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Home » Course Catalogue » MBA Electives » RSM2619H – Power and Influence in Organizations (Spring 2023)

RSM2619H – Power and Influence in Organizations (Spring 2023)

General Information


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Applicable Emphases:
(m) = Main, (s) = Supplemental

  • Leadership (m)

Applicable Major(s):
(c) = Core, (r) = Recommended

  • Leadership and Change Management (c)

Target Audience

This is a course about learning to use power and influence as effective tools for understanding your surroundings and achieving your goals. It is a course about getting things done in the real world, where politics and personalities often seem to hinder rather than help you. P&I is a course for those of you who want to make things happen, despite the obstacles that might stand in your way. It is also a course to prepare you to use power responsibly, resist its corruptive perils, and wield it to create positive change in organizations everywhere.


8 weekly three-hour sessions

Course Mission

This course presents conceptual models, tactical approaches, and self-assessment tools to help you develop your own influence style and understand political dynamics as they unfold around you. By focusing on specific expressions of power and influence, this course gives you the opportunity to observe the effective—and ineffective—uses of power in different organizational contexts and stages of a person’s career. The subject matter will challenge you to define for yourself what will constitute the ethical exercise of power in your life.

Course Scope

The course relies on a mix of traditional case studies, biographical case studies, exercises, films, articles, frameworks, and self-assessment tools to help you evaluate your own bases of power and your own influence style. The exposure to acquiring and using power in many different social sectors and in various points in history allows a comprehensive analysis of power in action. The course will help you:

  1. Develop a conceptual framework for understanding power and influence. You should be able to define power and influence and begin to appreciate how essential they are for your own career and to produce constructive outcomes for your organization.
  2. Practice diagnostic skills that will enable you to map out the political landscape, understand others’ perspectives and power bases, and learn to predict and influence their actions.
  3. Assess your power bases and influence style and consider strategies for expanding them.
  4. Build a repertoire of power tactics so you will be effective in a variety of situations.
  5. Develop your own strategy for building and exercising power and influence responsibly.

Evaluation and Grade Distribution

ComponentDue DateWeight
Class Participation (Individual)Ongoing20%
Power Balancing Analysis (Group)Week 410%
Network Analysis (Individual)Week 610%
Final Paper (Individual)Two Weeks after Final Class60%

Required Resources

Textbook: Power, for All: How It Really Works and Why It’s Everyone’s Business, as well as cases and articles to be purchased by students or made available on Quercus.

Last Updated: 2022-06-07 @ 4:42 pm