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Power and Influence: A Theoretical Bridge

David Willer, Michael J. Lovaglia and Barry Markovsky
Social Forces
Vol. 76, No. 2 (Dec., 1997), pp. 571-603
Published by: Oxford University Press
DOI: 10.2307/2580725
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2580725
Page Count: 33
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Power and Influence: A Theoretical Bridge
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Abstract

Frequently social theorists conflate power and influence, often subsuming influence under a broad conception of power. Two contemporary theories separate them. Elementary theory has investigated power, status characteristics and expectations states theory has investigated interpersonal influence, and neither theory has considered the phenomenon of the other. We use the two theories to explain how power produces influence and how influence produces power. We develop a theory that shows how the emotional reactions of group members mediate the influence produced by power. We examine some new data and hypothesize that influence produces power. We trace the consequences when power and influence are opposed within a single relationship. Implications outside the limitations of the laboratory are discussed along with new hypotheses to be tested.

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