Sie sind auf Seite 1von 19

Name: Akshit Desai

Unit code: MMS714

Unit title: Sport Organisation Behaviour

Student ID: 218625547

Lecturer: Lynley Ingerson

University: Deakin University

Due Date: 24th May 2019

Report: A case study on power and politics

1
Executive Summary:

The report first aims at stating and evaluating the challenges and issues that are faced by Go
Sports Inc. The first part of the report will state the different sources of power that exist in
organisations, as well as a brief detail of each and every character along with the power source
they hold at Go Sports. Secondly, a detailed synopsis of the core challenges that arise in the
case will be discussed and assessed. The Second part of the report will identify and highlight
the problems created between organizational members due to the use of various sources of
power as well as the potential motivations behind particular uses of power. Finally, the report
identifies the most powerful individual in the case with supporting evidence as well as the
conclusion of the findings in the report and solutions, which James Park can follow to save
GoSports Inc.

2
Table of Content

Introduction ........................................................................................................................ 4
1) Core Challenges of the Case: .................................................................................... 4
a) Influence of Power & Role culture: ...................................................................... 4
b) Emotions & Culture Perception held towards Park: .......................................... 5
c) Conflict: ................................................................................................................... 5
d) Group Dynamics: ................................................................................................... 5
e) Attitude:................................................................................................................... 6
2) Power: ......................................................................................................................... 6
2.1Sources of Power: .......................................................................................................... 6
f) Legitimate Power: ................................................................................................... 7
g) Reward Power: ....................................................................................................... 7
h) Coercive Power:...................................................................................................... 7
i) Information Power: ................................................................................................. 7
j) Expert Power: .......................................................................................................... 8
k) Referent Power: ...................................................................................................... 8
l) Charismatic Power:................................................................................................. 8
2.2Sources of Power in the Case Study: ........................................................................... 8
m) James Park: ........................................................................................................... 9
n) Luc Livingston:..................................................................................................... 10
o) Michael Sutton: .................................................................................................... 10
p) Betty Carson: ........................................................................................................ 11
q) Robert Harkin: ..................................................................................................... 11
r) Sarah Sutton: ........................................................................................................ 12
s) Other Executives:.................................................................................................. 12
3) Problems & Challenges between organizational members: ................................ 13
t) Negative Emotions: ............................................................................................... 13
u) Group Dynamics: ................................................................................................. 13
v) Political Behavior: ................................................................................................ 14
w) Conflict: ................................................................................................................ 14
4) Motivations behind uses of power: ......................................................................... 15
5) Most powerful individual: ....................................................................................... 17
6) Conclusion: ............................................................................................................... 18
Reference .......................................................................................................................... 19

3
Introduction

Power in usual cases comes from the capacity to punish, but it is generally far more complex
than that. Power and politics exist in every organization in today’s scenario, the crucial
questions that arise when power is looked upon sport enterprises are: What is power? , How
can it be secured? And third how can it applied? (Skinner & Stewart, 2017). This report aims
to bring out the different sources of power and how certain factors like conflict and politics
can affect the organization’s performance. The report also deals with stating other
organizational behavior traits such as motivation, emotions, perceptions, culture, group
dynamics, attitude, emotions etc. and their role behind use of power and the problems it can
cause between individuals in an organization.

1) Core Challenges of the Case:

GoSports Inc. was founded in 1973 and provided customers with equipment for any sport.
Over the previous years it has been battling economic and internal issues. Two weeks ago
James Park was hired as CEO of GoSports Inc. His task was to revitalize the company’s
culture and breathe new life into the firm’s stagnant operations. However, soon park realized
that a handful of longtime executives were unhappy with his hire and resisted his idea for
change. Park knew he was under close scrutiny to show results, and after two weeks he had to
show plans to turn the company around to the board of directors. Below are listed the core
challenges that arise at GoSports Inc.

a) Influence of Power & Role culture:

