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TOPIC: Formal vs Coercive Power Distinction

Formal vs Coercive Power Distinction 3 years 10 months ago #3063

  • Edward Wada
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Can you clarify the difference between Formal vs Coercive power. If I am a project manager and my team members follow what I tell them because you have the authority to provide negative feedback in their performance appraisal, would this be coercive power or formal.

Formal since as a project manager, performance appraisal would be part of my responsibility? (Or would this not be correct, since the PMBOK assumes unless told that we are working in a matrix organization, and the Project manager wouldn't be doing that but the functional manager)?

Or would fear known or unknown to me but felt b team members automatically make this coercive?

Please help clarify how to separate the two since I can see them overlap in scenarios. Thanks

:unsure:

Formal vs Coercive Power Distinction 3 years 10 months ago #3074

  • Khurram Hussain
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Dear Edward:

If you are the project manager and your team members follow what you tell them because you have the “authority to provide negative feedback” in their performance appraisal, the team compliance is due to your coercive power.

Coercive power is based on the “fear factor”. If the compliance is due to the fear that you will write a bad feedback, this is coercive.

Regards,

Khurram

Formal vs Coercive Power Distinction 3 years 10 months ago #3077

  • Edward Wada
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Mary was appointed to be a project manager by Senior Management. She plan to give positive feedback of her team members to their functional managers to reward them, this would be Formal power or Reward power?

So only if there is mention of fear or penalty, that would make it coercive?

So I the above was changed to:
Mary was appointed to be the project manager by Senior Management. She plans to give either positive and negative feedback of her team members to their functional managers, this would now make it coercive power (since negative feedback is possible)?

Thanks for the clarification.

Formal vs Coercive Power Distinction 3 years 10 months ago #3079

  • Khurram Hussain
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“Mary was appointed to be a project manager by Senior Management. She plan to give positive feedback of her team members to their functional managers to reward them, this would be Formal power or Reward power?”

This is a vague statement. The question of power arises when somebody is using something to get something done. Here the statement says that Mary is just giving a positive feedback and the reasons or intentions are not described. Let me assume that Mary is planning to give a positive feedback to her team members so that the team members get more motivated and responsive to her directions. In that case, this is “Reward Power”.


“So only if there is mention of fear or penalty, that would make it coercive?”
Yes, getting things done using the fear or penalty factor is coercive. The opposite is ture for reward power.


"So I the above was changed to:
Mary was appointed to be the project manager by Senior Management. She plans to give either positive and negative feedback of her team members to their functional managers, this would now make it coercive power (since negative feedback is possible)?"

Again the statement is not clear. Does she want to give this feedback to get her team be more motivated and receptive of her directions? If yes, then this is both reward and coercive.

Regards,

Khurram
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