The Five Bases of Power & Communication

Five Bases of Power and Communication
Donna Anthony
March 10, 2014
Christa Deeden

Five Bases of Power and Communication
There are many different forms of communication that can be found within an organization.   There are directions of communication such as downward, upward and lateral.   There are oral, written and nonverbal forms of communication, and there are formal and informal communications found within a company (Robbins & Judge, Chapter 11, 2009).   One thing that can influence the types of communication used within a business are the five bases of power which are coercive, reward, legitimate, expert, and referent (Robbins & Judge, p. 452, 2009).    
The first base of power is coercive power.   Coercive power is a formal power that is reliant on fear (Robbins & Judge, p. 452, 2009).   A supervisor in a business can use coercive power to fire or demote an employee if they do not produce the desired outcome.   If someone in the organization uses coercive power to manipulate a situation, that will affect the communications because one way to use coercive power is to withhold information which essentially shuts communication down.   Also, coercive power is looked upon negatively as it relates to employee satisfaction and commitment to the organization which would further dampen communications within a group (Robbins & Judge, p. 453, 2009).   The use of coercive power could also produce negative gossip through the company‚Äôs grapevine.
The second base of power is reward power.   Reward power is a formal power that is dependent on the ability to produce positive benefits (Robbins & Judge, p. 452, 2009).   A manager in the company may use reward power to give a promotion or preferential treatment to the employee that produces a positive working result.   This can affect communications within the business because people are able to communicate without the fear of reprisal.   This communication would be downward and could be formal or...