Four Contingencies of Power


Substitutability is the capability to be replaced, a contingency ofpower that pertains to the accessibility of substitutes (McShane&amp Von Glinow, 2013). For example, there are many unions,which compel employers to pay their workers higher wages and treatthem with respect. When all employees in a company join unions, thenthey feel secure about pushing for their rights, for instance throughstrikes, with the objective of paralyzing operations in the companythey work for and in turn coerce employers to meet their demands.However, a company can find alternatives to weaken unions bycontracting labor to replace the personnel on strike.

Centrality refers to the significance of group’s functioning to anorganization’s success (McShane &ampVon Glinow, 2013). It is a representation of theinterdependence amid the powerbroker and individuals dependent onhim. For example, a restaurant manager has justifiable authority witha level of centrality. This is because other employees rely on themanager to operate the restaurant to remain employable.

Visibility is a major element in ensuring others are aware of howmuch authority an individual has within an organization (McShane&amp Von Glinow, 2013). The sole manner for others to realizethe level of authority an employee has happens via various diversesigns. An illustration is an employee who is well known to the seniormanagement of an organization. Such a person has responsibilitiesthat stand out from other personnel.

Discretion implies the authority of making decisions without seekingconsent (McShane &amp Von Glinow,2013). The contingency of power applies in a real lifesituation when comparing the power of a supervisor and the company’sowner. The owner has more authority to fire an employee compared tothe supervisor. In order to fire someone, the supervisor must seekconsent from the owner. On the contrary, the owner can make such adecision without consulting.


McShane, S. L., &amp Von Glinow,M. A. (2013). Organizational behavior (6th ed.). New York, NY:McGraw-Hill/Irwin.