Superiors are able to affect their subordinates’ behaviors, and this domination is a reflection of superiors’ power. This express the subordinate compliance to the superior (Weber, 1909-1920). As what Foucault (1976) mentioned that power is everywhere, institutions and structures do not fully explain power, but power can be considered a name for a complex strategic situation in society. The society is full of power, such as parents to children, bosses to subordinates, teachers to students. Power are needed by managers of many companies, and how to control employees is the primary goal of managers. Using the right methods will maximize the managers’ rights and the company’s interests, but if the methods used are inaccurate, even if managers get control, but employees have a large part of the possibility of not cooperating behind (Weber, 1909-1920). The bureaucratic type of organisation can be reflected on the ordered firmly system of subordination when the office hierarchy and graded level is given, and the supervision from the higher offices to the lower offices, also the main point is the compliance from the employees to the employers. The standpoint of compliance is the virtually coordinate, assort and revere to the superiors, which give expression to the power that the superiors or managers have in the company, and those aspects such as fully coordinate and revere are all based on the control (Barker, 1993). The flows of power increase the perfection of the control system every time. Positive and negative forms are the main types of power, and those two forms were originally based on positive form based on the traditional, charismatic and legal-rational authorities (Weber, 1909-1920; Raven, 1993). And the negative mainly based on the force of doing behaviours (Raven, 1993). Moreover, Ackrovd and Thompson (1999) discussed that the negative power could reflect the misbehaviour from subordinates and it includes the identity, effort, time and product. Weber (1909-1920) and Foucault (1976)’s mean different is the Controllability and uncontrollability of power, as what weber (1909-1920) argued that power could be controlled and send to the entire system of bureaucracy to achieve the desired purpose. However, as what Foucault (1976) discussed that the power has a close relationship with knowledge, and power is not fixed and controllable. Power is equal to a flow of energy that can run through society. This essay will explain and compare weber’s and Foucault ‘s theories to evaluate the statement which “power is based on structures of control”.
The positive power of control can be identified as the subordinate accepts the command of the superior, from the point of view of personal charm or from the traditional point of view, because the power of this control are subordinates spontaneously affected by superiors, so there is almost no negative influence, and this influence will make the employee work harder and motivated, which brings a lot of positive meaning to the company (Foucault, 1976).However, the negative power of control mainly is the benefit control, which means that the contract of control between employees and employers are only works when the beneficial condition is given (Raven, 1993). Negative power is more like forcing subordinates to do something. When there are interests, subordinates will do it instead of taking the initiative. In this case, employees are mostly like misbehaviour, just like working hard when the boss is around, but when the boss is not there, the employee has no serious attitude (Raven, 1993).When subordinates are having misbehaviours it always causes the improper resistances, such as output restriction, absenteeism and sabotage.
The three legitimate forms of authority that Weber (1909-1920) discussed are traditional, charismatic and legal-rational. And those three forms of authority are the main reason that subordinate’s compliance control in a positive way, and in most cases, there will be a situation in which the subordinates work hard to cooperate with the control of the superior (Weber, 1909-1920). The traditional authority refers to the traditional unchanging rules, like unchanged rules from past till now or like the long-standing arrangement haven’t been challenged and already accepted by the society. For examples Patriarchy and religious authority. Moreover, in the case of traditional authority, the subordinate’s obedience to the superior is limited to a certain higher position and because this is a recognition and obedience to the high-position tradition (Weber, 1909-1920). Legal authority refers to the legality of the boss to formulate some contracts or rules and regulations to control subordinates, because this is a legal effect that the following subordinates must cooperate and comply with the rules and regulations. The legal authority is more like forcing subordinates to accept control, and more like A well-defined bonus system, if the subordinate does not complete some tasks or fails to comply with the rules and regulations, then the boss has the right to reprimand or punish the subordinates in legal ways. But the problem with this kind of control is that this authority or power control will only appear in the working places as the rules were made for offices (Weber, 1909-1920). As Weber (1909-1920) mentioned that the limitations and compatibility are the weakness of legal-rational authority. The authority from personal charisma are the most convince way for subordinates accept the control, compared with forced acceptance control, this control seems to be the subordinates take the initiative. Personal charisma comes from the heroism of a superior or some attractive features, and employees can believe that with this charm, leaders can lead them to a better life. The follow-up and obedience of the leaders and great men of the revolutionary era is a typical expression of the charismatic authority (Weber, 1909-1920). Moreover, the control of this power is not limited by location or conditions and the charismatic authority figures that emerged during the Western bourgeois revolution, such as Cromwell, Washington, Napoleon, etc., have legalized the new authority model through personal influence and further become the legally belief of society members. Donald Trump is a well-known wealth celebrity in the United States, not only because he has wealth, but his personal charm. His personal charm is based on leadership temperament, radicalism and way of talking and communicating, which makes employees more convince about what he said and more accustomed to the way it talks, so the company’s profit will reach a peak because of the charm and conversational power of speech of Trump (Couldry and Littler, 2011).
One of the main points that Weber (1909-1920) mentioned is bureaucracy, and the main rule of bureaucracy is the double-sided management, which means on the one hand, the subordinates’ own behaviour is constrained by the superior, on the other hand they have the responsibility to supervise other members to obey these rules. Accuracy, continuity, discipline, rigor and reliability are the main advantages of bureaucracy, and Weber’s point of view emphasizes three basic organizational theories: focus on rules, focus on ability and focus on knowledge. In the organization of the job hierarchy and power hierarchy, the entire organization is a hierarchical system of power. And behind this level of power is a perfection of the control system and the fully authority of the superior. The operating mechanism of doing things in accordance with the rules. Any management behaviour in the organization cannot be done at will, and it must be done according to the rules. Form a formal decision-making instrument. All important decisions and orders in the organization are issued in the form of official documents. The lower levels are easy to accept clear orders, and the superiors are also easy to manage the lower levels (Weber, 1909-1920). The depersonalization of organizational management. The management of work in the organization is to regulate the behaviour of the members of the organization by laws, regulations, regulations and official documents. The public and private are clearly defined and the subordinates must follow the regulations (Barker, 1993).
Foucault’s (1976) point of view shows that power, knowledge and the infectivity of words are inseparable, and these three points are complementary. And Foucault proposed three basic control techniques: level observation, normative evaluation and assessment. Moreover, control can be achieved just by observing people’s behaviour, so if there is a perfect observation system in the company, then the company’s managers will be omnipresent, thus achieving the goal of comprehensive observation and control. Foucault’s (1976) previous views are reflected in the surveillance cameras in the company. The surveillance cameras can keep the company’s employees in a tight state of work, and this monitoring and control behaviour will greatly increase the efficiency of work, because everything is monitored by the boss. Regardless of whether the supervisor is monitoring employees, the employees’ inner thoughts are that they are being monitored. As mentioned above, the boss is not always monitoring the subordinates, but for the subordinates, the boss is always on the lookout. The company’s surveillance management and the ring prison have very similar meanings. The ring prison is an ideal architectural model of modern disciplinary power. This kind of prison is designed so that every prisoner is isolated and cannot be seen from each other, and each prisoner can always see a monitor on the central tower. Surveillance personnel don’t actually observe every prisoner all the time; the key is that they can do so at any time. Because the prisoner does not know if he is being observed, they must act like the object they are always observed. As a result, because of the inner control of the controller, the acquisition of control is more successful than through strict physical constraints (Foucault, 1976).