Influence tactics and sources of power | MGT420

Assignment Overview

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. Do some research about this power struggle using the Trident Online Library and online news sources. Here are some articles to get you started:

Schulman, D. (2014, Jul). Koch vs. Koch. Mother Jones, 39, 16–27,64,2

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]

Case Assignment

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?

Assignment Expectations

  • Case Assignments are to be prepared in Microsoft Word and should be 4 to 5 pages in length, in addition to a cover page (course name and number, module number, session name, student name, and date prepared) and a reference list. The paper should be double-spaced, using 12 pt. type in the Times New Roman font. It should consist of a 2- or 3-sentence introduction, a body, and a 2- or 3-sentence conclusion and use Trident University International’s cover page. The reference list page must be in APA format.
  • Assignment content should include a brief introduction to the assignment, background information about the organization being studied, and discussion in terms of the concepts or theories being applied in the assignment.
  • Use headings and subheadings to improve presentation values.
  • Include both a References page and in-text citations. See the Student Guide to Writing a High-Quality Academic Paper, including pages 11-14 on in-text citations. Attention is to be given to citing sources of information in-text as well as in the References page at the end of the paper. Citation and reference style instructions are available at https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/10/ or at APAstyle.org.
  • Submit your report in the Case dropbox for this module on or before the date due, as indicated in the TLC Homepage.
  • Since you are engaging in research, be sure to cite and reference the sources in APA format. The paper should be written in the third person; this means words like “I,” “we,” and “you” are not appropriate. For more information, see Differences Between First and Third Person.
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