Influence Tactics and Power Bases in Business

Influence Tactics


In the organization of X with downward influence, two tactics are used equally: emotional impact and pressure. When the emotional impact is used the manager puts forward an enthusiastic proposal or demand. They inspire with their call to what subordinates value or what they believe in. Thus, the manager increases the confidence of employees in their own abilities, their ability to do what is required. Having a high level of emotional competence, the manager influences the emotional mood of subordinates. This may be necessary at different stages of management communication, one of which is effective disposal (Fairholm, 2009). Effective disposal with the help of emotional influence transforms the transfer of information from the manager to the subordinate. The process turns into a system of emotional, verbal, motivational impact, which consists of successive stages.

Sometimes managers of organization X resort to pressure – they use orders, threats or constant reminders to force employees to do what is required of them. For example, they often use manipulation with fear of the future. The purpose of this manipulation is to keep subordinates completely dependent on the will of the leader. Managers put pressure on employees’ fear of losing their positions or jobs. They constantly hint that the higher management is considering options for staff reduction.


Among the lateral influence tactics, exchange, appeal to personal relationships and legitimization are equally present. An exchange occurs when one employee offers to exchange something desirable and acceptable, and the other shows a desire to reciprocate and thank. If a colleague is called to help complete the task, the employee is ready to share the profit. This influential tactic is based on cooperation and feedback, as employees are open to interaction.

Exposure through personal relationships occurs when an employee appeals to the other’s sense of loyalty and friendship before asking to do something as a special favor. The friendship between the company’s employees is positive, as it helps colleagues to agree and find a compromise in any situation. Friendly relations arise between employees when there is a common goal, a vision for the development of the process, a desire for mutual assistance and there is no competition (Fairholm, 2009). Influence through legitimization occurs when an employee tries to justify the legality of a request by claiming his authority or the right to make demands. They assure that this is in line with the policies or traditions of organization X.


As for upward influence tactics, flattery prevails in organization X. Subordinates know that if the manager is in a good mood, they will use emotional impact tactics, and if bad, pressure tactics. Therefore, employees try to put the boss in a good mood or use the moment when they are favorable to them before asking them to do something. For example, subordinates try to use phrases that show the manager as a pro in their field. It is always nice to hear this, even for people with a very tough character. They give praise from the point of view that the boss considers themselves. Since the head often focuses on their own merits, then all the compliments of employees are about them (Fairholm, 2009). Moreover, the head of organization X likes to be quoted. Therefore, the subordinates studied the most popular points of view of the boss, which they often voice. In their conversations, presentations, meetings, they talk in whole phrases taken from the dialogue with the boss.

Power Bases

Positive Example

A positive example of a power base in organization X can be the cooperative power. This power requires a power to be applicable in action. There are situations when employees (especially new employees) violate the internal regulations at the organization. For example, they may not comply with safety requirements, timely execution of management tasks, or use rude expressions. In this case, the manager applies the coercive power. Since employees know that in case of violation, punishment will necessarily follow, they carefully perform the work.

If an employee, through their own fault, did not fulfill the obligations assigned by the contract, then a remark, reprimand or even dismissal are applied to them. There are also methods inherent in this particular organization: salary cuts and the announcement of a strict reprimand. A strict and demanding manager who uses coercive power in case of insufficient performance of duties provokes professional growth of employees (Fairholm, 2009). They are forced to work as efficiently as possible so that punitive sanctions are not applied to them. Therefore, this power base can be regarded as positive, especially in the action power use model.

Negative Example

A negative example of power base in organization X is expert power; it is especially harmful in decision situations. Since employees are afraid of the boss, they do not seek to generate their own ideas, but only choose what was indirectly suggested by the boss. In the current situation of increased competition, the indicator of employees’ initiative in decision-making significantly affects work efficiency. Employees who show passivity due to fear of incurring the wrath of the boss, who consider themselves the only expert, is a serious threat to the development of the company.

Due to the behavior of the manager, who believes that only they can put forward competent ideas, employees have lost the ability to respond to changing conditions, master new areas of activity and show flexibility in solving non-standard tasks. Such activities related to decision-making in the organization cause difficulties and discomfort, stress and anxiety (Fairholm, 2009). Employees show passivity, distraction, and lack of ambition. They have a hard time adjusting to changes in the company. Initiative and the ability to control life situations are reduced due to certain neuropsychiatric stress. Because of the behavior of the manager, positioning themselves as the only expert, the rest of the employees function on the principle of avoiding failures.

Assessing The Validity of Conclusions

To assess the validity of the conclusions, additional information such as an assessment of interaction in the company is needed. It includes the development and exchange of information between departments and individual performers in the organization at the request of other performers. It is these aspects of the functioning of the organization that primarily depend on the power base and its use. Among the components of the company’s interaction efficiency indicators to be evaluated, several components can be distinguished. First of all, it is the timing of the work, since any information is important precisely within the agreed time frame. The sufficiency of the information provided can also serve as an indicator (Fairholm, 2009). The information must fully answer the question posed and at the same time not be redundant, otherwise it is very difficult to use such information. The reliability and accessibility of the information provided are also included in the list of additional information that will be required before evaluating the validity of conclusions.


Fairholm, G. W. (2009). Organizational power politics: Tactics in organizational leadership. Los Angeles, LA: Praeger.

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