Short Essay on the Relationship between Power and Authority in House’s Path-Goal Model

Power is the ability (potential- or actual) to impose ones will on others outside the formal organisation relationships, i.e., it is the ability ,of one person to affect the behaviour of someone else through the use of some means other than the use of some means other than the use of authority.

Therefore, power, unlike authority, is influence that is based on organizational position, consequently, it should be noted that power applies to any inter-personal influence that exists outside the bounds of formal organizational relationship.

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Power depends on a personal source rather than on an organisation position. Additionally it is much harder to confine its application since It is position-free. Power is used in terms of ability on capacity to do something or to get intended results.

Pfiffner and Sherwood have made distinction between power and authority by defining power as the capacity to secure dominance of one’s values or goals and authority as the capacity to command in hierarchical sense. Sometimes, right and capacity are clearly separated and can be identified easily, but at other times, the two get intermingle. In fact, there is a continuum.

Power may be derived on personal or institutional basis. This may be in the form of physical or coercion, material or utilitarian and symbolic or normative. All these three are used together, with varying emphasis in different organisations.

The use of power creates negative feelings in the persons on whom it is used. As such it should not be concentrated in a single organisational unit, but balance is vital for an organisation to be effective.