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A Multilevel Study of Interpersonal Influence in Academic ‘Influence Networks’
Unformatted Document Text:  Influence Networks 5 value. Also, this knowledge can contribute to future theory building that merges structural and individual level variables in efforts to explain and predict social influence processes that are embedded within organizational contexts. In addition to providing empirical evidence for the relationship between structural centrality and influence, this study is an example of a cross-level investigation of variables relevant to social influence. Organizational communication networks are inherently multilevel, which provides ample opportunity to investigate cross-level relationships among individual and structural level variables. Hierarchical level modeling techniques are used to test the centrality– influence link (Bryk & Raudenbush, 1992). Consequently, this study illustrates one example for how multilevel modeling can be used to study network level variables on individual level influence (Brass, 1984; Friedkin, 1998; Brass & Burkhardt, 1993). The following review offers a foundation for this investigation. Theoretical Bases of the Centrality-Influence Link Individuals differ in their propensity to influence others. This variation can be explained from an individual perspective of differences in personality types, such as the bases of power introduced by French (1956), or factors that alter one’s human capital (i.e., title, educational background, expert status, or even physical characteristics, such as height and age). The expression of power requires a counterpart who is susceptible to interpersonal influence, given that power is “equal to the maximum force which A can induce on B minus the maximum resisting force which B can mobilize in the opposite direction” (French, 1956, p. 37). One route to interpersonal influence is the extent to which individuals within the influence network impact the formation of behavioral intentions. The theory of reasoned action specifies two immediate determinants to the formation of behavioral intentions (Ajzen &

Authors: Wolski, Stacy.
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Influence Networks 5
value. Also, this knowledge can contribute to future theory building that merges structural and
individual level variables in efforts to explain and predict social influence processes that are
embedded within organizational contexts.
In addition to providing empirical evidence for the relationship between structural
centrality and influence, this study is an example of a cross-level investigation of variables
relevant to social influence. Organizational communication networks are inherently multilevel,
which provides ample opportunity to investigate cross-level relationships among individual and
structural level variables. Hierarchical level modeling techniques are used to test the centrality–
influence link (Bryk & Raudenbush, 1992). Consequently, this study illustrates one example for
how multilevel modeling can be used to study network level variables on individual level
influence (Brass, 1984; Friedkin, 1998; Brass & Burkhardt, 1993). The following review offers
a foundation for this investigation.
Theoretical Bases of the Centrality-Influence Link
Individuals differ in their propensity to influence others. This variation can be explained
from an individual perspective of differences in personality types, such as the bases of power
introduced by French (1956), or factors that alter one’s human capital (i.e., title, educational
background, expert status, or even physical characteristics, such as height and age). The
expression of power requires a counterpart who is susceptible to interpersonal influence, given
that power is “equal to the maximum force which A can induce on B minus the maximum
resisting force which B can mobilize in the opposite direction” (French, 1956, p. 37).
One route to interpersonal influence is the extent to which individuals within the
influence network impact the formation of behavioral intentions. The theory of reasoned action
specifies two immediate determinants to the formation of behavioral intentions (Ajzen &


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