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A Multilevel Study of Interpersonal Influence in Academic ‘Influence Networks’
Unformatted Document Text:  Influence Networks 25 influence afforded by the received motivation to comply scores may not extend to influence over behavioral intentions and subsequent behavioral outcomes. Opinion leaders may not have the influencing force that diffusion theory predicts, creating complications if this theory were to be applied in practical settings. In the case presented by these data, a diffusion effort would not be successful if central individuals were targeted to encourage adoption of the set of teaching practices because, although reports of motivation to comply were associated with structural centrality, actual behavioral intentions were not based on the opinions of others and instead were based on individual attitudes. Future Directions The study of social influence within organizational contexts is multilevel: individual perceptions and features of the influence context are expected to shape influence processes. The challenge is to theoretically explain and empirically determine the degree to which influence outcomes are due to structural properties relative to other explanatory variables related to social influence, such as individual-level variables, and features of the interaction. This challenge is partially addressed by this study, which suggests that interpersonal influence within communication networks is somewhat related to structural centrality (Centrality 1 ). The degree of influence attributed to structurally central individuals may depend on the influence object. Although central individuals receive high reports of motivation to comply in general, their influence decreases when considering behavioral intentions about teaching. Perhaps these individuals are influential on behavioral dimensions besides the one used in this study. For this reason, a comprehensive theory of interpersonal influence within networks should include features of the task. Also, individual level differences in susceptibility to interpersonal influence may exist independent of structural position, and including measures for

Authors: Wolski, Stacy.
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Influence Networks 25
influence afforded by the received motivation to comply scores may not extend to influence over
behavioral intentions and subsequent behavioral outcomes. Opinion leaders may not have the
influencing force that diffusion theory predicts, creating complications if this theory were to be
applied in practical settings. In the case presented by these data, a diffusion effort would not be
successful if central individuals were targeted to encourage adoption of the set of teaching
practices because, although reports of motivation to comply were associated with structural
centrality, actual behavioral intentions were not based on the opinions of others and instead were
based on individual attitudes.
Future Directions
The study of social influence within organizational contexts is multilevel: individual
perceptions and features of the influence context are expected to shape influence processes. The
challenge is to theoretically explain and empirically determine the degree to which influence
outcomes are due to structural properties relative to other explanatory variables related to social
influence, such as individual-level variables, and features of the interaction. This challenge is
partially addressed by this study, which suggests that interpersonal influence within
communication networks is somewhat related to structural centrality (Centrality
1
).
The degree of influence attributed to structurally central individuals may depend on the
influence object. Although central individuals receive high reports of motivation to comply in
general, their influence decreases when considering behavioral intentions about teaching.
Perhaps these individuals are influential on behavioral dimensions besides the one used in this
study. For this reason, a comprehensive theory of interpersonal influence within networks
should include features of the task. Also, individual level differences in susceptibility to
interpersonal influence may exist independent of structural position, and including measures for


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