The power of teams: Do self-managing work teams influence managers' perceptions of potency? Page: 11
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influence, which has gone virtually unexplored, is presented.
Social influence has been conceptualized as consisting of separate categories used to
indicate intentionality (Tedeschi & Bonoma, 1972). That is, either the influencer's intentions are
deliberate and include planned influencing strategies, or the influencer's intentions are not
deliberate and include no planned influencing strategies. Researchers have identified this type of
non-deliberate influence as social contagion, a distinct type of social influence based on its
association with intentionality. Social contagion theorizes that the mere presence of a person (or
group) may determine the behavior of another individual even though the influencer is unaware
of his or her persuasive power (Levy & Nail, 1993). French and Raven (1959, p. 193) define
influence as "psychological change" that is not limited to conscious behavior, and note that a
person can exert influence by a mere "passive presence." Describing influence as both
intentional, whereby a person can directly affect another (i.e., "My health teacher was a good
influence because she taught us about the dangers of cigarette smoking") and unintentional
("Because she looked physically fit and healthy, my teacher influenced me to begin an exercise
regimen"), allows for a more complete interpretation of a bilateral construct. Both aspects can
result in some type of change in opinion or behavior; overt tactics purposefully set out to
persuade (The teacher intentionally developed a lesson plan in order to sway opinions about the
dangers of smoking) whereas unintentional behavior illustrates modeling and imitation (The
teacher did not tell me to exercise per se, but because I wanted to emulate her healthy
appearance, her influence was nonetheless as effective).
In tandem with the above intentional influence tactics, and used synonymously within the
influence literature of the past (Mechanic, 1962), is the closely related construct of power. Raven
(1992) defines power as the potential to influence another person or group, meaning that in order
for an influence attempt to occur and be successful, the influencer must possess a certain amount,
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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/m1/17/: accessed May 24, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, https://digital.library.unt.edu; .