The Lukes’ three-dimensional model of power provides a critical analysis of pluralist and non-decision theories of power. This view focuses on the power that do not entail observable conflicts, but that has latent conflicts. Meanwhile, it stresses exercises of power that are a function of collective forces and social arrangements. Therefore, Lukes develops the self-confessedly challenging ideas that such exercises of power may involve inaction, be unconscious and be wielded by identifiable groups or institutions. However, there are changes in Lukes’ real interests’ model with its claim to be both empirically applicable and significantly contested. In additional, his acceptable of the orientation of pluralists and nondecision writers as the view of departure in his effort to surpass them establishes a remarkable antimony between his individualist’s instructive and his collective inferences.
However, the pluralist perspectives view the unitary standard as unconvincing. This is so because this frame of reference proposes that employees are individuals having specialized training and professional qualifications. They can be motivated and influenced by particular sectional interests which cause in differences of opinions and subsequent conflicts. Managerial work is seen as a continuous process to restrain conflict. This means the company can be described as a coalition of individuals and group having their own perceptions and needs. Thus, the role of management is to make decisions with a set of constraints such as employees, consumers, government, society and suppliers among others (Devi, 2003, PP. 46). In this case the power is exercised, but not observed because the managers have a role to balance the conflicting interests to enhance the welfare of the company. For instance, i was applying for promotion for IT manager and so did my friend, the manager decided to give my friend who was not qualified the job creating conflict between me and my friend.
This view is based on the radical frame of reference that pluralist views fail to recognize the political and economic nature of the technical division of labor. People do not come together freely and spontaneously to establish work organizations. This is so because the less fortunate are forced by their need for a livelihood to seek access to resources, owned and controlled by a few. Therefore, the radical ideology by Lukes describes organizations as a social institution where those without valued resources are exploited at the hands of the propertied (Lukes, 1974, 127). In this case, emphasis is laid on achieving all the common objectives of the employees but in reality the management is interested in having a family spirit in the works. Hence, it is possible to argue that within learning organizations, it is the intention of the management to create the impression that all is well, there are no conflict and organization is one big family.
Lukes argues for a radical concept of power where management can control the thoughts, feelings and emotions of employees. In this case the manager exercises power over the subject intentionally without them knowing. For instance, the manager decided to give out the promotion to my friend, but he did not tell him of the extra work that he was supposed to perform. This is so because power can be seen as a process whereby the cognition, perceptions, and preferences of individuals can be shaped to promote the interests of one group over the other. For instance, this kind of power can be seen in churches, schools and mass media. Here the leaders do not mainly respond to the preferences of constituents, but also shape preferences. This means the most supreme exercise of power would be where it is possible to shape the perceptions, cognition and preferences of individuals in order to accept the existing nature of things.
Niccolo Machiavelli’s teachings are extremely critical because power remains a primary part of modern political and organizational structure. This is so because the recent exposure of a number of stunning corporate scandals has shaken financial markets and undermined confidence in corporate leadership making many corporate leaders rethink their hands-off approach to the economy. In additional, there are a variety of business enterprises engaging in unethical, but increased scandal events have refocused my attention on what is wrong with leaders. We are left to question whether the problem is leader’s greed, the transformation of government watchdogs into lapdogs, or the general negligence in moral values in our society.
Therefore, the writings of Machiavelli provide the key to effective corporate governance to curtail unchecked behavior of the leaders. His teachings help the leaders to act immorally and practice the proper code of ethics. However, the use Machiavell teachings of leaders and business raises questions and issues that are common to the transformation of ideas established in a social context to leadership fields.
Machiavelli’s idea about power and leadership, though rooted in a particular time and place, have also been reformulated and reinterpreted to apply to the attainment and exercising of power by modern leaders. He designed advice for leaders to secure the survival and the success of the state for future generations. His advice for the long-term existence of an autonomous state would be significant for an organization with perpetual duration. In his search of free, long lasting republic, Machiavelli was led to evaluate the remarkable enemy of such states, corruption and the ways such corruption can be prevented, controlled and eliminated (Melanie, 2013, PP. 20). For him, one of the most effective ways to mislead and confuse people is by the corrupt use of wealth and power.
Consequently, leaders should learn that corruption is the greatest danger to the liberty and the virtue of the company. This is so because its destructive impact can cause severe damage to the future of the company. To prevent corruption, there should be drastic remedies such as removal of the individuals responsible for the leadership of the state. The recent increased corporate scandal reflects the devastating effects of widespread corruption practiced by leaders. For instance, Worldcom company is an example of a company that was affected by widespread internal corruption so adverse that safeguards designed to prevent such corruption was hopelessly insufficient.
