Background Note | HBS Case Collection | February 1994 (Revised May 1994)

Exercising Influence

by Linda A. Hill


Provides a framework for understanding the exercise of interpersonal influence in organizations. Describes some of the "myths and realities" of management that new managers discover--specifically, that managers are dependent on a complex network of relationships to get work done, and that they must influence others by relying on sources of power other than their formal positional authority. Describes influence as exchange within these networks of mutually beneficial relationships. Also discusses tactics for avoiding the abuse of power and influence.

Keywords: Power and Influence;


Hill, Linda A. "Exercising Influence." Harvard Business School Background Note 494-080, February 1994. (Revised May 1994.)