Doctoral Project Abstract
Power, Influence, and Leadership in Organizations
Wayne C. Shaw
Power and influence are at the core of leadership. The application of influence is essential for effectively leading people and organizations. Influencing people is the means for accomplishing tasks, and organizations structure themselves around the distribution of power. Unfortunately, it is not unusual for organizations and leaders to develop ineffective, uninformed, and unhealthy views of power and influence. In some cases, these views reflect deeper flaws in the character and competencies of the organization and the ways in which it develops its leaders.
Power, Influence, and Leadership is a two-and-a-half day business seminar that focuses on leaders and the ways they understand and use power and influence in their organizations. Further, it explores the ways in which leaders develop themselves and their followers, and it provides encouragement and direction to help them seek a better way.
The objectives of the seminar are five-fold:
1) Participants will achieve a basic understanding of the sources of power and influence that exist within organizations and society. Newer leaders will have an opportunity to learn methods for developing healthy views of power and influence in organizations. Experienced leaders will be encouraged to challenge their assumptions about power and influence and how it is, and can be, employed.
2) Participants will have a chance to explore the power bases that they employ in organizations.
3) Participants will gain an understanding of the interaction of power and organizational structure, the cultural and global implications of power, and the application of politics in organizations and society.
4) Leaders will develop an understanding of the reasons for and consequences of powerlessness and coercion, and will explore methods of motivation and inspiration.
5) The program will provide an environment in which leaders will be exposed to various leadership styles and will be challenged to learn the impact of those styles on the use of power and influence in organizations and society.
Power, Influence, and Leadership contains a comprehensive collection of slides which focus on many aspects of leadership, learning, organizational dynamics, and the understanding and use of power. It utilizes a participant workbook to guide group-based activities. It contains seven case studies, and employs two commercially-available assessment tools. It is designed to be presented by a trained and knowledgeable instructor in a series of ten modules. There is sufficient content to allow an instructor to expand the seminar to three or four days, and to focus on the needs of a particular audience.
Though not overtly directed toward a Christian perspective, the seminar is based on a foundation of Christian values and an appreciation for people and what they contribute to organizations. It is the overriding goal of the seminar to see leaders, both new and old, be challenged to examine themselves with respect to their character, competencies, ethics and morals, and to learn what is truly necessary to positively impact their own lives and their organizations.