Different Types Of Leadership Power (Part 1)

In 1959, two social psychologists - John French and Bertram Raven identified five types of power: legitimate, reward, expert, referent, and coercive. Even before that time, these five types of power have been utilized commonly and widely. This article will pinpoint the use of these five types of power in project managing.


Right after being assigned as the project management, the project manager of a project himself/herself is granted the legitimate power to tell the team exactly what they should be focusing on. In a strong matrix or projectized organization, there's some case that you may be completely in charge of the team, in terms of evaluating the team's performance, salary deciding, etc.


This power mostly refers to the ability to provide someone with something that they truly desire, or provide things that may maximize their undesirable experience. Or in other words, increase comfort while decreasing the discomfort. Being the project manager means you have 100% control over budget and you can decide on the types of rewards to be given. It is true that so many people are motivated to work for a reward, the point here is to make sure that they are not a win-lose type of rewards. Also, be sure that the criteria is clear to everyone on the team and everyone have the same chance of achieving the reward. It is better to check reward to project aims such as delivering in a certain date or getting error counted to below a certain number. It could be for an individual in completing his/her work ahead of schedule with best quality or for all the team that deliver the upcoming release in time. 

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