She replaced
more than 50 executives throughout the company shortly after taking over to help shake up the
culture. She says about her role, “The most important thing I can do is hire people who are
aligned with the ambition and challenge of what we have to do . . . and give them the ability
to use their expertise to make difficult decisions.”* Under Walmsley, meetings always begin
pointedly with a “What are we here for?”* When colleagues were asked what would happen if
they arrived unprepared for a meeting with her, one responded, “You just wouldn’t do it.”
What types of power do you think are most important for a new CEO, especially if they are
considered an “outsider”?
13.2 Although it’s not uncommon for new CEOs to rebuild their management team, what kind
of message do you think it sends to employees?
13.3 How can a CEO use power effectively when there are so many competing priorities on
their plate at the same time?
*Fortune Media IP Limited
Sources: E. Fry and C. Zillman, “RX for Renewal,” Fortune, October 1, 2018, pp. 90–95; C. Leaf, “GSK’s New CEO
Emma Walmsley Has a Strong Start Out of the Gate,” Fortune.com, June 8, 2018, http://fortune.com/2018/06/08/gskceo-emma-walmsley-interview/; S. Neville, “The Fast-Talker Shaking Up GSK,” Financial Times, December 22, 2018, p. 9;
“Prescription for Success: Emma Walmsley Leads GSK Transformation,” EuropeanCEO.com, November 29, 2018, https://
Exercise: Lobbying for Influence
The purpose of this exercise is to give you experience in using influence tactics to modify the
behavior of others. Follow these steps:
13.1 During this exercise, your objective is to get other people in the class to give you their points.
If you get more than 50 percent of the total number of points distributed to the whole class,
you’ll win. Each person in the class has a different number of points, as shown in the class
list. You can keep or give away your points in whatever manner you choose, as long as you
follow the rules for each round of the process. There are five rounds, described next.
Round 1. In this round, you will write memos to your classmates. You can say whatever
you want in your memos, and write them to whomever you choose, but for the 10-minute
writing period, there will be no talking, only writing. You will deliver all your messages at
one time, at the end of the 10-minute writing period.
Round 2. In this round, you will respond in writing to the messages you received in the
first round. You can also write new memos as you see fit. Again, there is to be no talking!
At the end of 15 minutes, you can distribute your memos.
Round 3. In round 3, you can talk as much as you like. You will have 15 minutes to talk
with anyone about anything.
Round 4. In this round, you will create ballots to distribute your points any way you see
fit. To distribute your points, put a person’s name on an index card, along with the number
of points you want that person to have. If you choose to keep any of your points, put your
own name on the card, along with the number of points you want to keep. Do not hand in
your cards until asked to do so by your instructor.
Round 5. If there is no clear winner, round 5 will be used to repeat steps 3 and 4.
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Leadership: Power and Negotiation
13.2 Class discussion (whether in groups or as a class) should focus on the following questions:
• What kinds of social influence attempts did you make during this exercise?
• How successful were you at influencing others to go along with you?
• What kinds of influence did others use on you?
• What was the most successful way you saw someone else use influence during the
memo-writing and discussion sections?
Adapted from “Voting for Dollars.” In the Instructor’s Manual for Whetten, D.A., and K.S. Cameron. Developing
Management Skills, 7th ed. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2007.
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p . 7; McGregor, J.
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W.A. Hochwarter.
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