5 Basic Powers Of Project Management (Part 2)

3. Penalty (or Coercive / Punishment): This is the power of straight or discursively punishing the project members. Suspension, reprimand, unpleasant assignments are different forms of penalty power. We could recognize it under the name Coercive power and Punishment power. Although employees would consider “bad” power, the ability to remote or to withhold rewards and recognition is, by all means, should not be perceived as bad or good. To be honest, it is the least effective form of power and builds resentment and resistance. Individuals who manage by punishment power often based on McGregor’s Theory X, which states that employees are lazy and slackers, these types of managers tend to be marked as dictators.

4. Expert: The power comes from being the technical expert or even the project management expert. Expert Power is achieved by having skill and expertise in an area that is important to the company. Under this type of power, an individual may be highly versed in the intricacies of mainframe computers and be very valuable to a project that is relocating a mainframe computer to another data center.

5. Referent (or Charisma): The power derived from one's traits or charisma. It is also known as Charisma power. Referent-Charisma power is the ability of individuals to attract others and build loyalty. It derives from the charisma and interpersonal skills of the power holder, in this case, the project manager. It also is the result of affiliations made with various groups or organizations. Aligning yourself with the higher management in different divisions of the company is an adequate way to form referent power. This can be done through mentoring programs and volunteering campaigns for projects, which are sponsored by higher management.

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