The Change Process

University of the Cumberlands

Weeks 5 & 7

Leadership and the Change Process
The Change Puzzle

Authority and Power


• Weber also discussed social
(organizational) power:
Power is the probability that
one actor within a social
relationship will be in a
position to carry out his or
her own will.


• Will leaders have the power
needed for change?

• What is the relationship
between power and

Regarding Organizational Power

• Exists and exercised as a
necessary function in

• Limited and directed by the
formulation and extension
of policy within the
framework of socially
sanctioned authority

• In a given organization,
there will be a smaller
number of individuals
formulating and extending
policy than those exercising



• Corollary One: All policy makers
are people of power.

• Corollary Two: All people of power
are not per se policy makers.

• Corollary Three: Organizational
power may be hidden.

• Corollary Four: Organizations may
have two or more pockets of

Power and Organizational

Since a person or group controls a
particular resource, he or she can

also control the behavior of

The potential ability to utilize the
energies of others by the holder or

controller of a resource(s) is
increased by a number of factors

Power and Organizational
Structure II

• The more vital is the resource to the population
or workforce, the more power one may hold.

• The greater is the monopoly of the resource,
the greater the power.

• The more central is the position of the person
or group in the controlling organization.

• Power maybe limited by a lack of access to

Authority and Power

In organizations, power and authority are often found in
the hands of the same person, typically an employed

Some holders of power may not have institutional
authority associated with a staff position.

Institutional holders of power may be competing with
other power structures (those who hold power).


once again
on Weber,
authority is
use of

May be organizational and comes in at
least one of three forms:
Traditional (based on long-standing tradition);

Charisma (personal qualities that gives the
leaders a certain “awe,” trust and confidence);

Rational-legal (comes with the job). The
rational-legal kind of authority comes with
new positions, but is it enough to empower
one to act boldly?


• Oftentimes power is hidden from public view.
• Those who hold power are called the power

• The manner in which power is exercised is called

the power system.
• Those who have the ear of the power structure

are called the attentive public.
• Can you identify those folk in your organization?
• Does it matter to the manager what kind of

culture these folks practice?

Power and Human Resource Managers

• Do human resource managers have power or

• They can have both, but not always. What is the “life
expectancy “of managers in your field?

• In higher education, the positional lifespan of chief
academic officers is around four years. Why?

• May be even shorter for leaders in other

Short Life Span of
Raging Bulls

• One likely answer is that many new academic vice
presidents or any leader, for that matter, assume
that their position carries more power than it does in

• The position has rational-legal authority, but the
position holder may not have charismatic power,
which includes trust and confidence.

• The position or the person may lack traditional
power that can come with time, provided the person
has not been co-opted and is shown to be

• Another answer might rest with the manager. It
could mean that the new manager did not correctly
identify the power structure, the power system, or
the attentive public. If these folk are not “on board”
with the HR manager, he or she is “playing with fire.”

• A raging bull is someone who acts boldly without
knowing the power system.

Identify those Who have

• There are tried and tested ways to identify
the power structure of any social

• Reputational method

• Analysis of decision-making method

• Two excellent ways to delineate the power


• As the name implies, each of us carries a
reputation. While some notions about us are
untrue, when it comes to power, take it seriously.

• Power is social and word of mouth is quite

• Ask or survey as many people (workers or staff) as
you can the following :

• “If I needed something done here, who should I
ask for help?”

• If you ask 30 people and one name is cited 10
times, what would you conclude?

• Remember to ask as many people as you can. This
is called maximum feasible participation.

• Remember also to make the selection of
interviewees as random as possible. In other
words one person in the workplace has as much
chance to participate in the survey as any other

• To survey only one area or layer/unit or
department makes the results generalizable only
to that portion of the organization.

Analysis of Decision-Making Method

• If you can get access to meeting minutes or other
venues in which policy adaptations were made
(remember the corollaries of power)

• Determine who was instrumental in policy

• Certain names will stand out, and if they do, they
are members of the power structure.

• Many people talk and are noted in meeting
minutes, so be careful; you are looking for those
that get their way.

What about Democracy?

• As Americans, we are sometimes led to
believe that “democracy rules” and autocracy
is dead.

• While democracy suggests that staff vote on
decisions, in reality it seldom works that way.

• Is taking part in decision making sharing in

• Are “democratic proceedings” in organizations
really democratic?

Democracy II

• Suppose you are a member of the staff, and you are
asked to participate in a “team” activity to have input
in making a policy recommendation.

• The team has a hierarchy and power rests somewhere
among its members. Remember, power is inherent in
all social organizations.

• What would happen if you go against the “team’s”
power structure?

• In short order you might find that you have been left
off of the membership roster or otherwise reassigned.
Clearly this is not a truly democratic situation.


• The notion of “team” on paper
suggests that a form of
democracy is taking place.

• However, what we often
witness is better described as a
polyarchy (“rule by three power
holders”) or perhaps an
oligarchy (“rule by small
number of power structures”).

• The employment of “teams”
could also be used to mask an
autocracy (a lone power

• Teams could be strategically
designed to reflect the wishes
of the power structure.


• The implications of this lesson are many.

• Know where you are working.

• Find out who holds power.

• Find out who has the power structure’s ear.

• Find out how power is exercised.

• Adapt your leadership style to the
organization’s culture and social structure. If
you fail to do these things, you might not enjoy
the success you would like.

Leadership Defined

• Leadership is “the capacity to influence others by
unleashing their power and potential to impact
the greater good” (Blanchard, 2010).

