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Discussion Post Responses:
In responding to your classmates’ posts, respectfully comment on the conflicts they have described. Do you agree with their assessment of the constructive or destructive nature of the conflict? Why or why not? Encourage further elaboration by asking your classmates questions, offering alternative viewpoints, and/or including additional research that you have obtained from our online library.
Support your initial post and response posts with scholarly sources cited in APA style.
My current organization has many sources of power that influence us in many ways, however our direct manager is much more specific. My manager now uses a combination of legitimate and referent power. She uses legitimate power in the traditional sense, she is our authority in the day-to-day operations and I respect that because of the hierarchy. She was hired to ensure we do our jobs correctly and that is exactly what makes her power legitimate. In addition to legitimate power, she has referent power as well, also known as personal power. Our book defines referent power as, “the ability of leaders to develop followers from the strength of their own personalities” (Newstrom, 2015). Her likeability yields influence over me and because of that she holds power over me. I strive to make her proud and ensure my responsibilities are met because her personality and individuality cultivates a motivational environment that prompts me to do well.
I have only been in this role for about a month now so I am still figuring out the politics of the job. So far, I have been able to pick up on a couple of things though. This organization is country wide, mainly based out of Tennessee. The company controls lines of communication as a way of forcing all different sites around the country to come back to one place. This is deterring individuality at each site and feels like a “fall in line” tactic. Eugene Mckenna explains this political tactic as enabling a gatekeeper, a way of restricting information and how it is obtained (OL-500 Organizational Politics, 2021). Two people are responsible for anything and everything that has to do with our electronic medical record (EMR) and they are in an entirely different time zone. The company has effectively limited the lines of communication and we are fully reliant on these two people for a lot. That is just one example of how they maintain control across a wide variety of sites without needing to be there. I can see the possibility of coalition building going on but I have not been there long enough to prove this or have a concrete example.
The conflict, which is a power struggle between the individual sites and the corperation, that seems to be ongoing is due to informational power among these two managers who control our EMR in Tennessee. Informational power which Is the 6th Power base according to French and Ravens, is the power one has when they hold the information to be either a gate keeper or share their knowledge openly with everyone (OL-500 French and Raven’s Bases of Power, 2021). This is creating subtle intergroup conflict. The two with the informational power are definitely using a forcing strategy, using aggression, dominance and power tactic to achieve their desired outcomes (Newstrom, 2015). I assume they are hoping that by doing this, the smaller sites and those employees will just continue on as told. So far it has been effective. No one from my office seems to be speaking out or against them. I think a lot of uncertainty with the pandemic is the cause of this because really no one knows what ultimate direction the company needs to be going in.
The main source of power in my current department is Reward Power. The reason I say this is because my manager is planning on retiring in the next two years, so she is setting up the future leaders of the department. In the five years that I have been there I received several raises and a promotion. When she interviews prospective employees, she always thinks of the group dynamic and asks herself if this new hire would get along with the rest of the staff members. She also determines (based on the applicants’ experience) if Blood Bank is the correct department.Political skills consist of four dimensions, being socially astute, having interpersonal influence, creating valuable networks, and expressing sincerity. I believe my supervisor does all 4. She is always aware of what is going on in the department and stays neutral during a conflict. She knows how to adapt and speak to all individuals; she knows everyone in the hospital, which is helpful for when the department needs something, or she may have a question. And she is the most humble person that you will interact with. She cares about all her employees and has built a great relationship with us. Our department model is “we win together,” meaning my accomplishments are their accomplishments. In my department, we don’t have much conflict. There are 10 of us, and for the most part, we all get along and work as a team. BUT, that does not mean that we do not have a conflict with other departments. The lab consists of four other departments: Microbiology, Chemistry, Hematology, and Histology/Cytology. And there is always an issue on which department does the most work. Due to the pandemic, Microbiology has been busier for the last two years, so all departments are helping out. Here is where the conflict starts, we are all short-staffed. So you take a department that is already short-staffed and lose one or two employees to help out another department. This is causing an Intergroup Conflict, which causes problems. “Each group sets out to undermine the other, gain power, harness available resources, and improve its image” (Newstrom, 2015). Unfortunately, management decided to Force everyone to help out and figure it out. They made a schedule that we all had to follow. This made it a win-lose situation. Micro won in this scenario. In my opinion, this was effective; I am sure that some of my coworkers would disagree.
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