Justification of Power as Necessary for Leadership

Charity A. Ezigbo


The study seeks to determine the nature of the relationship between power, leadership, and organizational effectiveness; ascertain the factors which determine the extent to which people can leverage their power; identify the types of power that can assure leadership effectiveness; and determine how power can be acquired.

The study was carried out primarily through the survey method and interview of employees in three public sector organizations in Nigeria.

Secondary data were obtained through books, journals, and internet.

Findings indicate that there is a significant positive relationship between power, leadership, and organizational effectiveness;

Centrality, visibility, discretion and non substitutability determine the extent to which people can leverage their power.

Organisational power (legitimate, reward, and coercive), expert power and referent power are the types of power which can assure leadership effectiveness.

Power can be acquired by exhibition of knowledge and skills, ability and intelligence, ingenuity, and communication competency.

One don’t have to be in leadership to have some form of power. In fact the most respect is garnered on those who have personal sources of power (expert and referent). It has been observed that when employees in an organization associate formal power with personal power (expert and referent) they are more engaged, more devoted to the organization and their role within it, and they are willing to go the extra mile to reach organizational goals.

Generally, the personal sources of power are strongly related to employees’ job satisfaction, organizational commitment, and job performance than are the organizational power sources. However, one source of organizational power- Coercive power is negatively related to work performance. The various sources of power should not be thought of as being separate from each other. A leader can acquire the five sources of power.

Keywords: Power, Leadership, Effectiveness, Ingenuity, Knowledge, and Communication Competency

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ISSN (Paper)2222-1905 ISSN (Online)2222-2839

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