The power of teams: Do self-managing work teams influence managers' perceptions of potency? Page: 10
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Influence and Power
Having established potency as an attitudinal basis for the internal dynamics of self-
managing work teams, the remainder of this study will focus on how it might be possible for
those internal attitudes to radiate outward, acting as agents of influence on the perceptions of
those individuals external to the team.
The majority of research conducted on influence has been defined in terms of deliberate,
intentional tactics meant to purposefully sway the behavior of others. For example, Sussmann
and Vecchio (1997, p. 144) define an influence attempt as "a social occasion wherein one
individual exhibits behaviors.., with the intent of altering the behavior of another..." Porter,
Allen, and Angle (1981) reported on the political behavior and upward influence tactics directed
toward superiors by subordinates intending to promote their own self-interests. The work of
Kipnis, Schmidt, and Wilkinson (1980) led to the development of a classification system of
deliberate influence tactics used by people on the job. Fourteen categories, generated from 370
influence tactics, were reduced to eight dimensions and tested on subordinates, co-workers, and
superiors in order to examine the means by which individuals persuade others. Dimensions
include ingratiation, rationality, assertiveness, sanction, exchange, upward appeal, blocking and
coalitions. The choice of tactic and reason for exercising influence was found to be associated
with bottom-line objective of the influencer and power level of the influencee. For instance,
workers used assertiveness and sanctions more often on subordinates rather than on co-workers
or superiors, whereas superiors most frequently were influenced by means of rationality tactics.
The above findings reveal a relatively narrow view of the effects of influence and indicate a gap
in the literature. Defining influence exclusively in terms of deliberate tactics restricts the scope
of the construct. Therefore, drawing from social psychology theory, the idea of non-deliberate
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Hass, Nicolette P. The power of teams: Do self-managing work teams influence managers' perceptions of potency?, thesis, December 2005; Denton, Texas. (https://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc4961/m1/16/: accessed May 26, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, https://digital.library.unt.edu; .