Unit 4 Study Guide: Leveraging Power

The following study guide is meant to help you prepare for the final exam. This material is for your practice and review only. You will not be asked to turn in your responses to the questions and activities below. As you work through these study guides, take note of your confidence level with the material. Ask yourself if you feel comfortable with your grasp of these topics, and take the suggestions for resources to re-watch or re-read seriously before proceeding to the final exam.

For your convenience, Microsoft Word and PDF files of this study guide are linked below.

4a: Compare leadership and management.

4a.1. This unit has given you the opportunity to consider the importance and influence of leadership to an organization. The text (Chapter 12) starts out discussing leadership, and lays the groundwork for evaluating how different leadership styles and attributes can produce very different results in an organization.

A. Take a moment to think about someone that you believe is a leader. They can be in any type of organization, public or private, formal or informal. Make a list of the attributes that you identify with leadership. For example, communication skills. See how many you can list.

B. At this point, you have identified many attributes that you associate with leadership. Take the list you just compiled, and highlight the attribute that you think is the most important one, which may not be so easy to do. Write a sentence or two explaining why you selected this attribute.

C. Volumes have been written on leadership, as well as courses, seminars, and training programs. In one or two paragraphs, explain whether you believe that leadership can be learned, or that you can’t teach someone how to be a leader. State the reasons for your position.

Being a leader can help you in both your career and in your personal life. If one aspires to become a leader, consider the value of identifying people that have the attributes that you admire, and try to learn from them. In business, it is useful if you can identify an executive that exhibits these leadership traits, and see if he/she will agree to be a mentor.

4a.2. In any organization, there will be leaders and managers. These roles are not necessarily the same, and given any certain set of circumstances, there may be a need for one or the other…or both.

A. You have selected someone to lead your organization. In a paragraph, describe how you would define this role. What do you want this leader to accomplish? How would you define success?

B. It is time for you to fill a vacancy on your company for a department manager. You are working on creating a job description for this position. What skills are you looking for in a manager? What do you want this manager to accomplish? Summarize your thoughts in a paragraph.

C. Given your review of leaders and managers, do you think that they are the same, or are they different? Make a list of three to five items that describe what a leader does, and a list of what a manager does. Are any of the items on your list the same, or are they different? In a short paragraph, explain the difference between the two roles.

When we think of leaders, we consider individuals who can create a vision, motivate others to support the vision, encourage employees to excel at what they do, and are the founders of the company culture. Managers take on the responsibility for creating the plans that are necessary to achieve the vision, and provide the day-to-day direction necessary for the business to operate efficiently.


4b: Assess the impact of various leadership approaches on organizational effectiveness.

4b.1. As you can see from the material in this unit, there is more than one type of leader, and, depending on the circumstances and the individual, there can be any number of outcomes from a specific leadership style. The text provides a definition of four leadership styles. Let’s think about these a bit more. After each definition, complete the sentence provided, and use more than one sentence if needed:

A. Directive leaders provide specific directions to their employees. An example of when this style would be most appropriate is…

B. Supportive leaders provide emotional support to employees. An example of when this style would be most appropriate is…

C. Participative leaders make sure that employees are involved in the making of important decisions. An example of when this style would be most appropriate is… 

D. Achievement-oriented leaders set goals for employees and encourage them to reach their goals. An example of when this style would be most appropriate is… 

There is much that can be learned from studying the different kinds of leadership, especially for those that aspire to lead. To continue your understanding of leadership styles, conduct a web search on the following leadership styles: charismatic, transformational, servant, and authentic.

4b.2. Good leaders are required by any organization, public or private, that wants to achieve all their goals and objectives, to create a culture of respect, and to develop a team of motivated people who truly want the organization to succeed.

A. After learning about the different styles of leadership, which style would you most like to emulate? Write a short paragraph explaining the reasons for your selection.

B. Now, write a paragraph on which leadership style that you put on the bottom of your list. Provide an explanation of why.

C. Now that you have selected a style that you believe would be effective for you, make a list of five or six things that you can do to develop into that style of leadership.

Remember, leaders can be made. You can identify the skills and attributes of leadership, conduct a personal inventory to see where you may have a skills gap, and make a plan to acquire what is needed.


4c: Define power.

4c.1. In Chapter 13, Section 2, power is defined as, “…the ability to influence the behavior of others to get what you want.” At some time in your life, you have had someone exercise power over you, from parents and family, teachers and professors, and supervisors at work. You may have also experienced times when you had the power. While someone may have power, it may never be used, or it may be used too much. 

A. Take a moment to think about what you have read on power. Write a few sentences on how you would define power.

B. It is also possible to use influence as a means of gaining support or consensus. In a sentence or two, provide an example of when you have influenced someone to help achieve a goal.


4d: Differentiate among the sources of power.

4d.1. There is more than one type of power. In fact, this unit identifies five different sources of power.

A. In one or two sentences, define each source.

B. Consider a scenario where you are the team leader for a group of associates working on a class project. Provide an example of how and why you might use each source of power to help the team reach their goal.

In different circumstances, one type of power may be more appropriate than another. One attribute of leadership is the ability to apply the kind of power that is most likely to achieve the desired outcome. This is one of the attributes of emotional intelligence (EI).


4e: Identify and describe the factors of organizational politics.

4e.1. In an organization, politics is the process of influencing others, and the actions that they take, to accomplish something that is useful to the individual, or the individual’s team or department. The text defines organizational politics as,” …informal, unofficial, and sometimes behind-the-scenes efforts to sell ideas, influence an organization, increase power, or achieve other targeted objectives.”

  • Organizations are coalitions of individuals and interest groups, which form because the members need each other’s support.
  • There are enduring differences among individuals and groups in values, preferences, beliefs, information, and perception of reality.
  • Most of the important decisions in organizations involve allocation of scarce resources: they are decisions about who gets what.
  • Because of scarce resources and enduring differences, conflict is central to organizational dynamics and power is the most important resource.
  • Organizational goals and decisions emerge from bargaining, negotiating, and jockeying for position among members of different coalitions.

A. In your own words, write a short paragraph on what organizational politics means to you. If you can, provide an example of organizational politics that you have experienced.

B. In any organization, both public and private, organizational politics exist. Write one or two sentences on a positive impact from the political environment, and on a negative one.


Unit 4 Vocabulary

This vocabulary list includes terms that might help you answer some of the review items above and some terms you should be familiar with to be successful in completing the final exam for the course.

  • achievement-oriented leaders
  • influence
  • power
  • Asch Studies
  • information power
  • referent power
  • authentic leadership
  • integrity
  • reward power
  • authoritarian
  • intelligence
  • self-esteem
  • charismatic leadership
  • laissez-faire
  • servant leadership
  • coercive power
  • Leader-Member Exchange
  • situational leadership
  • conformity
  • leadership
  • social networks
  • conscientious
  • legitimate power
  • substitutability
  • Contingency Theory
  • Milgram Studies
  • supportive leaders
  • democratic
  • Normative Decision Model
  • task-oriented
  • dependency
  • organizational antecedents
  • Theory X
  • directive leaders
  • organizational politics
  • Theory Y
  • expert power
  • participative leaders
  • transformational leadership
  • extraversion
  • Path-Goal Theory
  • trustworthiness
  • followership
  • people-oriented
  • Zimbardo Study
  • impression management
  • personality traits
Last modified: Wednesday, July 17, 2019, 5:55 PM