The Power of Power by James March

He explored factors that Influenced decision making, such as risk orientation, leadership and the ambiguity of the present and the past. March Is also known for the concept of ‘The Power of power. ” March wrote “The Power of Power back in 1966. I believe that the point March is trying to make is quoted at the end of his article stating that “Power is a disappointing concept. It gives us surprisingly little purchase In reasonable models of complex systems of social choice. ” (Classics Text by Sheriffs 2011, pig 318). March requires and can make effective use of such a concept.
What March is trying to say is that power is too broad a concept for our empirical understanding at this point and until we can define every variable involved in the exercise of power, power cannot be empirically defined. The Oxford dictionary defines ‘power’ as: The ability to make people (or things) do what they would not otherwise have done. Power is often classified into five principal forms: force, persuasion, authority, coercion, and manipulation. March focused on a specific concept of power; which are used in theories that have the following general assumptions: 1.
The choice mechanism involves certain basic components (individuals, groups, roles, behaviors, labels, etc. ). 2. Some amount of power is associated with each of these components. . The responsiveness (as measured by some direct empirical observation) of the mechanism to each individual component is monotone increasing with the power associated with the individual component. In the article, March starts out with the question: To what extent is one specific concept of power useful in the empirical analysis of mechanisms for social choice?

March proposes the reader to take note of three variations of power to give a better idea of the uses of power that are being focused on. March then goes on to examine six different classes of models of social choice that are generally linked with hat at least one substantial group of students means by ‘social power. ‘ March begins talking about three approaches by discussing the advantages and limitations of each approach when compared to the study of power used in . Recent efforts.
The recent efforts were sought to illustrate the range of possible uses of the concept of power and its empirical capabilities: The three approaches are: experimental studies, community studies, and institutional studies. Experimental Conceptual Basis: The experimental studies of power are generally Newtonian. The studies are ultimately concerned with the power of one individual over another. Generally speaking, the greater the power of the individual, the greater the changes are induced, and the more successful the resistance to change.
Procedures: Determine power by some a priori measure or experimental manipulation, use a relatively simple force model to generate hypotheses concerning differences in outcomes from different treatments, and compare the observed results with predicted results. Results: 1) This permits us to reject certain kinds of social choice models for certain kinds of situations because it allows us to vary power systematically or arbitrarily in an experimental setting (within limits). ) The effectiveness of a priori measurement is highly variable in producing behavior change. Community Conceptual basis: Typical community studies. Newtonian, two laws that define community study: 1 . Social choice will be a predictable extension of past choices unless power is exerted on the choice… And 2. When power is exerted, the assumes that decisions made by the community are a function of the power exerted on the community by various power holders. The studies are analytical by observing the net effects of decision making by the individual.
It’s meaningful to aggregate resource power, position power, and skill power into a single variable. Procedures: Ask individuals in the community to rate the power of others in the community or define a model relating power to decisions, observe, and estimate the power of the individual compared to the model. 1) Most people in most communities are essentially powerless. Latent control is rarely exercised. 2) Different individuals are powerful with respect to different things, but there are also general leaders.
Institutional Conceptual basis: Systematic attempts to derive quantitative indices of power from n analysis of the structure of the institution to determine the power structure within them. Procedures: Construct an empirical index of power, make assumptions about the relation between the empirical and a priori measures, and test the consistency of the empirical results with the priori measures. Results: Riskier attempted to apply the basic Shapely-Suburb measure to the French assembly but was unsuccessful.
The data didn’t support the thesis and the approach was abandoned almost entirely. As noted earlier, March moves on to the six types of models to evaluate the insistence of the models with available data and to consider the problem of power associated with them. Chance Models: Choice is random and independent of power. It fails because it relies on stability of power over time and subject matter. It cannot account for power derived from personal attributes. Models can have power manipulated resulting in systematic variations.
The models are naive yet hard to completely reject. Basic Force Models: Empirical knowledge is easier to find here but they also assume stability of power and that power exerted equals total power, leaving no room for stored or unused power. Force Activation Models: Assumes that power is a potential for determinative action and that the exercise of power involves some method of activation. Empirical results for these models take you in circles when trying to make predictions. Force Conditioning Models: Assumes that apparent power leads to actual power. Success improves reputation, reputation improves success. ” People have power because they have been observed to have power. Models can’t empirically account for connections to power. Force Depletion Models: Assumes that power is a resource, and when exercised, it is depleted. These models are the least useful of the three models. Process Models: Class of social choice systems in which power measurement will be unstable and useless. These models are too simple and an empirical understanding requires more variables.
These models are sets of statements about the way in which individual choices are transformed into social choices and are used in hopes of deriving some empirically meaningful predictions. March refers to power as being a major explanatory concept in the study of social choice. He then goes on to say that power is used in studies of relations among nations, community decision making, business behavior, and small roof discussion; partly because it conveys overtones of cynicism of “Realistic” Realistic is defined as political realism, which refers to politics based on power and practical and material factors.
March concludes his article by saying that the power of power depends on the extent to which a predictive model requires and can make effective use of such a concept. This depends on the type of system that is being confronted. March adds that power is probably a useful concept for many short term situations and that power is probably not a useful concept for long run situations involving problems of component overload and under comprehension. In summary, the concept of power has not filled the central role in the study of politics which many pioneers hoped it would.
It has proved much easier to believe generally that politics is about power. I read on how March worked with frequently collaborated with Johan P. Olsen. One question I would like to ask is how was the experience of working alongside Olsen? Did you two often bump heads or were you always able to see eye to eye? Was it difficult teaming up against the strong individualism that underlies much political ND sociological theory; especially the view that institutions merely embody existing patterns of interest or group power?
Youthfulness:http://www. Youth. Com/watch? Youth Overview: Speech given on September 7, 2011 at Stanford University. Dry. March highlights one of the most dangerous areas of institutional/personal bias drawing only from “Western constructs” in information-gathering and problem- definition. In an increasingly global and strategically dynamic world, this is suicide for many businesses. Wisped (Classics of Organizational Theory Text by Sheriffs, Tot, Gang 2011). Youthfulness:http://www. Youth. Com/watch?

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