At GoSports Inc. every decision was either originated by the dominance of Luc Livingstone
and Michael Sutton or the other executives. The middle and lower management did not feel
included in any of the company’s decision-making roles and decisions were taken and
executed by power based individuals rather than expert based. Skinner & Stewart (2017)
describe power culture originating from a central source. Power based centered organization
depend heavily upon the quality of individuals in the central roles which in the case of
GoSports were only looking after their own self interests; rather than expert-focused
individuals. Power based culture is high paced, generally dominated by powerful individuals,
which quite often leads to staff dissatisfaction (Skinner & Stewart, 2017).
Role culture is highly bureaucratic, lacks in innovation due to the control, rules, procedures
and hierarchy (Skinner & Stewart, 2017). Role culture is the reason why GoSports Inc. is not

4
being able to take advantage of the changing market and losing its sales and market share
because of the high level of bureaucracy by Luc Livingstone and Michael Sutton as well as the
hierarchy system and procedures in the company.

b) Emotions & Culture Perception held towards Park:

A prime reason of why a handful of longtime executives resist every idea of change from Park
is because of emotions and culture perceptions held towards him.
Emotions according to Skinner & Stewart (2017) can have a dramatic impact on how we
understand or believe the world around us. In the case Luc Livingstone is angered by the fact
that he is overlooked for the CEO post, hence he vents out anger emotion and a sense of
hostility towards Park and every idea he proposes turns into a negative reaction.
Culture according to Skinner & Stewart (2017) also influences on how we believe the people,
objects and situations. Michael Sutton and Luc Livingstone have a culture perception about
GoSports Inc. and believe that outsiders cannot adjust to the company’s demands, hence
resisting change and making it difficult for Park to implement his ideas.

c) Conflict:

Resolving conflicts is going to be one of the major challenges to solve. James Park has already
been butting heads with long-term executives; the company has been facing internal issues
before park was hired. There were repeated disagreements over internal control as well as
regarding the strategic direction of the company. According to Robbins (2005) dysfunctional
conflict tend to be destructive on a group or organization’s performance. There are also
relationship conflicts between Park, Livingstone and Michael sutton that is a major challenge.
Robbins (2005) believes relationship conflict focuses on interpersonal relationships and is
always dysfunctional which relates to the case where GoSports Inc. is not able to capitalize in
the market and move forward because of the interpersonal conflicts about the strategic
direction and internal control of the firm.

d) Group Dynamics:

In the case, there is a group dynamic between Michael Sutton, Luc Livingstone and the former
CEO Howard Grimm. Ott Parkes & Simpson (2008) believe that foundations and dynamics of
intergroup behaviour approach conflict with several groups and the organization as well. In

5
the case Luc Livingstone and Michael Sutton who share personal interests through their group
dynamics have caused conflicts with regards to various issues such as internal control and
strategic direction of the firm. Skinner & Stewart (2017) define a group as two or more
individuals who have come together to achieve particular goals, which suggests that Luc
Livingstone and Michael Sutton have formed a group dynamic against James Park to derail
him of his position and make Luc Livingstone as the new CEO as well as resisting change and
new ideas from James Park and other executives.

e) Attitude:

The lower and middle management is not involved in any of the decision making due to the
high amount of bureaucracy and power culture at GoSports Inc. The case study also mentions
that Gosports is losing its efficiency. Losing productive efficiency can be down to the fact to
the attitude of the lower and middle management. Robbins (2005) implies that in terms of
organizational behaviour satisfaction and attitude of the employees are linked with each other.
If the attitude of the employee is negative towards his work, that can make an impact on his
job satisfaction which will result in the overall productivity of the employee. In Gosports,
since the middle level and lower management are not involved in any matrix of decision
making or activity, their attitude can be negative towards the job leading to productive
inefficiency of the firm.

