The Impact of Organizational Leadership and Power Essay

Power is an integral aspect of leadership in contemporary multinational enterprises. In power essay is discussed the impact of power on organizational leadership depends on the power relations that allow corporate leaders to influence other parties such as management teams and employees toward achieving the set organizational goals and objectives. Consequently, power plays a crucial role in determining organizational survival and success. Nonetheless, corporate leaders must recognize the most effective ways of using power to promote positive outcomes while minimizing negative effects. This essay covers the role of power and the extent to which it contributes to leadership in multinational enterprises (MNEs). It focuses on the selected corporation of Apple, Inc., which is an American technology MNE that specializes the manufacture and distribution of personal computers (PCs), software, and consumer electronic devices, among other technology products. The evaluation of Apple’s operations indicates a major positive influence of power on the corporation’s leadership and performance over the years, hence its success in the global market.

The assessment of power in organizational contexts indicates that leaders can exercise it in different ways. First, leaders can use the reward power to enhance compliance among their employees or followers for specific incentives. In such a situation, employees behave in a compliant manner to obtain the reward controlled by the leader. Second, coercive power results in a situation where targeted employees comply with the leader’s instructions to avoid punishments. Third, the legitimate power influences individuals to follow directives as they believe that the leader has the right to give such directives while employees have the responsibility to observe them. Fourth, expert power influences employee compliance based on the understanding that the leader has the specialist knowledge to guide on the particular way of accomplishing tasks. Lastly, referent power influences compliance because of the employees’ admiration for the leader, hence the need to gain the leader’s approval.

Points Supporting the Role and Influence of Power at Apple

An examination of the role of power within the context of Apple, Inc. indicates that power has a major influence on the company’s leadership and competitiveness. Power enhances a leader’s capacity to have a major impact or a potential influence on other people. This means that the ability to shape other individuals’ actions and behaviors arises only if one has power. The lack of power may hinder a leader from exerting the influence necessary to achieve particular objectives. Conversely, influence refers to the ability to change the attitudes, perceptions, values, and behaviors of others. Leaders must have the persuasion or internal motivation to inspire change. The factors that indicate the influence of power on others include charisma, persuasion, and the ability to motivate others to attain shared goals. These issues are evident among leaders who have propelled Apple to its reputable position in the global market.

During the era of Steve Jobs, Apple experienced an unconventional type of leadership aligned closely with power. Jobs had concentrated power in his position as CEO, which he used to develop a unique leadership approach that did not involve consensus or consultative procedures. However, he had a significant influence on the company’s business operations and market direction because of his power. He emerged as a high-maintenance co-worker who required his employees to demonstrate excellence in their areas of work. For instance, which his dynamic personality, Jobs exerted a major influence on Apple’s employees. He was capable of inspiring and challenging the workforce to work hard toward accomplishing specific task goals. His powerful influence contributed greatly to the making of the Apple Empire at a young age as he used his power to hold people accountable for their actions. Subsequently, he modeled an organizational culture in which a leader asserted significant power to influence the workforces’ potential to focus on the firm’s strategic goals.

Additionally, Jobs’ power allowed him to articulate and communicate a clear vision to stakeholders such as employees, investors, and clients with the aim of promoting the company’s productivity. For example, after returning to Apple in 1997, he used his power to promote significant transformations in the corporation, leading to the growth of its share from US$ 5 billion in 2000 to more than US$350 billion by 2011. His leadership approaches promoted to significant innovations in the enterprise, hence indicating Jobs’ use of power to facilitate strategic business growth.

Moreover, Jobs’ leadership style represented a combination of power and influence, which led to the leader’s capacity to achieve his dreams. He used his influence to execute business tactics and strategies that led to the achievement of his goals. For example, through his influential power and leadership approach, Jobs capitalized on pressure tactics, inspirational appeal, and personal appeal to influence people’s performance. During the early stages of the company, Jobs influenced his followers to perform various tasks without salaries in exchange for stock ownership at the firm. He also pressured individuals to work to the best of their capacity, hence leading to the realization of milestones that the company had never reported before. In addition, based on his widespread inspiration, Jobs had the support of other powerful individuals. For example, when Apple was facing financial struggles during its initial stages, Bill Gates agreed to save it with $120 million. This situation indicates that Jobs had significant power that allowed the company to grow to its current position as a leading global technology enterprise.

Furthermore, a critical evaluation of Steve Jobs’ power and leadership indicates that he possessed the different types of power explored above. First, he had the legitimate power as a CEO, hence demonstrating an unquestionable influence over the company. Legitimate power allows a leader to exert influence by making legitimate requests that employees should implement to realize the desired outcomes. Under such a form of power, a polite request yields more benefits compared to an arrogant order. Additionally, followers’ compliance occurs within the scope of the leader’s influence. Instances of illegitimate power lead to situations where followers ignore directives. Nonetheless, Jobs’ legitimate power allowed him to make clear and concise demands that employees implemented to facilitated organizational growth.

Second, Jobs exercised the expert power, which emerged from his capacity to achieve significant success in Apple. For instance, the leader is popular for his ability to explore and identify markets needs that even consumers had not recognized. As a result, expert power contributes significantly to leadership effectiveness through persuasion. The leader demonstrates the capacity to communicate reasonable ideas backed by evidence to facilitate the desired transformation. Additionally, with expert power, the leader demonstrates the technical and analytical knowledge, which leads to the confident communication of proposals for organizational development. Jobs used expert power to influence the development of innovative devices such as the iPhone and iPad.

Third, Jobs exercised reward power as a successful and rich individual who had influence within and outside the company. Reward power emerges when leaders make implicit or clear promises to offer an individual a particular incentive within the leader’s authority. For that reason, such a type of power influences followers’ actions based on the value that they attack to the reward. For example, effective leaders offer their employees a sincere recognition for their contributions and achievements. Steve Jobs rewarded his employees with attention and his time.

Similarly, Jobs demonstrated coercive power that contributed to tackling of different problems and issues emerging in the corporation. Such coercive approach indicates the CEO’s autocratic leadership strategy that compelled individuals to focus on achieving the specified levels of task performance to attain corporate objectives. Autocratic leaders tend to make decisions with little contribution from followers. They exercise significant control over organizational processes with minimal advice from others. The benefits of autocratic leadership include a clear command chain, which demonstrates the influence of power on task performance. Such a type of leadership style also leads to rapid decision-making and directive leadership for optimal compliance from employees. However, it discourages member input and may affect employee motivation. Nonetheless, given the experience and expertise associated with Jobs, he managed to maintain a powerful influence on employees, leading to leadership effectiveness.

In addition, with information power, Jobs indicated his extensive knowledge of the industry, hence improving his capacity to facilitate major transformations in the company. Lastly, Jobs’ leadership approach included referent power based on his capacity to inspire creativity and significant effort from his employees. He inspired followers to feel that they were working for the greatest company in the globe. Accordingly, by asserting a major power and influence, Jobs demonstrated his charismatic leadership that persuaded people to work toward accomplishing common objectives and goals. 

10 October 2022
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