Amitai Etzioni: How Organizations Secure Compliance
How do organizations elicit compliance from their members? Amitai Etzioni addressed this question, concluding that there are three types of organization, each wielding a different sort of power.
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The Nature of Organizations
This video is part of course module number 6.1.3
Program 6: Managing within Organizations
Course 1: The Nature of Organizations
Section 3: Power in Organizations
Other videos in this section include:
What is Power? https://youtu.be/mIlnEkzIiHs
Robin Fincham: Three Levels of Organizational Power https://youtu.be/Qcd_UcHGCe8
The Power of Governance https://youtu.be/QI4pGksO4Ns
French and Raven: Social Power Bases in Organizations https://youtu.be/wLtTu8B0aek
Empowerment: The Organization Giving up its Power https://youtu.be/B4-_u51mffk
Amitai Etzioni addressed the question of how organizations elicit compliance from their members, concluding that there are three types of organization, each wielding a different sort of power:
1. Coercive Power: Organizations that can enforce compliance by the use of sanctions, restraint, or even physical force. They may also exert control over things we need. Coercive organizations leave members alienated from them.
Examples include custodial institutions, cults, and crime gangs.
2. Remunerative Power: Organizations that achieve compliance by the giving and withholding of rewards. This is the most common form of power in business, where the rewards are economic benefits and sometimes enhanced status. This form of power is transactional and depends on the people from whom the organization wants compliance seeing the rewards as a fair trade for their obedience.
Also called calculative or utilitarian organizations; members are committed to the rewards, asking ‘what’s in it for me?’.
Businesses tend to be utilitarian organizations.
3. Normative Power: Organizations that win compliance through conviction to shared beliefs or values. Normative organizations create commitment from members who believe the organization has the right to expect compliance.
Normative power is wielded by organizations over people who share their aims and intentions. Voluntary organizations and religions are examples, but many businesses try to create this by appealing to common values.
But remember, it is the substance and detail of how an organization behaves that determine which form of power it applies, rather than the form of the organization:
• While most religions would (and should) see themselves as normative, there are plenty who offer redemption as a reward for good behavior (utilitarian). And there are some that threaten severe sanctions (coercive).
• Most employers are clearly in the utilitarian category, but some offer an inspiring workplace that people enjoy and value (normative). Others create its mirror: a poisonous workplace of bullying and fear (coercive).
• Whilst the classic model of prison is certainly coercive, the best of modern penal systems can offer the rewards of rehabilitation (utilitarian) or even a régime that prisoners respect and value (normative).
This model does not tell us how individuals within the organizations secure compliance.
1. What types of organizations have you worked in? And what were the characteristics that lead you to those conclusions. Are there any elements of other sorts of power at work in those organizations? (4 MC CPD Points)
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– Understanding Organizations https://geni.us/oB774Do
– Images of Organization https://geni.us/hrOemEs
– Inside Organizations: 21 Ideas for Managers https://geni.us/YwwL
– Gods of Management: The Four Cultures of Leadership https://geni.us/bpPeC5
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