• Knowing this, how is leadership different than

Basic Leadership Styles

• Education and business leadership programs
often teach transactional, transformational,
and laissez-faire leadership styles.

• Transactional leaders engage in “transactions”
with subordinates. This style of leadership
leads to an awareness of what is expected and
of any expected compensations for
completing the tasks

Transformational and Laissez-
faire Leaders

• Transformational Leaders focus on relationship
building that relies on charisma, consideration, and
creativity (Friedman, 2004). If one is not creative
and has little charisma, this style may not be doable.

• Laissez-faire leadership is evidenced when there is
an avoidance of leadership behaviors and no
transactions are carried out. It is a French
expression for “leave it alone.” In this case it is the
organization itself that is left alone.

Instrumental and Expressive leaders

• Sociologist Henry Tischler (1993) identified two types of
leaders: instrumental and expressive.

• An instrumental leader actively proposes tasks and plans to
guide the group toward achieving goals. His or her focus is
on the task, not relationships. This type of leader fits well
with the transactional leadership style and a structural-
functional perspective of organizations.

• An expressive leader, on the other hand, is like the
transformational leader in that he or she works to keep
relations among group members harmonious and morale
high. They tend to see the organization from an
interactionist’s perspective.



• Other social scientists recognize three
types of leaders with respect to power. In
addition to the laissez-faire style, one may
find leaders that demonstrate an
autocratic style while others rely on a
democratic form of leadership.

• Autocrats make decisions, give orders, and
may or may not be harsh. They are often
thought of as transactional leaders, who
see organizations from a functional
perspective. They may even use fear as a
tool. However, some autocratic leaders
have been described as having an “iron
hand in a velvet glove.”

• What does that mean?

• It suggests that we must lose the notion
that all autocrats are mean spirited and
harsh. They can, in fact, be benevolent
dictators, even expressive and
transformational in their approach to
leading people.

Democratic Leaders

• Democratic leaders typically pursue consensus in the
group. This does not mean majority rule. It means that all
members can support the resolution.

• This is what we will explore with the Round Robin

• These kind of leaders are stereotypically thought to be
transformational or expressive, but they may not be
concerned about relationships and morale at all.

• They could, in fact, be instrumental leaders.
• Their goal may simply be to achieve consensus. This occurs

in labor union negotiations.
• Who would consider those negotiations to be “expressive”


Advantages and Disadvantages

• Autocrats may rule well, but in his or her absence, there is
no one to “steer the ship.”

• On the other hand, a democratic leadership style allows for
situational leaders to emerge who can handle things in the
absence of the main leader or when other skill sets
(situations) are needed.

• A word of note here is the fact that an autocrat may groom
successors or lieutenants to do his or her bidding when he
or she is unable to perform.

• An autocrat can even delegate authority without giving up
control. The only sure way to know if someone is an
autocratic leader is to determine who makes the key

Situational leadership style

• Developed by Ken Blanchard and Paul Hersey at Ohio
University in 1968

• You should tailor leadership style to the situation

• Leadership should match the development level of
the person being led

Leadership Styles and Assumptions

• The practice of a leadership style is often predicated on
assumptions about workers, not the leadership style of
the power structure or the culture of the workplace or
its regional setting.

• Arguably no other theory on those assumptions has
reached the level of acceptance as that of Douglas
McGregor’s Theory X and Theory Y.

• In the 1960s, McGregor was a professor at
Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Sloan School
of Management. He based his model in part on the
work of University of Chicago’s Abraham Maslow and
his famous Hierarchy of Needs.

Hierarchy of Needs

• To appreciate McGregor’s Theories, let
us look first at Maslow’s Hierarchy of

• Maslow argued that people are
deficiency motivated, hence they are
compelled to satisfy their own unique

• Maslow ranked human needs into five
levels: physiological; safety and
security; love and belongingness; self-
esteem; and self actualization.

• The lower levels (physiology through
love and belongingness, according to
McGregor, suggest Theory X, while the
higher levels (self-esteem and self
actualization) suggest Theory Y.

McGregor’s Theory X

• Theory X argues three basic points that tie to lower level needs:

• Because the worker is focused on satisfying basic needs, he or she has an
inherent dislike of work and will avoid it.

• Because of the dislike of work, the person needs to be directed,
controlled, and even threatened (coerced) to get them to work toward the
organization’s goals (ideal styles: autocratic and transactional).

• Before you think this is terrible, consider that public schools increasingly
operate under similar threats: a principal or teacher could lose his or her
job for failing to meet standards.

• The average person who falls into the Theory X category wants to be
directed and seeks security above all other things.

McGregor’s Theory Y

• Because the person who falls into this category has his or her basic
needs met, he or she sees work as a natural activity.

• The person can look beyond him or herself to appreciate the need to
fulfill organizational goals, so he or she will exercise self-control and
self-direction in the service of objectives to which he or she is

• Commitment to objectives is tied to the reward of achieving them.

• Under proper conditions, the subordinate will accept and seek

• This population has a natural tendency toward using their ingenuity
to find creative solutions.

• The intellectual capacity of this population is only partially utilized.

How do these topics fit in a Change

• Power

• Authority

• Leadership styles

• Theory X or Y

Coming Up

✓ Week 5: Post for Discussion Forum 3 by Sunday

✓ Week 6: Residency Session (Friday – Sunday)

✓ Week 7: Respond to peers in Discussion Forum 3 by Sunday

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