Discussion Board for Organizational Behaviors Unit 7, communications homework help

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Discussion 1: Negotiation

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A recent university graduate with a degree in Project Manager and two years’ experience recently interviewed for a job with a consulting company. A hiring manager from the consulting company called the graduate and offered him the job with a starting salary of $35, 000. The graduate has read in Jobs Inc. magazine that the average starting salary for a new hire with a degree and 2 years’ experience is $38,000–$42,000.

This recent college graduate has asked you for advice on how to negotiate for a higher salary. Based on the readings from the text about the negotiation process along with any research you may have conducted in the Kaplan library, provide this graduate with a step by step explanation on how he/she should proceed.

A Definition of Conflict

1 Define conflict.

There has been no shortage of definitions of conflict,1 but common to most is the idea that conflict is a perception. If no one is aware of a conflict, then it is generally agreed no conflict exists. Also needed to begin the conflict process are opposition or incompatibility and some form of interaction.

We can define conflict, then, as a process that begins when one party perceives another party has or is about to negatively affect something the first party cares about.2 This definition is purposely broad. It describes that point in any ongoing activity when an interaction crosses over to become an interparty conflict. It encompasses the wide range of conflicts people experience in organizations: incompatibility of goals, differences over interpretations of facts, disagreements based on behavioral expectations, and the like. Finally, our definition is flexible enough to cover the full range of conflict levels—from overt and violent acts to subtle forms of disagreement


4 Define negotiation.

Negotiation permeates the interactions of almost everyone in groups and organizations. There’s the obvious: labor bargains with management. There’s the not-so-obvious: managers negotiate with employees, peers, and bosses; sales-people negotiate with customers; purchasing agents negotiate with suppliers. And there’s the subtle: an employee agrees to cover for a colleague for a few minutes in exchange for some past or future benefit. In today’s loosely structured organizations, in which members work with colleagues over whom they have no direct authority and with whom they may not even share a common boss, negotiation skills become critical.

We can define negotiation as a process that occurs when two or more parties decide how to allocate scarce resources.45 Although we commonly think of the outcomes of negotiation in one-shot economic terms, like negotiating over the price of a car, every negotiation in organizations also affects the relationship between the negotiators and the way the negotiators feel about themselves.46 Depending on how much the parties are going to interact with one another, sometimes maintaining the social relationship and behaving ethically will be just as important as achieving an immediate outcome of bargaining. Note that we use the terms negotiation and bargaining interchangeably. In this section, we contrast two bargaining strategies, provide a model of the negotiation process, ascertain the role of moods and personality traits on bargaining, review gender and cultural differences in negotiation, and take a brief look at third-party negotiations.

Discussion 2: Power

Go to the Kaplan library located in the home area of the course and search for an article regarding the five bases of power which you practiced with in the Learning Activity. A common search term to enter into the search box would be “French and Raven five forms of power.” Read the article, give a brief summary of the focus of the article and respond to the following questions:

French and Raven’s bases of power


Last reviewed: November 2016

French and Raven’s bases of power is a model that helps explain sources of power in society. Two psychologists developed it in the 1950s. According to this model, people can have coercive power, reward power, legitimate power, referent power, and expert power. After the model was first released, more research was conducted, and some experts believe that a sixth source of power—information power—also exists. The five bases of power are used in management, business, human relations, and other sectors.

Julius Caesar By Andrew Bossi (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-2.5 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5)], via Wikimedia Commons
Commander of the International Security Assistance Force Gen. David H. Petraeus (center), U.S. Army By English: Staff Sgt. Bradley Lail, U.S. Air Force (www.defense.gov) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

History of the Model

In the first half of the 1900s, social psychology and organizational theories were becoming important topics of research. A psychologist named John R. P. French started studying social psychology when he was a graduate student at Harvard before the start of World War II. French later started working at the Research Center for Group Dynamics at the University of Michigan. There he continued to study psychology and develop theories.

At the same time, a graduate student named Bertram H. Raven was working on his dissertation at Michigan. Raven was interested in the reasons why people change their behavior. He started his research by working with a professor named Leon Festinger. Festinger later left the university, and Raven began working with French. Together, French and Raven researched why people changed their behaviors and beliefs. This led them to develop theories about power.

In 1959, French and Raven published a paper in which they detailed their five bases of power. After its publication, the model became a standard in classrooms and textbooks. It also became an important point of research for other people interested in power, social psychology, and organizational theory.

