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Power And Politices Essay

580 words - 3 pages

Term Paper Question: How does social networking increase a person’s power? What social networking strategies could one initiate to potentially enhance career success?

Term Paper Content:

Power is the capacity of a person, team or organization to influence others. Power can be derived from five sources:

• Legitimate Power: An agreement among organizational members that people in certain roles can request certain behaviors of others
• Reward: The ability to control the allocation of rewards valued by others
• Coercive: Authority or power that is dependent on fear, suppression of free will, and/or use of punishment or threat, for its existence.
• Expert: The capacity to influence others by possessing knowledge or skills that they value
• Referent: The capacity to influence others on the basis on a high level of identification with, admiration of, or respect for the powerholder/ leader

The amount of power derived from ...view middle of the document...

They enhance their referent power as people tend to indentify more with those within their social network. These and other effects are considered an individuals stock of social capital, a difficult to define term that refers to the value of ones social network.

Information flows through an organization in formal, legitimate channels, or through the informal channels of social networks. An individual can control the flow and interpretation of information within their networks, and as the saying goes, information is power.

So, social networks can be used by an individual to increase their power by having access to, and control over, the informal information flow within an organization. Additionally social networks allow an individual to increase their visibility and centrality while also enhancing their referent power.

Strategies to improve an individual’s social network can be broadly split into two categories, traditional and modern. Traditional social networking revolves around face to face contact and in a formal setting has been done at events such as conferences or through professional associations. Informally, the Friday after work drinks have been used to enhance social networks for time immemorial. Other examples of traditional networking include team building events, lunches, cocktail evenings, or volunteer organizations such as the country women’s association.

In modern times the use of social media has opened up new avenues of opportunities for social networking. Tools such as Facebook, twitter and LinkedIn are now an integral part of today’s society.

Social networking can increase ones power through increasing visibility and centrality and enhancing referent and expert power. These can be complimented and amplified (but not substituted) through the use of modern online social media tools like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Google+. The potential of networking via currently available social media is yet not fully tapped but due to its enormous reach it has proven to be an effective way of gaining micro celebrity status and influencing people far beyond anyone’s immediate capacity to acquire social standing.

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