Structuration theory refers to the creation and reproduction of the social systems (McPhee, Poole & Iverson, 2014).


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Structuration theory refers to the creation and reproduction of the social systems (McPhee, Poole & Iverson, 2014). Groups and organizations do engage in certain behaviors so that they are able to achieve certain goals. The structure is necessary within an organization as it defines the process or the steps that need to be followed to ensure that the set objectives are pursued. Structure in an organization can, therefore, involve resources and regulations that are used in sustaining the firms. Through the structuration theory, the organizations are able to socially transform due to the regulations as well as resources dictating the interactions of the members in an organization.

The regulations along with the resources act as a mentor to characterization as well as the decisions that are made within an organization, and this makes it possible for the organization to make suitable and relevant decisions as the rules consist of the guidelines of how the goals set by the organization can be achieved. On the other side, the resources refer to the power to which all the individuals within the organization contribute towards the success of the organization (Banks & Riley, 2015). Therefore structuration allows for the members of the organization to have a better understanding of the social structure of their organization.

In any given organization, the power structure is evident and helps in guiding through the decision-making process enabling the members of the organization to achieve their set objectives. Each member within the organization has some form of power, for example, the superiors as well as the subordinates each possessing certain powers in the organization. The power provides for the members to attain their desires in the organization system, in a person, power can be treated as being a resource of authority aiding the firms to function efficiently and effectively. Concerning the structuration theory of communication, there are five different types of powers to which a person can exemplify, and they include; reward, coercive, legitimate, referent as well as expert powers.

The power of reward refers to the realization that individual within the firm is able to offer reinforcement that is positive. With the power of reward, the rewards may entail praises as well as material prizes. Being a freshman, I mostly deal with the power of reward on petty but frequent basis to act as a motivating factor in my academics. My instructor is able to reward me for the good work through the provision of encouragement or praise as well as minor gifts. Besides, as a scholar, plenty of chances for awards and honors are provided. The university as an organization holds the powers to reward as well and confers the greatest rewards to a student, and that is the college degree or certificate, and this acts as a motivating factor to the student having the knowledge that after years of hard work, they shall be conferred with a degree. As I am aware that my teachers hold more of the powers to reward, I do my best to produce better work, and by doing it, I receive verbal appreciations from the teachers providing an incentive for much better work the next time in the essence of seeking greater rewards.

Coercive power, on the other hand, refers to the realization that an individual in the firm has the powers to punish, making others within the organization comply with the rules set by their superiors to avoid the negative consequences. As a student, the coercive power is provided to the same people who hold the reward power, and due to this, I not only work hard to achieve better grades and rewards but also do work hard to avoid ridicule and punishment by my professors so that I am able to maintain my credibility.

Referent power refers to the establishment of a relationship between a superior and a subordinate in an organization. An individual in possession of the referent powers is friendly and respected person serving as a role model. I believe that my teachers have for some time subjected me to referent powers. I do respect my teachers so much mostly because of their personality as well as their interactions with the students especially me.

Legitimate powers of structuration allude to power of exertion due to a specific title held by an individual (O’Sullivan & O’Dwyer, 2015). In the academic community, a large number of people exert their influence on others simply due to their titles. For example in my case, I do comply with my professors simply because she has a higher rank in the academic field; therefore, I do have to respect them. Expert power, on the other hand, refers to a person possessing a specific set of knowledge and expertise. The individuals with nth expert powers in an organization are very valuable as the powers allow individuals to help in decision-making processes and at the same time act as a source of knowledge whenever they are consulted.

In my case as a student, my professors are knowledgeable in my academic field, and therefore they provide us with knowledge and expertise so that we are molded up to be skilled individuals like them. We not only receive training from them but as well we do seek advice from them on what to do, and so they play a crucial role in my decision making in school. Therefore, the structuration theory in communication has been an integral part in my school career as it has enabled me to communicate and interact effectively with my seniors in the bid of improving my skills and soaring greater heights in academics through better performance.


Banks, S. P., & Riley, P. (2015). Structuration theory as an ontology for communication research. Annals of the International Communication Association, 16(1), 167-196.

McPhee, R. D., Poole, M. S., & Iverson, J. (2014). Structuration theory. The SAGE handbook of organizational communication: Advances in theory, research, and methods, 75-100.

O’Sullivan, N., & O’Dwyer, B. (2015). The structuration of issue-based fields: Social accountability, social movements and the Equator Principles issue-based field. Accounting, Organizations and Society, 43, 33-55.

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