Power and Its Sources

French and Raven’s five bases of power help explain how people attain power and how they are able to influence others. Power is generally defined as a person’s ability to influence people, behaviors, and situations.

A person who has power is often called the influencing agent, and the person or situation that is influenced is called the target. Although all influencing agents use power to influence targets, not all influencing agents get their power from the same sources. French and Raven’s model states that power comes in five forms: coercive power, reward power, legitimate power, referent power, and expert power.

Coercive Power

Coercive power comes from a person’s ability to punish someone else if expectations are not met. An example of coercive power in the workplace would be a manager who has the ability to reprimand an employee. Threats of punishment, such as firing, are coercive in nature. A different example of coercive power is the threat of rejection by another person or by a group.

Reward Power

Reward power is almost the opposite of coercive power. This power comes from a person’s ability to offer others rewards for doing what he or she wants them to do. Examples of rewards in the workplace might include pay increases or promotions. A different type of reward power comes from the offer of acceptance by another person or group.

Legitimate Power

Legitimate power mostly comes from social norms. This type of power has to do with a person’s title, rank, or standing in society. Legitimate power is based on the idea that people are expected to obey others who hold dominant social positions. An example of legitimate power is when a low-ranking military officer obeys the commands of a superior officer.

Referent Power

Referent power is based on a person’s personality, charm, or appeal. Celebrities sometimes have referent power. They can influence people to support certain causes or purchase certain products.

Expert Power

People who have extensive knowledge or skill have expert power. Individuals who have expert power are trusted, and their opinions, ideas, and suggestions about certain topics will be favored over others’. An example of a person who has expert power is a manager who has been in an industry for a long time.

A Sixth Source of Power

Some researchers believe that information power is the sixth source of power. This form of power is wielded when a person uses sound reasoning, facts, and examples to influence others. An example of information power is when a manager convinces her staff to change a policy based on research and statistics.

The different sources of power are not all equal. Those who want to influence others must assess the disadvantages and benefits of each type of power. For example, information power might be very convincing. However, people have to invest time and resources into finding the information they need to use this power. The disadvantages and benefits of power are illustrated clearly by the use of coercive power. While this type of power usually results in quick compliance from others, it also creates hostility and could backfire later.

The Model over Time

French and Raven’s five bases of power became an important model used in management, human relations, and other sectors. Since French and Raven’s bases were first published in 1959, experts have conducted more studies about power and its sources.

In this time, a sixth source of power, information power, was identified. Furthermore, some people have recognized a seventh source of power, connection power. This type of power is derived from connecting with people who already have power. People who believe in connection power feel that knowing and befriending individuals in prominent positions gives them their own type of power. In the modern business world, networking is one way for people to attain connection power. Although the model has evolved over time, French and Raven’s bases are still used in many fields.

Power in the Workplace

Workplace leadership can derive power in all of these forms over employees, some with more success than others. Coercive power in the workplace can be affective, but can easily be abused and can create an unpleasant working environment. Organizations are built on legitimate power, while methods of positive reinforcement can often use reward power. Understanding power structures within working environments and how to utilize different forms of power can be key to navigating a working environment, especially for those in leadership positions.


“Bases of Power.” Encyclopedia of Power. Ed. Keith Dowding. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, Inc., 2011. Print.

Giang, Vivian. “The 7 Types of Power That Shape the Workplace.” Business Insider. Business Insider Inc. 31 Jul. 2013. Web. 6 Feb. 2015. http://www.businessinsider.com/the-7-types-of-powe…

Nelson, Debra, and James Quick. Organizational Behavior: Science, the Real World, and You. Mason, OH: South-Western, 2013. Print.

Raven, Bertram H. “Power, Six Bases of.” Encyclopedia of Leadership. SAGE Publications, Inc. Web. 6 Feb. 2015. http://www.sagepub.com/northouse6e/study/materials…

Sorid, Daniel. “The Authority That’s Not on Any Chart.” New York Times. The New York Times Company. 8 Aug. 2009. Web. 6 Feb. 2015. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/09/jobs/09pre.html?…

Derived from: “French and Raven’s bases of power.” Salem Press Encyclopedia. Salem Press. 2014.

  1. What is your primary form of power you tend to use most frequently? How is power different from politics?
  2. Provide an example of how you have used the different 5 forms of power or heard or seen someone else using them. Were these forms of power used appropriately considering the situation you described? Please explain why or why not?

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