Submitted by Bernard McAuley on
In the podcast "Three Types of power" power was defined as the ability to get things done - but this omits Vetos. A veto is a negative use of power where a senior executive (or a president) can pull the veto card out and stop work or development on something. But this isn't the only way power can be used to prevent progress. I've worked on many projects where managers in external teams withhold engineers, or budget, and effectively kill projects.
In some environments I've seen individuals hold up entire projects by refusing to submit project plans. For every application of power being used to get something done the self same power can be used to stop things being done. This isn't necessarily a bad thing - but it does seem to me that my most negative experiences of coorperate life relate to people working to stop something happening.
So is this something that other people have seen and would you agree that using power in this way is generally a bad thing and wielded poorly in companies. Is it useful to think about a 'negative' application of power to impeed rather than to enable?