power and politics

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Slack and Parent argue that power is not something we can see within a sport organization, however, the effects of the dynamics of power can often be clearly felt. I would argue that this is not accurate. The fact that CEOs have large private corner offices with their names on it are huge symbols of power that can often intimidate others. Slack and Parent define power as the ability to get someone to do something they otherwise probably wouldn't have done. However, many argue that this definition is problematic, for example, it suggests that there is conflict and ignores the possibility that power relationships are often ones of mutual convenience. Others argue that this definition, and many others like it, describe power as given to one individual instead of a social relationship among groups. Slack and Parent state that authority is one form of power which is the power given to a certain individual because of the position they hold in the organization. Other parts of power include reward power, legitimate power, coercive power, referent power, and expert power. These types of power often overlap and refer to ways individuals within organizations accrue power. These types of power refer to the power one person has to reward, punish another, or because of a special skill or knowledge they possess. Power also refers to the organizations ability to acquire resources, often money. The more resources an organization can come up with the more power they hold and therefore the more say they have in the politics that link organizations to other organizations. The public often notices the power and politics of an organization when power is abused by using money as leverage or when the politics of the organization become dysfunctional. When someone says the word power as it pertains to a sport organization it often means the authority one or a group of people, managers, board members, or CEOs have over other people, such as ticket staff, athletes, maintenance workers, or coaches among many others. Power and politics can create problems when that power is used inappropriately for the benefit of few instead of the whole organization. Employees do not like to be taken advantage of and abuse of power is often the biggest way people can feel that. Politics should refer to the way people work with each other in a way that is the most beneficial for the organization. When subunits and stakeholders work with one another in a way that allows for a free flow of ideas and healthy amounts of conflict to occur the organization will have the most success it can.