Reward Power

Reward power is a type of power that a person or organization has due to their ability to provide something of value to others, such as money, promotions, praise, or other benefits. This power is based on the perception that the person or organization can give or withhold rewards based on the actions or performance of others. Reward power is often found in organizational settings, particularly in management and leadership roles.

Purpose: The purpose of reward power is to influence or motivate others to achieve specific goals or objectives by providing incentives. It can be used to encourage positive behaviors, improve performance, and reinforce desired outcomes.

Role: Reward power plays a significant role in organizations as it helps managers and leaders to motivate employees and steer their performance towards the achievement of organizational goals. It is a key component of the overall power structure within organizations and can contribute to the establishment and maintenance of authority.

Components: The key components of reward power include:

  • Control over valuable resources: The person or organization must have the ability to provide something of value to others.
  • Perception of ability to reward: Others must believe that the person or organization has the power to deliver the rewards.
  • Desire for the reward: The individuals being influenced must want the reward or benefit being offered.

Importance: Reward power is important because it can be an effective tool for motivating and influencing people. When used appropriately, it can lead to increased performance, higher levels of job satisfaction, and improved organizational outcomes.


  • Motivation: Reward power can be used to motivate employees to work harder, be more productive, or achieve specific goals.
  • Improved performance: By offering rewards for exceptional performance, organizations can encourage employees to strive for excellence.
  • Job satisfaction: When employees feel recognized and appreciated for their efforts, they are likely to have higher levels of job satisfaction.


  • Can be highly effective in motivating employees and driving performance.
  • Provides tangible incentives for individuals to achieve goals.
  • Can help to create a positive organizational culture by recognizing and rewarding achievements.


  • Overreliance on reward power can lead to a transactional approach to relationships, where people only act in their own best interests.
  • If not managed carefully, reward power can lead to favoritism, which can negatively impact morale and create a toxic work environment.
  • The continuous use of rewards may lead to diminishing returns, as individuals may become less motivated by the same rewards over time.

Example: A sales manager may use reward power to motivate their sales team by offering bonuses or commissions for achieving specific sales targets. This can encourage the team to work harder, ultimately leading to increased sales and improved organizational performance.

See Also