Relational Considerations in the Use of Influence Tactics
It is proposed that the existing relationship between the influencing agent and the target of influence plays a central role in the choice of using hard and soft influence tactics. In a field study, 3 key aspects of the relation between agent and target were examined, and the results generally supported our hypotheses. First, the more unfairly people felt they were treated, the more often they wielded influence, especially using harder influence tactics. Second, the better the influencing agent liked the target, the relatively less often he or she used hard tactics. Finally, the more the influencing agent felt dependent upon the target, the fewer influence tactics, both hard and soft, were used. The discussion focuses on both the practical and theoretical implications of these findings.