Looking through an older BU blog I came across an interesting post Revisiting Informal Group Power. This post describes the connection between power and informal groups. Power in a formal group is structured; it is authority in a corporation, authority at a university and other positions of power of a formal organization. As for informal power, it is not established through a formal organization but instead created through an individual’s social standing or the number of ties a person may have. The benefit of informal power is it can lead to formal power, as certain people gain power in informal groups, this may cause them to utilize that power within a formal organization.
This concept of informal power was very interesting to me because I think it has a direct relation to most seniors as well as any individual applying for a job. If your informal power is your network, the larger your network the more likely you are to get a job. As stated in the post from the BU blog, “Informal group power directly connects to the concept of networks as pipes and prisms. The concept of networks as prism builds off the idea that a person’s status or image helps to establish a sense of legitimacy.” If a person has a lot of informal power, an employer is more likely to pick them as an employee rather than another candidate, even if the other candidate may seem stronger on paper, the sense of legitimacy may be powerful enough to outweigh the other candidate.
I think this article is a good reminder of how important it is to establish informal power thus creating a large network. I also want to raise a couple questions on informal power. Is informal power only important for applying for jobs? Can informal power be negative?
- Richard Feynman On The Folly Of Crafting Precise Definitions (bobsutton.typepad.com)
- The ‘left opposition’ to Obama has a lot of work to do (atung.net)
- Syrian oppositon groups formally unify, overcoming key hurdle – Christian Science Monitor (news.google.com)