Having Power vs. Using Power: Charles Koch and His Brother Bill - Essay Sample

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  5
Wordcount:  1210 Words
Date:  2023-02-11


Using the authority as well as having authority are two distinct things. For instance, you can think of a manager who has the power of punishing and rewarding the employees. However, even if the manager does not reward the employee he or she whenever she makes a request, the request has to be obeyed. This because the manager has the power of punishing and rewarding the employees. This is the kind of power that, Charles Koch had over his younger brother Bill Koch. Later there were internal conflicts between Bill and Charles since, Bill felt as it was time, that he also became the boss of the industries. The sources of Charles and Bill's power had a variety of bases.

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Legitimate powers, this power comes from the leadership role that one holds in a company or an industry (Doh, Luthans and Slocum, 2016). Charles Koch had this power since he was the CEO and the chairperson of Koch Businesses. For instance, a police officer can arrest a citizen, and a boss can promote an employee or demote. The subjects will comply with the orders as they come from the boss because they recognize the legitimacy of the position that their boss holds. The employees often agree with the requests made by the boss, whether they agree or disagree with the request. Charles Koch has also employed legitimate powers as the CEO. He sent a letter to all employees of Koch industries telling them that David was going to retire as Vice president of the Industry. Even if other employees did not agree with the letter that was sent by the CEO, they had to agree because he is the boss. They all recognize the legitimacy of the position he holds.

Coercive Power

Unlike legitimate power, coercive power takes something away or gives punishment because of noncompliance from the subjects. The power works through the fear, which forces people to do some things which h they could not have done under normal circumstances. This is the power, which the parents use to punish their children when they do not comply with their orders. Charles Koch dominated all the operations of the Industry; he was also the one who was behind the retirement of his brother David. It is said that David was not willing to retire, but Charles forced him to retire through his powers in the Industry.

Expert Power

Charles Koch used this power as well. This knowledge is majorly from the knowledge as well as skill. Charles Koch, as the CEO of the Industry, is known for having the skill of knowing what the customers will demand, before the demand. Most companies that deal with Technology are often leg by legitimate power and not expert power. Information power is also related to expert power; however, the difference is in the source (Erdogan et al. 2012). Information power is differentiated by the access that someone has to get access to some information. Bill Koch, just like Charles Koch, could use all this power. However, because Charles Koch was the CEO, he had legitimate power, which gave him power over everyone in the Industry. He also had the power of making any decision and any order. Which was to be followed by all the subjects in the Industry without any question.

There so many tactics that are used by people when they are battling for power. Charles and Bill used the following pressure tactics when fighting for power in their Koch businesses.

Deadlines, often pressure both parties to enter into negotiation and make choices. That can be used in the process of making some changes that can accommodate both parties. However, the deadline can be real some other times and artificial. Deadlines can be internal or external. For instance, Charles used the tactic of the deadline, together with the power of legitimate. He Placed a deadline, of his brothers' retirement in a letter that he did to all the employees, telling them about the retirement of their brother as vice president of the Industry. Those by in power, to see how strong they can be, usually set deadlines. Because the employers are used to agreeing with what comes from their bosses, therefore they will respect the deadline.

Competition, this is another tactic that is used by the people in power when they are battling over, a business opportunity or power. This is evident in Koch Industries; the brothers are fighting for power and superiority in the industries. Completion for control between Charles Bill and even David is because there is no trust between the brothers.

Limited Authority, this tactic hinders the junior officials in a company from making major decisions in a company without the consent of a manager of the CEO of the company. Charles used this tactic in fighting his brothers. Since he was the CEO, of the Koch Industries, he could not implement anything that he felt that it could affect him later.

The main reason why Charles Koch wore the battle with the brothers is that his position as the CEO and Chairperson of the Koch Businesses was legitimate and was recognized by the constitution of the business (Schirmer and Apple, 2016). Therefore, the constitution of the business plus the law of the land gave him power as the CEO power to make major decisions in the business without making major consultations. The major lessons that hi have learned from this struggle by the Koch brothers are that where there is no goodwill and trust, there must be battles. The other thing is that the constitution of the business should not bestow excess power on the CEO. because he or she can make decisions that can ruin the company simply because his or decisions are not questionable, the goals of the business should be clear. the constitution of the business should also set a clear procedure on what should be done in case the partners of the business break up or disagree on something and decide to part ways. This will help battles like the one between Charles Koch and the brothers.

A skillful CEO or manager of a business, with legitimate power and some tactics of battling cannot be removed from power. However, battles in the Industry can be stopped if those drafting the business constitution take into consideration all factors. Set clear procedures on what should be done in case of a disagreement. They should also be careful not to give the CEO excess power that may ruin the company in case the person has an ill motive. The battling tactics and the sources of power, when used properly, they make the manager so strong.


Doh, J. P., Luthans, F., & Slocum, J. (2016). The world of global business 1965-2015: Perspectives on the 50th anniversary issue of the Journal of World Business: Introduction to the special issue.

Erdogan, B., Bauer, T. N., Truxillo, D. M., & Mansfield, L. R. (2012). Whistle while you work: A review of the life satisfaction literature. Journal of Management, 38(4), 1038-1083.

Schirmer, E., & Apple, M. W. (2016). Capital, Power, and Education:"Dark Money" and the Politics of Common-Sense. A critical essay review of Jane Mayer's Dark Money: The hidden history of the billionaires behind the rise of the Radical Right. Education Review//Resenas Educativas, 23.

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Having Power vs. Using Power: Charles Koch and His Brother Bill - Essay Sample. (2023, Feb 11). Retrieved from https://midtermguru.com/essays/having-power-vs-using-power-charles-koch-and-his-brother-bill-essay-sample

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