Andrzej Nowak, Agata Zabłocka, Ryszard Praszkier



Purpose: Traditionally, the effects of social influence have been delineated in terms of “leaders” exerting influence over “followers.” Here we propose a new concept of social influence in which the leaders are influenced and, in fact, actively seek out that influence and build  personal support networks that generate that influence.

Approach: To examine the concept, we conducted both pilot (N=42) and main studies (N=113).The pilot study showed that leaders organize diverse support networks based on three major traits of the influence-givers: their competence, moral standards and creativity.

Findings: The research confirmed that leaders cultivate five types of individual support networks or influence-providers: family and close friends, professional connections, colleagues and peers (mostly relating to leisure and entertainment), social engagement, and a local/neighborhood network.

The research revealed several dependencies between the subjects’ occupation and their expectations from the influence-providers. We also documented that leaders seek basically two kinds of individual support: support from individuals from whom they expect low-order processed information, i.e., facts and data; (type A), and support from individuals from whom they expect high-order, processed information, i.e., opinions, advice, strategies and predictions; (type B). It also confirmed that selection of type A supporters is primarily based on competencies and type B supporters are typically selected based on moral standing and creativity.

Implications: This article will empower leaders to better understand the value of their support networks, also to organize the flow of received information.

Value/Originality: We are presenting an original concept of social influence in reverse, broadening the cognition of social influence in positive management.


social influence; support networks; information flow; trust; competencies

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Action funded by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education under the contract number 916/P-DUN/2019 by funds dedicated to dissemination of research findings. Preparing for publication papers in English and employing reviewers affiliated in research institutions abroad in 8 issues of the Journal of Positive Management in 2019-2020: Vol. 10, No. 1-4, Vol. 11, No. 1-4.

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