MGT420 C-1 Koch Brothers’ Rivalry: Power and Influence Social Essay (Essay Sample)
Koch Industries is one of the most profitable privately held corporations in the country. In spite of being owned primarily by four brothers, it has not been immune from intense internal power plays and intrigue. A decades-long dispute between CEO Charles Koch and his younger brother Bill Koch led first to an internal battle for control of the company and ended with a lawsuit between the brothers.
Carefully review the background materials regarding sources of power within an organization and influence tactics. Examples of sources of power include reward power, coercive power, legitimate power, and expert power. Examples of influence tactics include forming coalitions, pressure, and exchanging favors. Make sure to understand the main power sources and influence tactics and know the vocabulary and definitions from the background materials before starting the assignment.
The epic battle between two of the Koch brothers tested the limits of both of their power bases within Koch Industries. Both used multiple tactics before Charles Koch ultimately secured his position of almost unrivaled power within the corporation.
Once you have finished your research, write a 4- to 5-page paper addressing the following issues. Make sure to cite at least 3 of the required background readings in addition to articles about the Koch brothers in your paper:
1. What were Charles and Bill Koch’s sources of power within Koch Industries? Did they have reward power, coercive power, legitimate power, or expert power? Any other sources of power? Refer to Bauer and Erdogan (2012) or Luthans et al. (2015) in your answer, as you should demonstrate a solid understanding of these readings as part of your answer.
2. What influence tactics did each of them use in their battle for control? Refer to Bauer and Erdogan (2012) or Luthans et al. (2015) in your answer.
3. Ultimately what do you think led to Charles Koch’s victory in this battle, and what do you think are the most important lessons on organizational power that you learned from reading about this power struggle?
A good place to start is a short video from Dr. DeRue from the University of Michigan as well as a short article from Marine Corps Gazette that will introduce you to some of the basic concepts from this module:
Burg, Bob. ( © 2017). Influence is pull, not push. [Video File]. [Books24x7 version]
Anderson, D. A. (1998). Using power and influence tactics for better results. Marine Corps Gazette, 82(12), 37-38. Available from ProQuest in the Trident Online Library.
[Note: In general when looking up articles or books in the search engines start with just the title of the article rather than the whole reference. For better results, enter the following search term into the search engine. For example, Using power and influence tactics.]
Now take a closer look at the source of power and influence tactics in the following two book chapter readings. The first book chapter is written by Dr. Fred Luthans of the University of Nebraska and the second book is by Tayla Bauer of Portland State University. They are both leading authorities on management and organizational behavior:
Luthans, F., Luthans, K. W., & Luthans, B. C. (2015). Chapter 10: Power and Politics. Organizational behavior: An evidence-based approach. Charlotte, North Carolina: Information Age Publishing, pp. 280-287. Available in the EBSCO eBook Collection in the Trident Online Library.
[Note: you don’t have to read the whole chapter above, just the first part on organizational power. You will be reading the last section on organizational politics for Module 2.
Bauer, T., & Erdogan, B. (2012). Chapter 13.3: The power to influence. Organizational Behavior. Flatworld Knowledge. Retrieved from https://www(dot)saylor(dot)org/site/textbooks/Organizational%20Behavior.pdf
Schulman, D. (2014, Jul). Koch vs. Koch. Mother Jones, 39, 16–
Tomsho, R. (1989, Aug 09). Blood feud: Koch family is roiled by sibling squabbling over its oil empire: Fired by his brother, William sues often, helps feds to probe Koch Industries, haling mother into court. Wall Street Journal [ProQuest]
Koch Brothers’ Rivalry: Power and Influence
Koch Brothers’ Rivalry: Power and Influence
Power and influence are experienced in different settings within society. These two are especially important in business and organization settings because they influence the decision-making process and are an inherent part of organizational interaction. One good example of how power and influence were exercised can be seen in the case of the Koch brothers. Charles and Bill Koch engaged in a power struggle until Charles won the battle. This paper aims to examine their sources of power, influence tactics, and to highlight some of the lessons that leaders can learn from the Koch brothers’ power struggle.
Sources of Power
Leaders earn power from various sources and at times, they can derive their power from all the sources. These sources, as revealed by Luthans, Luthans, and Luthans (2015) include coercive, reward, referent, legitimate, and expert power.
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