Power and Authority

From the semester, I learned that there was a major differencebetweenpower and authority. The sources state that power involves an entity or the abilityof an individual to control or direct others.  On the contrary, authority entails theinfluences which arepredicated on perceivedlegitimacy.  I learned that Max Weber was a prominent scholarwho exhaustively studied the difference between the two. He developed various concepts regarding power and authority andformulated asystem for classifying various types of authorities.

The types of authoritiesidentified by Weber includetraditional, charismatic, and legal-rational authorities, which all differ in terms of characteristics and leadership styles,and sources of power.  I also learnedabout the role of power and authority in politics. It is manifest from the sources that rower is essential in understandingpolitics, where some individuals and groups have morepower than others.

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When one has power, his will can be carried outdespite the resistance of others, and hence well reflects thepoliticians and their actions in governance. On the other hand, authority includes the created power, where people agree to follow a person in authority since it feels that these individuals are worthy of the position. Alternatively, they respect people in authority since they feel that a person in such a position carries a certain degree of respect. The individual’s objectives and demands of an authoritative figure are legitimate and reasonable. Different types of authority’s command varying types of respect. For example, a person with charismaticauthority is relatively unstable since theauthorityheld by a person with suchleadership may not easily extend to anyone after the elder dies.

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