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Case Assignment One
In this paper we will discuss the manager’s main sources of power and talk about reward power, legitimate power, and expert power as well as other sources of power discussed in the background readings.
2. Discuss some influence tactics used by this manager. Include a discussion about whether or not this manager used the influence tactics discussed in Anderson (1998) and Luthans et al. (2015) from the background materials.
3. Did this manager make good use of their sources of power and influence tactics, or did they misuse or abuse their power?sources of power William (Bill) and Charles Koch’s utilized within Koch Industries. We will determine if the brothers had reward power, coercive power, legitimate power, or expert power. Additionally, we will talk about what power tactics each used in their battle for control. Lastly, we will cover the events that led to Charles Koch’s victory in the battle for control and identify the most important lessons areas to learn about organizational power after understanding the series of events that took place within this family.
Charles and William were brothers who inevitably competed throughout life with each other both knowingly and unknowingly. William on the other hand was also very jealous of his brother Charles and would stop at nothing to defend his position when feasible to destabilize Charles position in the family company which was co-owned with two other brothers David and Frederick. The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Charles Koch’s command power was always questionable to his younger brother William. There were concerns surrounding his ability to successfully lead Koch Industries which was a very profitable corporation in the United States. The struggle for power went on for an extended period which culminated with lawsuits filed through court Koch vs Koch.
The dynamics of the Koch’s family built from the foundation of the hard of the parents was deeply rooted in how they ran the business. Fredrick and Mary Koch were the parent of four brilliant young men: Fredrick, Charles, David, and William. Fredrick showed no interest at all in the inner workings of the family business. He was different due to him showing interest outside the interest of the family royalties. Charles which was the oldest of four boys has been mentored and groomed at a very early age about the family business to one day potentially replace the father Fredrick Koch (Schulman, 2014). Young Charles Koch was along with his youngest brother David mastered the operations and understood how the business was ran. Twin brother William referred to as the adventurist was also a rebel for the sake of it. He was free spirited with the ladies which caused him to get into bad situations.
Transition of Power
Charles took over his father’s role in the corporation once he passed away and immediately targeted by a jealous younger brother William. William was uncomfortable with the amount of faith, confidence and trust their father had in Charles running the business. Charles carried himself in the manner in that supported his office. He possessed expert power because of the knowledge he had in which was instrumental in the success of operations and the overall dealings with Koch Industries. Additionally, legitimate power is also a power he used due to his position as CEO of the corporation, his power was uncontested as he was the face of the business. The legitimate power appointed by his father came after Charles demonstrated that he possessed the drive to continue running the business affairs in his father’s absence. William possessed referent power which is the innate power to influence people through trust, loyalty, respect, and desire to gain satisfaction through being approve or accepted by each other.
After a short period of time William realized that his power as it related to the family business was not going to work when it came to Charles. William had the tendency to rally other partners to agree with him to help come against his brother Charles. William applied the tactic of Coalition Tactics, which is where you would seek the support of others to influence others decisions (Anderson, 1998). It became apparent that William set out to destroy everything his family built in the family business. And through his discord he began to destroy his brothers’ character and create the relationship with his mother. Due to his malicious behavior his mother Mary testified against him in court in which disturbed her so badly that it causes her to have a stroke the later led to her death. The sons grieved the loss of their mother but that did not stop all the disarray amongst the Koch boys. William began to rally additional partners to attempt to force Charles into making decisions that were irrational and not in the best interest of the company. William later convinced Fredrick to side with him and the two of them started a war within the Koch family and the business.
After Charles had enough of the issues between his brothers he bought out their stocks and dismissed them from the company. Charles had a very strong passion and believed in carrying out the duties of his office in a manner that would please his parents. Charles used pressure tactics to ultimately remove William from the business totally. There was still confusion amongst the family even with William removed from the business. William was becoming reckless and tried to destroy anything or anyone in his path. The behavior of William and youngest brother Frederick was not in line with how their father would have wanted them to be. The mentality of being privileged is something their father disapproved of and what them to work for the things they wanted.
In conclusion, due to jealousy and greed the war and relationship amongst the Koch family is unrepairable and was completely severed. With the amount of confusion in the leadership of this corporation I believe the family should have thought a little bit more before deciding to keep it in the family. Ultimately, Charles’s quest for maintaining control was a series of power struggles which should have been handled more professionally. Through it all the lost the very foundation that the corporation has been built off which was FAMILY.
- Anderson, D.A. (1998). Using power and influence tactics for better results. Marine Corps Gazette, 82 (12), 37-38.
- Schulman, D. (2014, Jul). Koch vs. Koch. Mother Jones, 39, 16-27, 64, 2
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