This course provides insights into the true power relationships in the workplace. While traditional power structures are designed to provide a chain of command in achieving the goals of the organization, referent or expert power is often the most influential factor in determining staff compliance, motivation and achievement. Referent power is the power of a leader, whether that person is a manager or a staff member, in influencing others because of the follower’s admiration, respect, or identification with that individual. Followers will refer to what they think the leader would do and do the same. Staff leaders or managers with referent power are role models. Within an organizational context, this power becomes increasingly important as an organization moves away from autocratic leadership towards a more collaborative style where people work together to solve problems to get things done.

This course will provide an understanding of the importance of referent power, how to recognize and cultivate it, and avoid the inevitable resistance or failures that accompany attempts to remove it.