Power Theory In Organizational Communication

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Power as conceptualized by critical theorists.
Power is one of the words that holds great effect. It is defined by Webster (2015) as “the ability to control people or things; a person or organization that has a lot of control and influence over other people or organizations”. In general, a person or organization that holds power has authority over others. Thus, power is conceptualized in the organizational communication by critical theorists. For critical theorists, power is the most important concept when it comes to organizational communication. They view power as a “defining, ubiquitous feature of organizational life” (Miller, 2015: 118). Which means that power defines an organization, individual or a group. There are three approaches that help in understanding the concept of power namely, the traditional approach, the symbological approach and the radical critical approach (Miller, 2015: 118). These approaches are explained fully below. Firstly the traditional approach. According to Miller, (2015: 118) the traditional approach “considers power to be a relative entity that people or group possess”, which means that each and every individual, group or organization have power within them.
Secondly, the symbological approach, which “views power as a product of communicative interactions and relationships” (Mumby, 2014). This means that power emerges through interactions between people or organizations and even so through their relationships, as power is a product of
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