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28.08.2009 | 1 Power Networks: The Effects of Reputation, Social Embeddedness and Power Strategies QMSS2 2009 Alona Labun, Rafael Wittek, Christian Steglich, Rudi Wielers

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28.08.2009 | 2 What makes someone powerful… Formal position? Personal characteristics? Social ties? Strategic behavior? Alternatively Power reputation – being seen as powerful by others! QMSS2 2009

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28.08.2009 | 3 Structure of the presentation The research questions. Some definitions. Theoretical background and hypotheses. Data, Measures and Method. Results and Conclusion. Questions, Comments, Suggestions… QMSS2 2009

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28.08.2009 | 4 The research questions Why are some organization members perceived to have more informal power than others? Which factors affect the stability/change of perceptions concerning ones informal power? QMSS2 2009

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28.08.2009 | 5 Some definitions… Informal power – ability to get things done, mobilize resources, influence through personal appeal. Reputational (perceived) power – the set of beliefs others hold about how powerful an actor is. Power as an inference people draw about certain others. QMSS2 2009

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28.08.2009 | 6 Theoretical backgroud How to assess who has the power? Uncertainty concerning ones power position Reliance on direct and indirect cues Own observations Info provided by others QMSS2 2009

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28.08.2009 | 7 Three core mechanisms Accounting for the emergence of differences in informal power attributions in uncertain environments: Rational imitationInterpersonal ties Power strategies QMSS2 2009

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28.08.2009 | 8 Rational imitation Perceived informal power differences are driven by: Other actors perceptions of ones informal power – ones power reputation. H1: The higher the number of group members who perceive a focal actor to be powerful, the more likely is ego to perceive the focal actor as powerful. QMSS2 2009 Time

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28.08.2009 | 9 Interpersonal ties Perceived informal power differences are driven by: Ones social embeddedness. Personal ties to others characterized by trust, respect. H2: The stronger the interpersonal trust between an individual and a focal actor, the more likely one is to perceive the focal actor as powerful. QMSS2 2009 Time

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28.08.2009 | 10 Power strategies Perceived informal power differences are driven by: Ones choice of power strategies. Positive power reputation Direct strategies (H3). Horizontal indirect strategies (H4a). Negative power reputation Vertical indirect strategies (H4b). Passive strategies (H5). QMSS2 2009

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28.08.2009 | 11 Data and Measures Network panel data (4 waves, 6 months intervals). Management team (N=17), German Paper Factory. Phase 1 Clear group goal and allocation of tasks. Phase 2 No common goal, fuzzy task structure, drop in morale. Phase 3 Clarity reintroduced, chaos left behind. QMSS2 2009

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28.08.2009 | 12 Measures Dependent variable: Reputational power (how much influence each colleague has; 5-point Likert scale). Independent variables: Power position (current). Interpersonal trust (intensity; sociometric measure; 5-point Likert scale). Power strategies (appropriatness of direct, indirect [horizontal, vertical], passive strategies; interval scale). Control: Formal hierarchy Time period heterogeneity (dummy variables for periods 2 and 3). QMSS2 2009

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28.08.2009 | 13 Method An extension of stochastic, actor-based network models (SIENA). The continuous-time model describes the development of a social network through time as a result of relational changes made by its members. Accounts for network structure, individual attributes (e.g., strategies) and dyadic covariates (e.g., social ties). QMSS2 2009

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28.08.2009 | 14 Descriptive statistics of actors Average levels of incoming power attributions and trust QMSS2 2009 Collapse of the trust network Overall depletion of informal power attributions

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28.08.2009 | 15 Main findings Mechanism Hypothesized Effect Result Rational imitation + C Interpersonal ties + C Direct strategies + R Indirect strategies (horizontal) + R Indirect strategies (vertical) - ( - ) WS Passive strategies - PS Formal hierarchy controlWeak pos. effect C – confirmed; R – rejected; WS – weak support; PS – partial support QMSS2 2009

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28.08.2009 | 16 Broad conclusion Traditional power explanation Stability/change of perceptions of ones informal power are driven by: Social embeddedness in networks of interpersonal relationships. Choice of certain power strategies. Ones formal position. Alternative power conceptualization Reputation plays an important role in the power attribution process! The essence of power is being seen as powerful by others.

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28.08.2009 | 17 Thank you very much for your attention! Questions… Comments… Suggestions… Contact: Alona Labun a.labun@rug.nl QMSS2 2009

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