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Leadership and Power

It is impossible to address issues of leadership apart from the question of power. The latter is believed to have the potential impact on the people. Influencing and following the system of interpersonal relationships between domination and submission within a group are at the core of leadership. Leadership is one of the most important mechanisms for implementation of power in the society, and it is perhaps the most effective. In practice, leadership management is the ability to effectively use all available sources of power. This paper aims to draw a connection between power and leadership from the perspective of these two terms interaction.

Leaders are expected to use power as means of achieving desirable results. If leaders reach their goals, the power used by them is perceived as a way of acceleration the achievement. Leadership involves the use of authority and influence. The very power can be based on personal qualities or the position held in an organization. Also, a power is likely to be represented as a bilateral relation between a leader and subordinates as well as the leader and his/her direct boss (Lunenburg, 2012). Since the effectiveness of leadership depends on the amount and type of power, the important question is: what are the types of power and how to use them to achieve greater efficiency?

Regarding the types of power, various investigators highlight different aspects. The most known classification is as follows:

· anonymous power, which is spread throughout members of the genus and population of the primitive society and does not have a political character;

· individualized power (the power of the chiefs) arises from the complexity of social life;

· institutionalized power is known to be based on the activities of special institutions that perform certain functions. Depending on what groups in society are the main political actors, the government takes a variety of forms, namely democratic, where the general population obtains access to management. There are two types of democracies. The first is a direct democracy that means a direct participation of people in political decision-making. The second is a representative democracy that supposes people to delegate their power to appropriate authorities and particular individuals.

· authoritarian power (anarchist or anarchy) may be divided into the following types. The authoritarian form of government where power is concentrated in the hands of one person or group of individuals, divided into autocracy, technocracy, kleptocracy, monarchy, aristocracy, plutocracy, oligarchy, bureaucracy, etc. (Chang, 2013).

Power is often used synonymously with the term “influence”. This is not entirely correct. Influence is a power that occurred on a formal basis subordinates accepted as something they disagree with and feel right. In the first case, power is given from the top, and, in another one, it must be retrieved from below (Haslam et al., 2013). The credibility of the dichotomy “power — influence” does not exhaust all options for the appearance of power that can emerge from influence, personal effects, or both. It came not from the position of the office and delegated to its owner. The scope of this power depends on the level of confidence that the holder’s position may obtain from someone who is above him/her in regards of hierarchy. Therefore, there is a direct relationship between the level of positions, i.e. influence, and the amount of power (Haslam et al., 2013). Their relationship has to be regarded situationally and individually. Thus, from the position of connection with the power, leadership is known to bear opposite functions. On the one hand, it represents the basis for power, while, on the other hand, it is supposed to be a result or a consequence of power.


Chang, C. L. H. (2013). The relationship among power types, political games, game players, and information system project outcomes — A multiple-case study. International Journal of Project Management31(1), 57-67.

Haslam, S. A., Reicher, S. D., & Platow, M. J. (2013). The new psychology of leadership: Identity, influence and power. East Sussex, UK: Psychology Press.

Lunenburg, F. C. (2012). Power and leadership: An influence process. International Journal of Management, Business, and Administration15(1), 1-9.