2) Power:

‘Power refers to a capacity that X has to influence the behavior of Y, so that Y does something
he or she would not otherwise do’ (Robbins, 2005 p 176).
Skinner & Stewart (2017) believe, power is about the ability to influence others, organisation
of resources and also overcome any opposition in some cases. In order to gain a better
understanding with the notion of power, and its application in the sport industry, the sources
of power shall be divided into two groupings i.e. Positional/Formal and Personal power
(Skinner & Stewart, 2017).

2.1Sources of Power:

Positional/Formal power sources according to Skinner & Stewart (2017) and Robbins (2005)
are: -

6
f) Legitimate Power:

In organisations, the most common source of power comes from one’s formal or structural
position in the firm, this type of power is called as legitimate power. For example the CEO of
a company has power, the head coach of a sports club, a doctor etc. People, who hold these
formal positions or are placed high in the hierarchical structure of the firm, typically hold
legitimate power. However according to Skinner & Stewart (2017), this type of power is
known to be quite unpredictable and unstable. If the position or the title is lost, the power can
disappear instantly, since everyone were influenced largely because of the position and not
you (Skinner & Stewart, 2017).

g) Reward Power:

People generally tend to comply with wishes, directions and orders of another person in the
hope of gaining a benefit or a reward: either financial or non-financial, therefore one who is
able to distribute rewards to others will have a power over their subordinates known as reward
power. Skinner and Stewart (2017) in this theory imply that people who are in power are often
capable of to give out rewards in organisations such as pay rise, promotions etc. the problem
with such kind of power is that you will not have as much power as you desire (Skinner &
Stewart, 2017).

h) Coercive Power:

The coercive power is based on fear. People react to this power solely on the basis of fear and
the negative result that might occur if they fail to comply. According to Skinner & Stewart
(2017) this source of power is known to be quite blunt, but is known to be quite effective,
although it comes as a cost. It is known to be quite problematic in the organisation when
managers become involved and wrapped in their own self-importance. It tends to cause
dysfunctional behavior and dissatisfaction in the workplace (Skinner & Stewart, 2017).

i) Information Power:

Informational power comes from access and control of information. People who have access
to data, knowledge in an organisation have hold of such type of power (Robbins, 2005).
Managers are known to have access such powers because of their access to important data of
the organisation and such data can be used to control and shape the behavior of their
subordinates. Similarly certain departments such as the legal department when a firm faces a

7
certain lawsuit or a HR department during a labor strike will have increased power until those
situations or uncertainties are resolved (Robbins, 2005).

Personal powers according to Skinner & Stewart (2017) and Robbins (2005) are: -

j) Expert Power:

When you have an expertise, skillset and knowledge about a particular domain, people will
tend to listen, respect and trust you. If any uncertain situation arises particular to that domain,
people will look to you for leadership, this type of power is called as expert power (Skinner &
Stewart, 2017). This type of power doesn’t require positional power, hence it is one of the best
ways to upgrade your management skills, authority as well as leadership skill and shape the
conduct and behavior of others in a positive manner (Skinner & Stewart, 2017).

k) Referent Power:

This type of power is generally based on identification with a person who has good resources
and personal traits. Referent power generally develops out of admiration and a desire to
become like that person (Robbins, 2005). Celebrities tend to have this type of power, which is
why they are able to have an influence over the audience through their advertisement of
products. Referent power is common in sport enterprises, where certain traits like charisma
and influence take up lots of organizational space (Skinner & Stewart, 2017).

l) Charismatic Power:

The final type of personal power is charisma. Charismatic power stems from an individual’s
personality and interpersonal style (Robbins, 2005). Charismatic leaders generally get others
to follow them because of their charismatic trait as well like traits such as vision, taking risks,
sensitivity and are willing to engage in unconventional methods. These types of leaders are
tend to be found quite often in the sport industry (Robbins, 2005).

