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Power: Why Some People Have It-and Others Don’t by Jeffrey Pfeffer Report


Power is a subject at the place of work that each person is aware of but it rarely features in most conversations. As such, Pfeffer does a great job in disclosing ways of succeeding and exercising power in the real world in this book.

Pfeffer argues that most of the time, people tend to pay less attention on the development of their influence, and eventually their power, and this is what differentiates the winners from the losers. The well researched findings that he puts across correlates with some topics from the Custom Business Resources textbook.

Geert Holfstede’s studies inform us about the modes of behavior of other cultures so as to improve our ability of interacting with them and if the information is comprehended as it should be, this can lead to successful interpersonal relationships that is free from frustrations. Similarly, in the book Power, Pfeffer, a Stanford professor, points out that ones quest for power is not a solo act.

For someone to exert influence favorably, he or she needs to incorporate a lot of people in his or her power grab. And this can only be achieved by having successful interpersonal relationships, according to Geert Hofstede.

The social responsibility of organizations obliges them to carry out activities that are advantageous to the society as a whole and they can do this either passively, by not undertaking socially dangerous activities, or actively, by participating in socially beneficial activities. In the same way, Pfeffer indicates that power is a compulsion that is not only advantageous to a person, but is also advantageous for the advancement of the goals of a company and those of the society as a whole.

Ethics is an ingredient that makes organizations to undertake socially responsible actions and it assists in determining how the values and decisions of an organization influence the various stakeholder groups. In this regard, Pfeffer posits that powerful people who strive for fairness and justice can enhance the development of organizations. However, to achieve this, one must strive to perfect his or her reputations and conduct, without having to work hard.

Some of the aspects of human resource management include planning and allocating resources, giving direction, vision, and objectives to the employees, creating a favorable working environment for the employees, and providing opportunities for personal development.

These aspects correlate with the idea that Pfeffer brings forward that the lack of a realistic understanding is what makes some individuals to be victorious than others. When an organization fails to implement these aspects of human resource management, a “just-world phenomenon” crops in and the organization cannot adequately fulfill the demands of the workforce.

In any organization, change is an unavoidable occurrence and for the process to be successful, every change and innovation initiatives should be carefully implemented. On the other hand, Pfeffer points out that power is an instrumental tool that can be used in improving the health as well as the wealth of an individual. However, it is of essence to note that this can only happen when whatever changes that takes place are managed appropriately and in order.

In today’s busy work environment, all employees experience work-related stresses that can impair their productivity if not handled in good time. However, Pfeffer points out that this cannot be the situation when employees have power. This power will make them to make decisions that will avoid the work-related stresses. For example, he points out that employees should “worry about the relationship they have with their bosses at least as much as they worry about your job performance” (para. 9).

Leadership is an essential management skill that entails providing the employees with direction, planning, evaluation, motivation, and setting the example. Therefore, in the absence of effective leadership, an organization cannot adequately meet its objectives.

On leadership, Pfeffer goes contrary to the popular notion that is being promoted by many ubiquitous leadership literatures that for one to gain power, he or she has to ‘gloss over the power plays.” Therefore, as a leader, one ought to possess the ability to motivate the employees towards a common goal, without having to ‘gloss over’ his or her influence.

In an organization, the employees should be able to trust themselves and the management should also be able to trust the employees that they are able to accomplish the assigned tasks. In absence of this, disagreements can erupt. In emphasizing this aspect, Pfeffer notes, “therefore, your first responsibility is to ensure that those at higher levels in your company know what you are accomplishing.

And the best way to ensure they know what you are achieving is to tell them so that they can trust you” (para. 4). Lastly, group development involves a series of stages in which a group is established with an intention of fulfilling a particular objective in an organization. On this, Pfeffer points out that “no one is going to perform equally well on all the dimensions of their working in a group. What you can do is consistently emphasize those aspects on which you do well in a group” (para. 5).

Works Cited

Pfeffer, Jeffrey. “Power: Why Some People Have Itand Others Don’t.” Amazon Kindle. Amazon, Inc., 2010. Web.

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IvyPanda. (2019, June 21). Power: Why Some People Have It-and Others Don't by Jeffrey Pfeffer. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/power-why-some-people-have-it-and-others-dont-by-jeffrey-pfeffer/

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"Power: Why Some People Have It-and Others Don't by Jeffrey Pfeffer." IvyPanda, 21 June 2019, ivypanda.com/essays/power-why-some-people-have-it-and-others-dont-by-jeffrey-pfeffer/.

1. IvyPanda. "Power: Why Some People Have It-and Others Don't by Jeffrey Pfeffer." June 21, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/power-why-some-people-have-it-and-others-dont-by-jeffrey-pfeffer/.


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IvyPanda. "Power: Why Some People Have It-and Others Don't by Jeffrey Pfeffer." June 21, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/power-why-some-people-have-it-and-others-dont-by-jeffrey-pfeffer/.

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IvyPanda. 2019. "Power: Why Some People Have It-and Others Don't by Jeffrey Pfeffer." June 21, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/power-why-some-people-have-it-and-others-dont-by-jeffrey-pfeffer/.

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IvyPanda. (2019) 'Power: Why Some People Have It-and Others Don't by Jeffrey Pfeffer'. 21 June.

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