Sources of power

The sources of power within groups may be described as:

  • coercive power—to punish someone if they deviate from the required behaviour
  • reward power—to give someone what they want in exchange for the required behaviour
  • position power—that comes from a person’s formal position or role in the group
  • personal power—that comes from a person’s own character and characteristics
  • expert power—which comes from a person’s knowledge and skill
  • negative power—that comes from being able to prevent things from happening.

Again, remember that power does not belong only to the leader. It may also belong to any member of the group, the group itself or any number of people within the group.