Power is the intentional influence over the beliefs, emotions and behaviours of people (French and Bell 1999). The occurrence of power is everywhere, without power individuals would have no co-operation and no society. Without leadership and power humankind would not have the standard of living it has today. However, many problems with power stem from goals of individuals with power and the means they use, not the possession of power as such. A low of the current theories on power use the analysis that was conducted by French and Raven over 40 years ago. They identified five principle sources or basis of power, these are:
* Coercive power – the crudest form, which uses threats and punishments to achieve its ends e.g. sanctions against suppliers, dismissal for non-co-operating staff, demonstrations.
* Reward power – the use of rewards to influence individual’s compliance. To be effective the rewards must be desired by the target group e.g. financial inducements.
* Legitimate power – generally known as authority and implies the power to act as well as the power over resources and is invariably limited in some way.
* Expert power – which comes from possessing specialist knowledge and skills and is dependent on the expertise being recognised by those concerned, thus credibility is vital otherwise no one will take any notice.
* Referent power – generally known as personal power or charisma and comes from the high regard the individual is held by others should this falter or wane then this form of power vanishes, but is often employed in conjunction with other sources.
Other sources of power include knowledge and personal contacts and alliances. Power is not the same as leadership, nor is it the same as authority. Conducting an appraisal is fraught with dangers for both the appraiser and appraise. Key amongst these is a failure to recognise that it is not just an administrative process, nor necessarily about compliance, it is an important...