2.2Sources of Power in the Case Study:

After reviewing the different sources of power, an evaluation and analysis of the individuals in
the case that possess and use these powers will be highlighted. The various sources of power
that individuals in the case possess are:

8
m) James Park:

James Park has been hired as the new CEO by the board of directors of GoSports Inc. a large
national sporting goods retailer, which has been battling economic and internal issues over the
previous years. Park was well known in the industry for his ability to develop long lasting
relationships, spot trends and quickly exploit opportunities.
The first source of power that James possesses is legitimate power. As stated by Skinner &
Stewart (2017) that legitimate power comes from one’s formal or structural position in the
firm. People who are placed high in the hierarchical structure hold such power. Since James
has ben hired as the new CEO of gosports inc. he has power over all the managers in the firm.
Further evidence of this power is also shown, when on his first day as soon as James sensed
there would be very little information that would come out as a group meeting, he calls for an
individual meeting with all the members of the firm. Hence James Park as the new CEO of
gosports inc. possesses legitimate power.
The second source of power that James Park possesses is that of Referent Power. James has an
ability to form long-lasting relationships as stated in the starting paragraph, which make him
desirable, and according to Robbins (2005) referent power is based on the identification with a
person who has desirable resources or personal traits.
The third source of power that associates with James is charismatic power. James was known
to be charming and charismatic. A further evidence of his charm can also be seen on the first
day in office, where he makes it a point to walk around and shake hands with his employees.
The middle and lower management staff are immediately seen to be impressed with his warm
and approachable presence in the firm. Robbins(2005) in his theory also describes as
charisma, an individuals personality and his interpersonal style to be the key components
while describing charismatic power. Hence James wins over the middle and lower
management with his charm and personality therefore he possesses charismatic power.
The fourth source of power that James seems to possess is expert power. In the case study it is
shown that he can spot trends and quickly exploit opportunities as stated in the first paragraph.
Skinner & Stewart (2017) in their theory of expert power, describe characteristics such as
knowledge, skills that enable you to understand a situation etc. as the main traits needed in
expert power. In the case study it is shown that he can spot trends and exploit opportunities
that tell us he has the expertise in the sports goods field and hence has the necessary skills to
perform this type of power.

9
n) Luc Livingston:

Luc Livingstone was the director of operations and had started out at gosports as a seasonal
employee during high school .He had joined gosports after graduating and had quickly put his
mark on the company’s operations. He was also groomed to succeed Grimm when the time
was right. He was extremely hungry for power and he had been enraged when he found out
that he had been passed over for the job of CEO.
The first power source that Luc Livingstone possesses is expert power. The case study tells us
Luc Livingstone had joined the company after graduation and had quickly put his mark into
the company’s operations and now eventually is the director of operations as stated in the
above paragraph. This storyline tells us that he has worked his way up gaining knowledge and
making effective contribution to the operations department. Skinner & Stewart (2017) state
that this type of power requires more of knowledge, skills that enable the person to understand
a situation and suggest solutions. Hence this suggests that he has worked his way up the
hierarchal chain based on his knowledge and skills in the field of operations.
The second power source that Luc Livingstone possessed is legitimate power. According to
Skinner & Stewart (2017) legitimate power comes from one’s structural or formal position in
the firm. Generally, people who are high at the hierarchal chain possess these kinds of powers.
Luc Livingstone is the director of operations and also was in the frame to become the new
CEO, which gives us an idea of the legitimate power he possessed.

o) Michael Sutton:

Michael was oldest of the suttons; he had always been a part of gosports. He had no interest in
being involved with the actual business side of the company, but enjoyed playing politics and
controlling things from behind the scenes as chairman of the board. Michael felt that since he
was the chairman of the board, everyone owed him respect and reverence.
The first source of power that Michael possessed was Coercive power. According to Robbins
(2005), coercive power is based out of fear. One reacts to this power out of the fear of
negative results. A further evidence of this power is shown when Michael invites Jeannie
sutton for the meeting with James Park. Many times in the meeting Michael shuts her points
down by including his own self-interests and motives also as stated in the above paragraph he
felt because of his position, everyone owed him the respect. He also uses this power over
maintaining close ties with executives, which prevented the board from providing checks and
balance needed to control the CEO, which is affecting the operations as well as the efficiency

