Dependence: The Key to Power

The most important aspect of power is that it is a function of dependence. In this section, we show how understanding dependence helps us understand degrees of power.

The General Dependence Postulate

Let’s begin with a general postulate: The greater B’s dependence on A, the more power A has over B. When you possess anything others require that you alone control, you make them dependent on you, and therefore you gain power over them.6 As the old saying goes, “In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king!” But if something is plentiful, possessing it will not increase your power. Therefore, the more you can expand your own options, the less power you place in the hands of others. This explains why most organizations ...

Get Essentials of Organizational Behavior, 14/e now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.