Week 3: Leadership and Power Paper
The Prime Minister’s Powerful Better Half
Ho Ching, the wife Lee Hsien Loong, Singapore’s current prime minister and son of a founding father of the country, is the Chief Executive Officer at Temasek Holdings; who according to the text, “was ranked 18th of Asia Most Powerful Business People and 24th of Forbes World's Most Powerful Women” (Hughes, Ginnett, Curphy, 2009). While this demonstrates the power capacity of Ho Ching as a leader; it does not establish the level of influence that she commands or her skills to apply influential tactics necessary to be able to modify followers’ attitudes and behaviors in the ...view middle of the document...
Definitely Ho Ching has establish a strong reputation as a potential leader and according to the text, “Ho’s experience, education, and connections led to her appointment as chief executive of Temasek where she oversees a portfolio worth over $50 billion and influences many of Singapore’s leading companies” (Hughes et al., 2009). This clearly demonstrates her referent power, as stated her connections assisted with her appointment into the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) position; consequently because of her appointment as CEO she received legitimate power which is a position power. Legitimate power gives a leader authority because of the assigned title or role within an organization, however the leader only has this authority as long there is compliance within the restrictions of the role. This is important to understand because along with the legitimate power than the leader, in this case Ho Ching, also received reward and coercive powers because she can offer rewards for compliance or threaten punishment for non-compliance. From the reading there is no evidence that she use either reward or coercive powers. Finally being regarded a Stanford-educated electrical engineer and a scholar; this give her the expert power because “expert power is a function of the amount of knowledge one possesses” (Hughes, et al., 2009). Thus, Ho Ching is a leader that has all five sources of power, which are legitimate power, reward power, coercive power, expert power, and referent power.
Although Ho Ching stated that there is no conflict of interest between her and her husband’s role in the company by issuing the statement: “The issue of conflict does not arise because there are no vested interests. Our goal is to do what makes sense for Singapore” (Hughes et al., 2009). This is merely an attempt by Mrs. Ching to use rational persuasion to convince the public that there is no potential conflict of interest between her position at the company and the relationship and position of her husband- who has a supervisor role within the organization. This could also result in potential loss of referent power because the Mrs. Ching may lose some credibility among her followers.
According to Hughes, Ginnet, & Curphy (2009), “Whereas power is the capacity or potential to influence others, influence tactics are the actual behaviors used by an agent to change the attitudes, opinions, or behaviors of a target person.” Ho Ching seems to have demonstrated the ability to apply several of the influence tactics; this was aided by the fact that she has a high level of referent power which allows her to further influence the behaviors and attitudes of her followers and colleagues. For instance, she could use inspirational appeals, consultations, ingratiation, and exchanges to influence followers and business partners. However the tactic depends on the situation and the relationship between the leader and the followers; furthermore it is important for leaders to understand...