10
of the company which according to Skinner & Stewart (2017) coercive power can be blunt
and prove to be frequently problematic and subject to abuse when managers become wrapped
in their own self-importance. The theory also suggests to prove ineffective when managers
need to not only be in charge, but also to be seen to be in charge which tends to cause
dysfunctional behavior and dissatisfaction in the workplace, which is shown in the case study
when the executives and board members feel that Michael is not seen enough at the workplace
contributing to bringing gosports back to its former glory.
The second source of power that Michael possesses is legitimate power. Since he is the
chairman of the board, he is the most powerful person in the company in terms of his position.
According to Skinner & Skinner (2017) legitimate power comes from one’s formal or
structural position in the firm. People who are placed high in the hierarchical structure hold
such power. Hence since Michael Sutton is the chairman of the board, in terms of position he
holds a legitimate power over everyone.

p) Betty Carson:

Betty Carson joined gosports after graduating and was responsible for negotiating
philanthropic support, sponsorships and cause marketing efforts. She also had access to a vast
network of contacts due to her position.
Betty Carson possessed information power over James Park and various other executives.
According to Robbins (2005), information power comes from access to and control over
information. In the case study we see that Betty has a vast network of contacts in the industry,
she was connected to most of the executives and also provided park with several anecdotes
about members from all levels at gosports and outside the company.

q) Robert Harkin:

Robert Harkin was the director of marketing and had been with the company for over 20
years. He was a longtime confidant of Livingstone and Michael sutton, but believed that a
change in the company’s culture was required for it to return back to its glory days.
Robert harking possessed an expert power. His executive admired him for his creative genius
and tenacity and also was known for his leadership traits. According to Skinner & Stewart
(2017), when you have a knowledge or skill about a particular domain, people will listen to
you and look to you for leadership in uncertain situations.
He also possessed legitimate power. Since he was the director of marketing and had authority
over his subordinates. Skinner & Stewart (2017) in their theory of legitimate power state that

11
legitimate power comes from one’s formal or structural position in the firm. People who are
placed high in the hierarchical structure hold such power.

r) Sarah Sutton:

Sarah Sutton was the director of finance at gosports. She had been prompted to join gosports
because of the recent issues and disagreements. Sarah had managed to convince the board to
hire an outsider as the new CEO. She was well liked and respected for her past as a financial
consultant.
The first power she possessed was referent power. As stated in the above paragraph, she had
successfully pushed and convinced the board towards hiring an outsider for the CEO position.
According to Robbins (2005) and Skinner & Stewart (2017) referent power comes from
identification with a person liking, respecting and one who has desirable and personal traits. It
has the power to influence others, which is why Sarah manages to get her influence on the
board and hence possess the referent power.
Sarah sutton also possesses the expert power. As stated in the case study she imposes tighter
budgets and forcing departments to operate more efficiently which suggests of her expertise in
the finance field, she is also well respected for her past as a financial consultant. Skinner &
Stewart (2017) in their theory of expert power explain that when a person has knowledge and
skills that enable you to understand a situation, suggest solutions and make instant impact on
others, people will tend to listen and turn for leadership in case of uncertain situations.

s) Other Executives:

Over the course of the next week, Park also met with the other executives.
Other executives possessed the Information Power. James Park was able to gather valuable
information about the company and its culture. He was also able to learn about the icy
relationship between Livingstone and Grim and the reasons behind that. According to Robbins
(2005), Information power comes from access to and control over information, since the other
executives had information about the company and executives they possessed the information
power over James Park.

