The power of teams: Do self-managing work teams influence managers' perceptions of potency? Page: 13
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manager) and is exercised in a top-down manner. Informal power is a personal characteristic
based on competencies and experience not necessarily associated with the formal structure of the
organization. Informal power is described as reciprocal, flowing in all directions, and as such
requires a certain extent of knowledge by the influencer as well as trust by the influencee.
Tedeschi & Lindskold (1976) report that the more knowledge the individual possesses, the more
believable the persuasive attempt. High-performing, self-managed work teams must possess
considerable knowledge in order to perform successfully. Moreover, teams are likely to both
season their skills and advance their knowledge after repeatedly executing their tasks, producing
a high degree of task proficiency. Vecchio notes that some managers may be highly dependent
on the expertise of their subordinates. Therefore, it is reasonable to assume that self-managing
work teams hold varying degrees of expert power over those external to the team, including
As previously mentioned, informal power requires not only knowledge on the part of the
influencer but also trust on the part of the influencee. Trustworthiness is a key factor in
successful influence attempts (Tedeschi & Lindskold, 1976). Managers who trust the motives
and actions of their teams are more likely to identify with them. Referent power corresponds to
an internalization of values, attitudes, and behaviors (Tedeschi & Bonoma, 1972), and develops
when there is a desire to identify with, and become closely associated to, another individual or
A number of variables contribute to this identification process, including attractiveness,
vigor, modeling, and confidence (Vecchio, 1997). The amount of confidence displayed by an
influencer can affect strength of identification and subsequent perceptions of an influencee.
Hyatt & Ruddy (1997) report that confidence, rated by teams, was found to be positively and
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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/m1/19/: accessed May 23, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, https://digital.library.unt.edu; .