|M.Sc Student||Shahaf Ayala|
|Subject||When Power Increases Susceptibility to Influence: The Case|
of the Outsider Influencer
|Department||Department of Industrial Engineering and Management||Supervisor||Dr. Edith Shalev|
|Full Thesis text|
The current research explores the relationship between power and susceptibility to influence. Extant literature portrays the powerful individual as resistant to social influence, reluctant to receive advice, and as socially distant from others. While most studies have focused on the reasons leading to the imperviousness of high power individuals to social influence, herein, we identify a boundary condition wherein the powerful becomes susceptible to influence. In three experiments we demonstrate that when the source of a message is either an outsider or anonymous, the high- power individual becomes more susceptible to influence than the low power individual. In Study 1 we manipulate power and measure people’s willingness to solicit advice on a work- related matter from an outsider vs. a coworker. High power participants were more interested in the outsider’s advice than low power participants. In Study 2 and Study 3 power disposition predicted attitude change following the read of an anonymous online product review; product attitudes and purchase intentions of participants with higher sense of power were more influenced by an online product review than those of participants with lower sense power. Potential underlying mechanisms to the effect of power on susceptibility to influence are tested and implications discussed.