Abuse of Power

Abuse of Power

Copyright: © 2015 |Pages: 17
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-7254-3.ch003
OnDemand PDF Download:
No Current Special Offers


The person that abuses power finds him or herself facing a dilemma. That person must choose between gaining benefits at the cost of harming the person they are abusing or self-restraining their handling of power and avoiding harm to others, as they sacrifice any possible gains or enduring a reduction in personal benefits or even oftentimes a loss. Fear of unemployment makes workers generally want to protect their jobs and definitely avoid any confrontation with their boss, which may lead to enduring power abuse in silence. The abuse of power practice is common, since managers have the opportunity to take advantage of their subordinates for their own benefits. What really varies is the level of acceptance and the treatment that must normally include means and ways of protection and punishment. This chapter explores abuse of power.
Chapter Preview


When you were made a leader you weren’t given a crown. You were given a responsibility to bring out the best in others. For that, your people need to trust you. And they will, as long as you demonstrate candor, give credit, and stay real. – Jack Welchf


Abuse Of Power: Definition And Dilemma

Abuse of power is a phenomenon that has existed since people have occupied positions of power. While the nature of man, whether good or evil has been constantly debated, there is no doubt that those in positions of power have tended to abuse it more frequently than should happen. Abuse of power is not apparent in just one period of time or in one region of the world, but throughout both, and in hundreds of varying degrees and contexts.

In order to define it, we must define its component terms individually and outline the situations in which it may exist. Power can be defined as the ability, or capacity to exert one’s will on others by virtue of their social position, physical strength, wealth, technology, weapons, or trust that others confide in the person. The abuse of power would then occur in the situations where this power is unjustifiably or improperly used to exploit or harm other, or through lack of taking action, allows for exploitation and harm to occur. Given this explanation, it becomes apparent that with any ethical dilemma, it is extremely easy for there to be a component that has to do with the abuse of power, often in the business world, it is the abuse of power that brings forth an ethical dilemma for others. Even in cases where there is an issue of truth and loyalty, or justice and mercy, they are frequently the results of someone transgressing a boundary that they should not have, and this can only be done through the abuse of power, or trust that they have. Environmental issues can even be considered as examples of abuse of power, whereby the corporation that has the ability to stop harming both people and the environment, does not. That is to say, almost any issue contains and element of abuse of power.

In the developed countries there are laws and regulations that have existed; these regulations in their present formula provide merely for straightforward principles of the veracity and transparency and an enormous challenge rests in emerging these principles to discourse the explicit features. Yet In Lebanon, major monopolies are a very good example of abuse of power. The suppliers of electricity via private generators are a lucid model of abuse of power through monopoly in almost all Lebanese territory. For some people, power can be a real power trip. They enjoy the feeling of control over both people and information. That is why they tend to keep secrets, hiding much of their thinking regarding people and their performance, and reserve their knowledge about the company and its future. But it drains trust right out of people. You know that old saying “The fish rots form the head”. It’s mainly used to refer to how politics and the abuse of power filter down into an organization, but it could just as easily be used to describe the effect of a bad attitude at the top of any team, large or small. Eventually everyone’s infected.

Complete Chapter List

Search this Book: