Project Management

Characteristics Of Social Influence

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Social influence in the business environment context enables individuals to improve or fine-tune their behaviors when communicating to meet the underlying needs and shifting demands of the dynamic business environment. I learn from current freelance projects and past full-time operational roles of the following characteristics of social influence that are necessary for an organization’s environment. 


While trust may be visible within closest relationships, it can be subjective and may be difficult to build initially, but we need to persevere. There are times we need to change behaviors and actions to align we changing needs of the organization and its  projects, but we need to stay relatively consistent and not to differ too much out of the norms and guidelines. Trust requires considerable amount of effort and time to build, it needs people to see and feel the authenticity of a person over a substantial amount of time and tested situations. Conversely, the authenticity erodes when a person’s core values and true intentions turned out to be the opposite of the identity he or she is trying to build and the subsequent actions are harmful to colleagues and the organization. Ultimately, the reason that organization and project members able to rely on each other is because of the strong bond and faith nurtured among them. Eventually, sharing knowledge and insights that can be trusted. 


Industry Expertise  

The depth level that we can narrate about industry knowledge and guide others in operational and project activities and issues. Knowledge types are namely explicit, tacit, and embedded. Explicit refers to written and codified in an organized and systematic manner, such as an organization’s knowledge repository where employees can store, retrieve, and share information. Tacit refers to non-codified knowledge and based on personal accumulated experiences from hands-on and trial-and-error activities. Work packages or discrete deliverables may contain the final actions or elements that only the employees executing it are familiar with. Similarly, activities that are prone to changes in market demand and supply require intuitiveness from employees. 

Erkelens et al. (2015) mentioned knowledge embeddedness is the extent to which knowledge situated in the local environment, and when organizations integrate locally embedded knowledge, they facilitate organizational learning within internal stakeholders and external stakeholders as well. 

IKEA’s products are wide-ranging with practical and functional designs that are modular, which helps consumers to self-assemble. While consumers follow the step-by-step instructions manual as the explicit knowledge, they apply tacit knowledge based on their experiences accumulated from assembling components to end products. Hence, this form a hybrid form that has a beneficial routine. Entrenched in IKEA’s product development is embedded knowledge that progress beyond explicit and tacit. Del Giudice, Della Peruta and Carayannis (2011, pp.31, 198, 207) explained that organizations must not lock up knowledge, because it deters the growth of individuals and institutions. IKEA Home Planner has interactive tools that provide the learning opportunity for consumers to customize products and layouts with its available inventories. IKEA Family local platform allows sharing furnishing information and requirements with its consultants and fellow consumers as well; thus, fostering a community that shares valuable knowledge with interactive engagement.  

Organizations can recognize highly experienced and proven employees as subject matter experts (SMEs) based on years of working experience and courses accumulated. Besides possessing the ability to diagnose and resolve difficulties, SMEs need to be willing to share knowledge and contribute to discussions of new or refined solutions, within the organization, with the industry and its relevant associations. Regardless of attaining the level of SME, we need to be actively involved in our organization as a knowledge holder and content provider to build social influence. 


Motivation and Attitude 

Motivation comes in various forms in accordance with individuals’ dispositions. We need to develop the motivational drive and regulate mental and physical conditions to start the day on the right track. How well we regulate our condition and motivate ourselves and peers in accomplishing tasks throughout the day is vital to building social influence. While the power of positive thinking may be aspiring, we need to factor in reasonable negative thinking to keep ourselves from inflating hopes and outcomes. A balanced attitude with realistic positivity to build attainable possibilities and facilitate opportunities, and reasonable negativity to detect unrealistic outcomes. A balanced attitude enables maneuvering of difficult situations and consequently seeking the bright spot or silver lining, and in the process, treat them as lessons learned. 


When we are capable to connect with peers with social influence, we will be able to sustain relationships and grow together in the organization. I may be wrong or not clear, please pardon me and would like to learn from the community. Thank you for reading. 



Del Giudice, M., Della Peruta, M., & Carayannis, E. (2011). Knowledge and the Family Business: The Governance and Management of Family Firms in the New Knowledge Economy [Ebook] (2nd ed., pp. 198, 207). New York, NY: Springer. Retrieved from 


Erkelens, R., van den Hooff, B., Huysman, M., & Vlaar, P. (2015). Learning from Locally Embedded Knowledge: Facilitating Organizational Learning in Geographically Dispersed Settings. Global Strategy Journal, 5(2), 177-197. doi: 10.1002/gsj.1092 

Posted on: November 07, 2019 05:38 PM | Permalink

Comments (5)

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Dear Pang

Interesting perspective on social influence
Thanks for sharing

Stephen M.R.Covey, I think inspired by his father, published in 2006 a book "The SPEED of TRUST: The One Thing That Changes Everything" that addresses this topic of trust.
The author's proposal, "The five waves of trust" begins at Self Trust level, and ends at Societal Trust with the other levels being Relationships Trust, Organizational Trust and Market Trust.

Discusses some of the topics you mentioned here.

I recommend reading

Dear Luis,
Noted the book recommendation to develop capabilities and attitude in building trust.

Read the preview pages online and find it contains thoughtful knowledge on understanding the five waves of trust and gradually build each level.

Found out local libraries have copies of the book and would borrow it on my next trip. Thank you for sharing.

Dear Pang
I hope my suggestions for are useful to you

As I said, the path is made by walking

I know you will have great success
I'll be here cheering for you

Dear Luis,
Noted that paths are made by walking. Your suggestions are helpful and valuable. Appreciate the encouragement. Thanks.

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