According to Machiavelli, society should renew and revive leaders to help them because stray from those principles that originally contribute to the success of the enterprise (Melanie, 2013, PP. 20). Therefore, leaders should use this teaching to prevent corruption and other malpractices that would affect the process of the corporation. Therefore, emphasis on good practices and principle of management have tended to obscure the action of leaders that are unpleasant but effective. Actually, modern organizational leaders operate much more based on the teachings of Machiavelli than anyone might care to admit. This is so because leaders have developed gambits, machinations and pressures far beyond those that Machiavelli ever dreamed of advancing. It would be unethical state that the heads of states in Machiavellian era operated via the same bureaucratic structures as do 21th century organizations.
Today’s structures in large carpets allow leaders less freedom of action because they are more circumscribed by policy, procedure and other levels of authority. The pressures of modern leaders are different from those of Machiavelli, but only in the severity of consequences. Currently, there is competition for power, fears of failure, subordinates and superiors (Marturano and Gosling, 2008, PP. 78). Therefore, the leaders of Machiavellian teaching are aggressive, manipulative, exploiting and use devious moves in order to achieve personal and organizational objectives.
One of the most significant determinants of persuasion is success in influencing people. This is so because influence tactics are most effective when they are consistent with the social values in the national organizational cultures. Influence processes are critical for understanding how managers motivate subordinates commitment and extra effort, how decisions are made in organizations and whether strategies and policies are implemented successfully.
Influencing others often require persuading them to do or believe something. Since persuasion gets people to do things differently because they want to do, not because they have been ordered, it is a more effective way to lead. For instance, the managers who want more resources, the supervisor who wants to keep a main employee from leaving and the company CEO who wants to sell his or her idea to the board of directors all require to be persuasive. Since most people are resistant to altering their habits, managers need to use persuasion skills whenever they need to create change (Phillips and Gully, 2012, PP. 334).
Managers are expected to exercise power in a correct approach in order to promote their ideas, get acceptance of their policies and encourage others to implement their decisions. However, difficulties of exercising influence are increased when dealing with people from diverse cultures. This is so because cultural values can greatly be affected by the attitudes, conduct and presentation of an individual. Therefore, the capability of understanding cultural diversity and apply influence in the cross-cultural interpersonal environment is now considered as an indispensable competency of a global manager.
Rational persuasion is one of the most common and accepted methods of influence in business. For instance, cultural values diversity for both Chinese and American managers are expected to be shown in their perception of tactic efficacy and use of this tactic. In order to apply influence and resolve diversity, American managers often employ tactics that involve straight confrontation based on rational arguments, accurate facts and suggested solutions.
Research on the American managers indicates that a powerful form of rational persuasion is one of the most effective influence tactics despite the direction of influence (Boonstra, 2004, PP. 309). Therefore, we would expect American managers to view rational persuasion as highly effective and use this tactic frequently in their influence attempts. Although rational persuasion is a flexible approach that can be helpful in different cultures, Chinese managers are not likely to employ it more than American managers are because it can provoke overt disagreement, which is regarded as highly undesirable. This is so because Americans prefer to use direct, confrontational tactics for most requests, while Chinese managers are encouraged to use indirect types of influence that involve the assistance of another person.
Although persuasion is the most effective method of influencing, it requires thorough and careful preparation in order to influence the target. The compelling of arguments, the presentation of clear supporting evidence and finding the correct emotion must match with the audience in order to convince them. Finally, the persuasion is quite challenging in the audience with diverse culture as seen in the case of American and Chinese managers.
Boonstra, J. 2004. Dynamics of organizational change and learning. West Essex: J. Wiley & Sons Inc.
Devi, A. (2003). A Question of Power: How does Management Retain It. Vikalpa: The Journal for Decision Makers., 28(3), 45-56.
Lukes, S. 1974. Power: A Radical Review, London: Macmillan Publications.
Marturano, A., & Gosling, J. 2008. Leadership: The key concepts. London: Routledge.
2012)ips, J., & Gully, S. M. (s,ly and practice proper code of ethics. re as seen in the case of American and Chinese managers.pMelanie, M. (2013). Measuring up to Machiavelli. Spectator, 322(9645), 20-21.
Phillips, J., & Gully, S. M. 2012. Organizational behavior: Tools for success. Mason, OH: South-Western Cengage Learning.