Interpersonal influence in the workplace: influencing behaviour and 360‐degree assessments

Tony Manning (Independent management training and development consultant based in Selkirk, UK)
Graham Pogson (Lecturer in management studies, Heriot Watt University, UK)
Zoe Morrison (Lecturer in human resource management, Heriot Watt University, UK)

Industrial and Commercial Training

ISSN: 0019-7858

Publication date: 10 July 2009



The paper aims to present and discuss research into the relationship between influencing behaviour and impact, including gender and seniority differences.


The paper builds on previous articles considering influencing behaviour in the workplace. These articles present a model of interpersonal influence and describe how individual influencing behaviour varies in different contexts. They identified the need for further investigation into the effectiveness of such behaviours in those contexts. This research utilises 360‐degree performance assessments as an indicator of the “effectiveness” or impact of workplace influencing behaviours.


The findings extend previous work supporting the idea that there are few, if any, influencing behaviours that apply to all situations and highlight the role of expectancies in work place assessments of influencing behaviours.

Research limitations/implications

The research highlights ways in which the relationship between influencing behaviour and impact differ according to both the gender and seniority of those seeking to influence. This indicates that the “expectancies” of the influence or target affect perceptions of influencing behaviour and assessments of impact. This is consistent with the model of interpersonal influence previously developed, which includes explicit reference to feedback loops between behaviour, responses and expectancies. This raises further questions as to the impact of expectancies on 360‐degree assessment, and the nature and fairness of assessment within organisational performance management systems.


This paper challenges the idea that there are influencing strategies and styles that are effective, irrespective of context. It also highlights the role of expectancies within behavioural assessments in the workplace.



Manning, T., Pogson, G. and Morrison, Z. (2009), "Interpersonal influence in the workplace: influencing behaviour and 360‐degree assessments", Industrial and Commercial Training, Vol. 41 No. 5, pp. 258-269.

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