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A Multilevel Study of Interpersonal Influence in Academic Influence Networks
Unformatted Document Text:  Influence Networks 6 Fishbein, 1980). According to this theory, behavioral intentions are a function of one’s individual attitude and the expectations of others who make up one’s normative environment. Interpersonal influence is modeled by the relative weights attributed to these two forms of information; individuals who are more influential will form decisions differently than individuals who are less influential. Influential individuals are more resistant to influence from others within the influence network. These individuals are more charismatic, possess high human capital, and are expected to occupy central network positions, either due to their expertise, social attractiveness, or because they occupy a leadership position. Structural interpretations of power are based on the assumption that central individuals are perceived to be more powerful, and hence are attributed influence (Fombrun, 1983). Not only are structurally central individuals perceived as powerful, research indicates that central individuals perceive themselves to be more powerful than others (Stolte, 1978). Diffusion of innovations theory and the structural theory of social influence explicitly include the centrality-influence link. Diffusion of innovations theory describes the conditions under which individuals will adopt a new idea, belief, or practice (Rogers, 1995). The theory is inherently multilevel because it predicts individual level behavior as it is situated within a diffusion context. The theory has received much empirical support, as it is consistently found that diffusion of innovations reflect similar patterns across multiple populations and innovations. This patterning is seen in the well-documented ‘S’ curve that is created as innovations diffuse over time. This theory offers a categorization-scheme for individuals within a diffusion context (i.e., innovators, early adopters, later adopters, etc.). Of the early adopters, a key player is identified that is expected to greatly influence the diffusion of an innovation. These individuals

Authors: Wolski, Stacy.
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Influence Networks 6
Fishbein, 1980). According to this theory, behavioral intentions are a function of one’s
individual attitude and the expectations of others who make up one’s normative environment.
Interpersonal influence is modeled by the relative weights attributed to these two forms of
information; individuals who are more influential will form decisions differently than individuals
who are less influential.
Influential individuals are more resistant to influence from others within the influence
network. These individuals are more charismatic, possess high human capital, and are expected
to occupy central network positions, either due to their expertise, social attractiveness, or because
they occupy a leadership position. Structural interpretations of power are based on the
assumption that central individuals are perceived to be more powerful, and hence are attributed
influence (Fombrun, 1983). Not only are structurally central individuals perceived as powerful,
research indicates that central individuals perceive themselves to be more powerful than others
(Stolte, 1978).
Diffusion of innovations theory and the structural theory of social influence explicitly
include the centrality-influence link. Diffusion of innovations theory describes the conditions
under which individuals will adopt a new idea, belief, or practice (Rogers, 1995). The theory is
inherently multilevel because it predicts individual level behavior as it is situated within a
diffusion context. The theory has received much empirical support, as it is consistently found
that diffusion of innovations reflect similar patterns across multiple populations and innovations.
This patterning is seen in the well-documented ‘S’ curve that is created as innovations diffuse
over time. This theory offers a categorization-scheme for individuals within a diffusion context
(i.e., innovators, early adopters, later adopters, etc.). Of the early adopters, a key player is
identified that is expected to greatly influence the diffusion of an innovation. These individuals


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