Claude Steiner, author of "Scripts People Live" describes power struggles and maintains that there are two reasons people attempt to use power against others and two kinds of power which can be utilized to bring others under one's control.
I'm reading an excellent book by Claude Steiner, Scripts People Live: Transactional Analysis of Life Scripts. It's a bit outdated, originally published in the 1970's, but still has some real gems. Here is one about power in relationships, "The exercise of power over people for the purpose of harming them seems to have two basic sources."
In his book, "Games People Play", Dr. Eric Berne describes the game of "Let's You and Him Fight". I see this game played out all the time in office politics. Let's say "Joe" is upset about something that has happened in the office, usually something done by the boss or someone in a position above him. He goes to his colleagues, Sam and Maria, to vent his frustration and to ask for advice. What does he get? Sympathy, for sure. What advice may Sam and Maria provide? "You should file a grievance." "You should go have it out with the person." "You should confront them about that." "You need to stand up for yourself." But is this really the best advice?