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THE USE OF POWER TACTICS TO GAIN COMPLIANCE: TESTING ASPECTS OF RAVEN'S (1988) THEORY IN CONFLICTUAL SITUATIONS

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Abstract:

French and Raven's sixfold taxonomy has been used widely to examine social influence processes. A recent elaboration by Raven (1988a) proposes that the use of power tactics is situationally contingent, depending on availability of alternatives. The present study examined the pattern of power tactic preferences as a function of setting and status. A total of 89 subjects were given scenarios describing an attempt to influence another party. The scenario differed in setting (work vs. school) and status level of the influencing agent (manager or teacher vs. employee or student). Factor analysis indicated that several tactics (reward, coercion, and expertise) are unique whereas other tactics overlap. Findings indicated that higher status individuals as compared to lower status counterparts were perceived as using a greater variety of power tactics to gain compliance in conflict situations. In addition, power tactic patterns were found to be situationally contingent. The findings were discussed in terms of the original sixfold approach and its possible implications for management.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2224/sbp.1993.21.2.135

Publication date: January 1, 1993

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