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Interpersonal influence in the workplace – part two: some research findings – influencing behaviour, personality and context

Tony Manning (Independent Consultant, based at St Boswells, Melrose, UK)
Graham Pogson (Lecturer in Business Policy, Heriot‐Watt University, Galashiels, UK)
Zoë Morrison (Lecturer in Human Resource Management, Heriot‐Watt University, Galashiels, UK)

Industrial and Commercial Training

ISSN: 0019-7858

Article publication date: 13 June 2008




The purpose of this paper is to present findings, and discuss the relevance of those findings, with regard to research undertaken about interpersonal influence in the workplace.


This paper is the second part of a three‐part paper considering influencing behaviour in the workplace, the ways in which people at work go about getting their way with others. This part of the paper is divided into two main sections. The first section presents the research findings. The second section discusses the relevance of the findings. In particular, it considers how the observed relationships may provide guidelines for action, suggesting the circumstances in which particular influencing strategies and styles may be appropriate and inappropriate.


The findings support the idea that influencing behaviour is related to the characteristics of the person, their work role and their orientation to that work role.

Research limitations/implications

There is clearly a need for further research. For example, the findings presented in this paper tell us nothing about whether patterns of influencing behaviour are actually effective in particular contexts. This raises further questions about how we might assess “effectiveness”. One possible approach is to look at the relationship between behaviour and assessments of effectiveness by other people, including 360 degree assessments. This approach has the merit of being consistent with the model of interpersonal influence described in the paper, that includes explicit reference to expectancies and has feedback loops between behaviour, responses and expectancies.


This paper is of value in presenting research findings that shine light on the nature of the relationship between influencing behaviour and both personality and contextual variables.



Manning, T., Pogson, G. and Morrison, Z. (2008), "Interpersonal influence in the workplace – part two: some research findings – influencing behaviour, personality and context", Industrial and Commercial Training, Vol. 40 No. 4, pp. 188-196.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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