Thursday, August 18, 2016

Use Social Influences to Be a Better Manager

by Theodore Kinni

Chamelon in leaves
When Jonah Berger was a PhD student at Stanford Graduate School of Business, he biked through Palo Alto, slipping surveys under the windshield wipers of BMWs. He wanted to compare why owners bought their Beamers to why they thought others bought theirs. Berger discovered that BMW owners assumed other owners were strongly influenced by the social cachet associated with the luxury brand, while they themselves believed they were influenced by more rational and practical reasons.

Berger, who is now an associate professor of marketing at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, dives into this theme in his new book, Invisible Influence: The Hidden Forces That Shape Behavior. “It’s hard to find a decision or behavior that isn’t affected by other people,” he says. “In fact, looking across all domains of our lives, there is only one place we don’t seem to see social influence — ourselves.”

In Invisible Influence, Berger helps us understand how we are affected personally by the sometimes contradictory forces of social influence, and how managers can use these influences to more effectively lead others. Read the rest here

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