The purpose of this paper is to present evidence to support the idea that the art of successful influence lies in matching the strategies and style used to the context. The paper describes research into the relationship between the frequency with which people use six influence strategies, and how they combine them to form various influence styles, and a wide variety of contextual variables found by previous research to be linked to influence behaviour. It is relevant to everyone at work, including leaders, managers and professionals involved in training, development, coaching and mentoring activities.
The model of influence behaviour identifies six sets of influence strategies used by people at work and three dimensions of influence style, based on research into how people tend to combine these strategies in practice. The research methodology involves looking at the degree of correlation and its statistical significance between the frequency with which people use these influence strategies and styles at work and 33 contextual variables. Data were collected from 161 men and women, at all levels, in a wide variety of public sector organisations in the UK, over a seven‐year period.
The author found support for the idea that influencing behaviour varied in different contexts. Statistically significant relationships were identified between the frequency of use of influence strategies and styles and the 33 contextual variables. Clusters of contextual variables were also shown to be related to influencing behaviour. It was argued that these findings can be used to guide action.
The findings have implications for the development of leaders and managers. The model of interpersonal influence allows individuals to identify their particular situation and draw conclusions, rooted in theory and derived from research, about how to enhance their effectiveness in influencing others at work.
The originality and value of this paper lies in the way in which it extends and develops previous theory and research, including that by the author and collaborators published in previous editions of Industrial and Commercial Training, thereby validating the model and the research instruments used to operationalise it. The findings confirm that influencing behaviour does vary in different contexts and provides evidence that clearly indicates the particular contextual variables linked to the frequency of use of specific influence strategies and styles.
Manning, T. (2012), "The art of successful influence: matching influence strategies and styles to the context", Industrial and Commercial Training, Vol. 44 No. 1, pp. 26-34. https://doi.org/10.1108/00197851211193390Download as .RIS
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