12
3) Problems & Challenges between organizational members:

In the case, all the characters possess some or the other source of power which is used and
implemented. This leads to problems that will be created between organizational members due
to their uses of power which are analysed below:

t) Negative Emotions:

Emotional Intelligence ‘refers to an assortment of noncognitive skills, capabilities and


competencies that influence a person’s ability to succeed in coping with environmental
demands and pressures (Robbins, 2005 p.44).
In the case study, Luc Livingstone with his first meeting with James park gives him a very
non-welcoming attitude because of the fact that Luc Livingstone was himself hungry for
power and had been overlooked for the post which angered him, resulting in a negative
emotion by Luc Livingstone towards James Park and also towards other executives who were
an hindrance to him for achieving power in the firm, leading to interpersonal conflict and
deviant workplace behavior. Robbins (2005) also states that negative emotions can lead to a
number of deviant workplace behaviors. Few interpersonal conflicts are also caused in the
organization due to negative emotions resulting in the fall of the person’s emotional
intelligence (Robbins, 2005).

u) Group Dynamics:

‘ A group is defined as two or more individuals , interacting and independent , who have come
together to achieve particular objectives’ (Skinner & Stewart , 2017 p.136).
Luc Livingstone and Michael Sutton shared particular self-interests are seen performing group
dynamics where both the characters especially Sutton, is seen supporting Luc Livingstone to
become the CEO during the meeting with James Park as well as the culture of the
organization. Further in the case we also see a new group formation and dynamics between the
rest of the members who are against the current culture of the firm, this situation may lead to
an increase in the existing conflict which in turn can lead to an ignorance in overall objective
of the firm. Saim, Cemberci, Civelek & Gunel (2015) in their research on group dynamics
mention that groups may fully act to achieve their personal objectives and may be impartial
against the objectives of the organization.

13
v) Political Behavior:

When James Park meets individually with Michael Sutton and Luc Livingstone, certain
highlights of political behavior can be noticed. Michael Sutton while meeting James Park
mentions how he would still like Livingstone to be the CEO in an attempt to throw James Park
of his confidence, and also Livingstone in the case study has been known for navigating office
politics, which has enabled him to strike up beneficial relationships with a number high-
ranking executives as his ambition was to eventually become chairman of the board. Robbins
(2005) indicates certain organizational behavior stimulates political behavior from the
workplace, particularly during promotion decisions and when organizations downsize to
improve efficiency. Hence, Luc Livingstone appears to navigate office politics, because he
wanted the position of CEO as well as Michael Sutton who believed in the culture of GoSports
of hiring from within and had supported Luc Livingston.
Robbins (2005) has also pointed out on certain individual traits that lead to political behavior
in the organisation. In terms of traits, employees who are have a high need for power are more
likely to indulge themselves in political behavior. Since Luc Livingstone was hungry for
power and wanted to become the Chairman of the board , it is seen in the case that Michael
Sutton for the support of Luc , indulges in a political behavior with James Park.

w) Conflict:

Skinner & Stewart (2017) define conflict as a clash between individuals that arise because of a
different thought process, attitudes, culture, interests and even perceptions. However soon
after James Park joined GoSports Inc. long term executives who were threatened by his hire
were resisted every idea for change from Park due to their beliefs about GoSports culture.
A relationship conflict between Sarah Sutton and Michael Sutton can be seen, as Sarah was
well aware of the close relationship between Michael sutton and Luc Livingstone and she
distrusted Luc Livingstone. This type of conflict is interpersonal as implied by Robbins (2005)
in his theory of relationship conflict.
Although, there are some conflicts that leads to an improvement in performance of group and
firm as well. Functional or constructive forms of conflict sometimes tend to bring out positive
results (Skinner & Stewart, 2017). The conflict created between James, Sarah , Livingstone
and Michael Sutton can be considered as a functional conflict as it is leading to a new group
dynamic being formed between the rest of the members to change the culture and bring

14
GoSports back to its former glory days , which is a constructive form of conflict leading to an
improvement in he performance of the group as well as the firm.

