Power Tactics and Strategy in an Organization

Power Tactics

The main motive of individuals in organizations is to gain power and to gain it they use different tactics. Through using these tactics within their groups or between the groups they influence people and gain power.

Power tactics that people use to influence their coworkers, employees, or bosses to be more effective are as under:

  1. Formal Authority
  2. Rationality
  3. Pressure Building
  4. Sanctions
  5. Competition
  6. Coalition
  7. Integrative Importance
  8. Bargaining
  9. Friendliness
  10. Higher Authority
  11. Cooperation
Power Tactics
Power Tactics

Formal Authority

When the position has formal authority, they fix a deadline for others in the group to comply with the orders and do what is expected from them. This is called assertiveness through which they remind others to perform and oblige as per rules.


When a person uses facts and information to convince others in a logical way to comply, it looks like a rational way for compliance from others as a competent man.

Pressure Building

A group of people like trade unions to gain power use pressure building on people as well as organizations. But this method may become counterproductive like in the case of a threat of a strike, the organization may go for a lockout.


To gain more power logically the persons in power may use organizational rewards and punishment. When they give promotions or a rise in salary for good work it is called a reward. Similarly when someone lags behind in performance appraisal continuously his promotion is withheld. It is called punishment. By using the method of sanctions they gain more power.


When organizational resources are scarce, the parties compete with each other to have control over the criteria to be used for resource allocation to gain more power.


When two or more groups in the organization make an alliance to gain more, it is called a coalition.

Integrative Importance

When in an organization a service provider group’s services are required by all groups within the organization that service providers group becomes important and sought after by all groups to function effectively. That group will have more intergroup power.


It is another method to gain power. When one has already bestowed benefits on others in the past and he reminds others for favor through a process of negotiation to get his work done.


Through this method, a person requests another to do his work by convincing him. He convinces another either through flattery i.e. praising his importance prior to a request, or waiting in a friendly or humble way till he is in a receptive mood for a request.

Higher Authority

Some managers, to get the work done from their subordinates may make efforts to secure the support of higher authorities.


It is one of the inter-group power tactics. In this method, one group gives some of its important positions to members of another group to have control of the policy-making committees it is called cooptation. Through this method, they remove the chances of being criticized by another group for decisions taken in the committees.

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