Power: Concept, Features And Components Of Power

Meaning Of Power

Max Weber regarded power as the chance of a man or a number of men to realize their own will in a communal action even against the resistance of other people. In fact power may be defined as the capacity of an individual or group of individuals to get other people do what they would normally not have done if left on their own. It entails modifying the behaviour of other people in a way the holder of the power desires. Power indeed gives the holder the opportunity to change the status quo or maintain the status quo.

On the other hand, political powers refers to the ability and capacity to set, pursue and implement collective goals for the people in a given society. Note that the ability to do work is not the context in which power discussed in this text.

Features Of Power

Power possess the following features:

1. It Is Rational: This means that power is relative in nature. It is not the sole property of a single individual.

2. Power Is Intentional: This means that the exercise of power is deliberate. It is intended to achieve certain premeditated goals.

3. It Is Alienative: Getting people to do what they would not have done leads to alienation which can cause potential resistance through revolution, demonstration, strike. Etc.

4. Power Is Impositional: This is because power gets others do what they would not want to do under normal circumstances.

Components Of Power

Power has the following components:

1. Coercive Power: This is power derived from the belief of subordinates or followers that the holder of power has coercive instrument to punish a person for noncompliance.

2. Legitimate Power: This is based on the belief by people that the holder of the power should of right be obeyed. In other words, it is a legally acquired power.

3. Reward Power: Here the subordinate obeys the holder of the power because he believes that he could give him certain material resources, which will be of immense, benefit to him.

4. Reverent Power: Here power is based on the subordinates or followers identifying with the holder of the power in the belief that the holder of the power will be of benefit to them.

5. Expert Power: Followers allow individual to influence their life because of the belief that the holder of the power is superior to them and that they would gain from the holder of the power.

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