4) Motivations behind uses of power:

Behind every motive or a person’s action has some reason for motivation behind his actions,
in the case study as well each and every character has a motivation to perform his/her source
of power in the organization. The motivations behind the use of each source of power are:-

a) Legitimate Power:
James Park, Luc Livingstone, Michael Sutton and Robert Harkin possess legitimate power
source. The motivations behind using legitimate power differ from every character.
The motivation of Luc Livingstone, Michael Sutton behind using legitimate power was due to
esteem needs. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs describe esteem needs as the needs to feel good
about themselves, receiving respect, appreciation and recognition (Ott et. al. 2008). Whereas
James Park’s motivation to use this source of power was based on need for power and
achievement. McClelland’s three-need theory states that the need for achievement and power
is performed to accomplish challenging tasks, achieve excellence, and influence others to gain
a sense of control over others (Ott et. al. 2008). James Park, was in search of those needs as he
had just joined GoSports Inc. as the new CEO and was informed about the internal conflicts as
well as low performance of GoSports, both of which he intended to solve. He wanted to
achieve his target of getting the company of its low performance as well as was in the need for
power over his executives to assert his dominance in the new period.

b) Coercive Power:
Michael Sutton mainly uses coercive power in the case. The motivation for the use of his
power are the need for power and command and control over his subordinates . During the
meeting with James Park , he mentions how he felt that everyone in the company owed him
the respect and reverence . He also invited Jeannie Sutton to the meeting with James Park
without his notice. It is also seen that he interrupts Jeannie’s attempt to answer Park’s question
twice after which she does not contributes anything to the meeting. According to
McClelland’s theory of motivation, the need for power is described as the need to influence
others . control one’s environment and dominate individuals (Otto et. al. 2008) , which in this

15
case explains the coercive power used by Michael Sutton as he wanted respect out of his
subordinates without knowing much of the business side of the company.

c) Information Power:
Betty Carson and the other executives held information power over James Park as they had
information about the company and about other executives as well. The main motivation for
Betty Carson to have this source of power as well as provide information was in a hope to
improve the current situation at GoSports Inc. The cognitive dissonance theory of motivation
states that people will act or will do something to reduce or eliminate dissonance( Ott et. al.
2008). In this situation , Betty Carson and the other executives provide information to James
Park to help him reduce the state of imbalance and improve the current situation at GoSports
Inc.

d) Expert Power:
James Park , Luc Livingstone , Robert Harkin and Sarah Sutton possessed expert power as
they were very well respected in their particular fields. The main sources of motivation for the
above characters were the need for achievement and esteem needs. McClelland’s need for
achievement states that achieving excellence and accomplishing tasks are the main factors for
motivation , Maslow’s hierarchy of needs also states that in esteem needs certain factors such
as receiving recognition , appreciation and recognizing accomplishments contribute towards
esteem needs (Ott et.al.2008) . Sarah Sutton and Robert Harkin , were well known in the firm
for their expertise in Finance and Marketing and hence they received recognition ,
appreciation and were recognized in the firm , whereas James Park and Luc Livingstone were
more focused on accomplishing tasks and achieving excellence. Both individuals wanted to
achieve different tasks and they were focused on the need for achievement.

e) Referent Power:
Sarah Sutton and James Park used this source of power to accomplish certain tasks and build
relationships. Need for achievement and affiliation were the main sources of motivation.
According to McClelland, the need for affiliation arrives by developing friendly relation with
others, the need for achievement arrives by accomplishing tasks and excellence (Ott et. al.
2008) Sarah Sutton in particular, uses her power to persuade the board in order to hire an
outsider as a CEO, in this case she uses her powers and accomplishes her task. James Park as

16
well had a reputation for building relationships and was called as a shark by his former
employees.

f) Charismatic Power:
James Park used charismatic power on the first day after joining GoSports Inc. He used his
charm and charisma and greeted the middle and lower level management. His main source of
motivation to perform such power was to build relationship with the lower and middle
management of the company. As stated by McClelland’s theory of motivation , the need for
affiliation arises to develop friendly relationship with others (Ott et.al.2008). James Park uses
his charismatic power by developing relationships with the lower and middle management and
also to extract some important and relevant information about the firm in that process.

