Power tactics preference in organizations: Individual and situational factors

Meni Koslowsky, Joseph Schwarzwald

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Introduction. The concepts of power and influence have been of interest to social thinkers even before psychologists began to study the phenomena (Bruins 1999; Carson et al. 1993; Ng 1980). Dahl (1957: 201) believes that from the days of Plato to the more modern thinkers such as Weber, the concept of power has been “as ubiquitous as any that social science can boast.” Russell (1938) sees the centrality of power in social sciences as parallel to the concept of energy in the physical sciences. Similar to energy which can manifest itself in different forms, power may be observed in the military, civilian, and judicial domains. Lewin (1951) in his field theory established the foundation for the psychological formulation of social power and influence. He defined the relationship between an influencing agent and a target person acting in a field where opposing forces are said to exist. Lewin's approach had a major impact on French and Raven's taxonomy of social-power tactics (1959) and even more so on Raven's Interpersonal Power Interaction Model (IPIM) (1992). The chapter integrates previous findings using the IPIM and presents an overall perspective for explaining social-power choice in conflict situations. In terms of our presentation, compliance can be said to occur when the influencing agent's power exceeds the target's resistance. The IPIM's applicability for organizational settings is delineated here by identifying individual and situational factors involved in choosing power tactics to gain compliance.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPower and Interdependence in Organizations
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9780511626562
ISBN (Print)9780521878593
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2009


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