Sources (French & Raven, 1959):

RCL [based on structure of situation]

Reward: Person controls valuable resources

Coercive: Person has the power to punish (often by withholding resources)

Legitimate: Position power, formal status

(Usually comes with some R/C power)

REI [based on willingness to be influenced]

Referent: You identify with, are attracted to powerholder. They are a model.

Expert: You see the person as an expert, with superior skills/knowledge

Informational: Person mobilizes information & argument to persuade you

Recent extensions & elaborations (Raven, 1993)

Base Socially Surveillance
dependent? Important?

Coercion Yes Yes
Reward Yes Yes
Legitimacy Yes No
Expert Yes No
Reference Yes No
Informational No No

Social dependence: Agent important

Socially independent: Agent unimportant

Surveillance: Important when target complies

without necessarily accepting

Further differentiations (Raven, 1993 cont.):

Coercion & Reward:

Can be Impersonal or Personal

Impersonal forms based on impersonal resources (promotions, money, food, grades)

Personal forms based on approval and rejection

Legitimacy: Four forms

Formal legitimacy (original concept--position)



Dependence (powerlessness)

Last three are based on social norms that make a request legitimate and create obligations

Reference & Expert

Can be Positive or Negative

Positive: You accept the other person as a model or feel that they know best


Negative: You want to be different from other person or do the opposite of what they say because you distrust them


Can be Direct or Indirect

Direct: Person presents information to persuade you

Indirect: Person drops hints or arranges the information to reach you in another way (eavesdropping, third party). Used for upward influence

Analyzing Power Structure by Observing Process and Outcomes:

Responses to Influence Attempts

Change Public Position or Behavior
Private Position Yes No
Yes Conversion Anticonformity
No Compliance Independence

Question approach:

(Harvard system for analyzing gender relations)

Who has what?

Who gets what?

Who does what?

Who decides?