Academic journal article Journal of Management and Organization

Social Power as a Means of Increasing Personal and Organizational Effectiveness: The Mediating Role of Organizational Citizenship Behavior

Academic journal article Journal of Management and Organization

Social Power as a Means of Increasing Personal and Organizational Effectiveness: The Mediating Role of Organizational Citizenship Behavior

Article excerpt


This study focuses on to explore the impact of social power on organizational citizenship behavior (OCB) and the role of OCB as a mediator of the relationship between social power and personal and organizational effectiveness. Data were collected by administering self rated questionnaires to male middle-level executives (N = 250) in face to face conditions from motor cycle manufacturing organisations based in northern India. The mediator analysis (by using AMOS) showed that all the fit indexes were in the acceptable range which indicates that OCBs have mediated significantly between social power and effectiveness. Other results as analyzed through multiple regression analysis showed the significant impact of social power on the dimensions of OCB and effectiveness as it was hypothesized. The study suggests the potential benefits of using positive forms of social power by supervisors as part of their managerial style in order to enhance OCBs and in turn increase personal and organizational effectiveness. This study advances the research on the concept of OCB and social power in an Indian work context.

Keywords: organizational citizenship behavior, social power, personal effectiveness, organizational effectiveness

Although there is a lack of clarity in terms of the specific meaning and therefore application of power from an organizational perspective, it has typically been seen as the ability to act or behave in a manner that they would normally not do on their own accord or perhaps even against their will (Van Dijke & Poppe, 2006). Moreover, in an organizational setting the concept can be broadly referred to generally as influencing or fashioning the actions of others in some intended way (Mowday, 1978). Most studies on the concept of power have been conducted in relation to observing obedience, conformity and authority for example, whereby the aim of one individual exercising power over another would in the main be to reduce any variability in the behavior, or in other words produce the 'J' curve of human conformity characteristic of organizationally determined acts (Allport, 1934). Power has been viewed as an independent variable with outcomes such as domination, as well as a dependent variable as is the case with dependency (Hardy & Clegg, 1996).

Traditionally the concept of social power has been linked with different forms of influencing strategies between superiors and subordinates, including situations engendering reason, coalition formation, bargaining, assertiveness, greater authority and sanction (Brauer & Bourhis, 2006; Van Dijke & Poppe, 2006). Several classifications of the sources of power have been set forth by various social scientists (e.g., Brauer & Bourhis, 2006; French & Raven, 1959; Mudler, 1971). French and Raven's (1959) conceptualization of social power is one of the frameworks most widely used by researchers to study the concept. It comprises of five distinct power bases, which include coercive power (individual can mediate punishment), legitimate power (individual has the authority to prescribe actions and behavior), reward power (individual can mediate incentives), referent power (individual is seen in high esteem), and expert power (individual possesses important or unique knowledge or skills). In the present study we aim to measure these five bases of power along with an additional dimension - informational power (Singh-Sengupta, 1995).

From a social comparison theory perspective (Suls & Wheeler, 2000), although people may seek to increase power differences with others who are less equal than themselves, as would be the case in the majority of incidents of workplace bullying for example (Hoel & Giga, 2006), in the main individuals focus on increasing their power over equally powerful or more powerful individuals (Van Dijke & Poppe, 2003, 2004). Similarly people attempt in the main to increase their circle of influence by joining in groups whose members are equal or more powerful than them. …

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