5) Most powerful individual:

The most powerful individual in the case is Michael Sutton. Michael sutton is the chairman of
the board at GoSports Inc. and also possesses legitimate power and coercive power source. As
the chairman of the board, although he did not have interest in being involved with the actual
business side, he controlled the activities and played politics from behind. By having a
legitimate power he had control over the rest of the executives as well as being coercive he
was a forceful leader who knew how to get things done from his subordinates like he did with
Jeanie Sutton during their meeting with James Park, where he managed to keep Jeanie from
giving away any information to James Park. In the case study it is also noted that during the
entire meeting with James Park, he has a monologue about the culture of GoSports Inc. where
he also made a case for Luc Livingstone and rejected every idea for change proposed by
James Park. He supported the ideation of giving the CEO position to Luc Livingstone,
Michael Sutton being the chairman of the board after two weeks time when James Park had to
present the strategic plan, could persuade the board towards a negative feedback and can result
in Luc Livingstone getting the CEO position. After the meeting James Park very well knew
that working with the chairman of the board was going to be a difficult task.

17
6) Conclusion:

Power is the ability to influence other people/subordinates/executives. The most influential


Theory of power comes from the work of French and Raven. There are seven sources of
power that were identified and grouped into two categories: Positional/organizational power
(legitimate, reward, coercive, information) and personal power (expert, referent and
charismatic) . In the case study and through research it was found that personal power had
more relation towards employee behavior, job performance than the positional power source.
One source of positional power-coercive power-results negatively on the employee’s moral
and performance. However, certain other organizational behaviour factors such as Group
Dynamics, Emotions, Attitude, conflict , perceptions and culture were the challenges in
GoSports Inc. which also led to political behavior being created between the members of the
organisation due to their sources of power. Certain motives as well were highlighted behind
each individual organisation member’s use of their power. To solve the current crisis at
GoSports Inc. James Park should look into reducing the influence of Power and Role culture
and should be looking to promote the culture of empowerment, where the middle and lower
management are given more power and decision-making authority in the organisation, expert
and information powered executive’s should be given preference in cases of uncertain
situations in the firm to help provide an effective solution.

18
Reference

Barrie Houlihan. (2016). Politics and Sport , Retrieved from https://onlinelibrary-


wiley-com.

Fred Lunenburg. (2012). Power and Leadership: An Influence Process, Vol.15, no.1,
Retrieved from www.nationalforum.com

George J. Seperich & Russell W.McCalley (2008). Managing power and people. London:
M.E. Sharpe

J.Steven Ott , Sandra J. Parkes & Richard B. Simpson (2008). Organizational Behavior:4th
Edition . Australia : Thomson Wadsworth

James Skinner & Bob Stewart (2017). Organizational Behaviour in Sport. New York:
Routledge

Mehmet Saim , Murat Cemberci , Mustafa Emre Civelek , Deniz Gunel.(2015). Groups and
their effects in organizations, Vol, 11 No. 32 Retrieved from https://eujournal.org

Margaret A. Abernethy & Emidia Vagnoni (2004) , Power, organization design and
managerial behaviour , Retrieved from https://pdf.sciencedirectassets.com/

Peter Fenn & Rod Gameson, (2005). Construction conflict management and resolution, 370-
380 retrieved from http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.453.1220

Russ Vince, (2004). Action learning and organizational learning: power, politics and
emotion in organizations vol.1no.1 Retrieved from
https://doi.org/10.1080/1476733042000187628

Stephens P. Robbins (2004). Essentials of Organizational Behavior : 8TH edition. New


Jersey: Pearson Patience Hall

19