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Social influence, as a practical aspect in the application of authoritative command or as a tool within the governing of group attitudes, possesses significant pressure on the individual’s actions. Such pressure tends to change the thinking and perception of persons within a social setting due to the bond existing between these individuals. Within the social impact theory itself, the aspects of numbers, immediacy, and strength apply directly to leadership positions. The understanding of this influence varies, with arguments on the significance of social impact in such situation changing with time. Influences of leaders in social settings are enforced by the intensity of interactions between them and the social groupings within their surroundings. An assessment of the significance of such influence on their capacity as leaders relates to one’s ability to use social influence to transform people’s mindsets. .  [“Write my essay for me?” Get help here.]

Social Psychology: The Continuum of Social Influence in Leadership
As a factor in creating facilitative environments for leadership, psychology captures a significant sway of one’s abilities to engage their surroundings, inclusive of societal notions that relate to sociocultural aspects of a community. In relation to social psychology, it is possible to apply concepts that surround social influence within communities to further the interest of leadership varying from legal controls of societal dynamics to political interests. Inasmuch as communities are subject to numerous communications in the context of leadership and the application of known theoretical and practical aspects of the operations of such environments, it is possible to generate facilitative conditions for leadership efficiency. For the application of community control and public relations, similar concepts apply, with minor differences in communication control and interactions between persons in leadership positions and their subjects. This evaluation aims at understanding the level of influence on leadership and its applicability in various settings.

The Social Impact Theory
The discussion of this theory borrows heavily from the significance of social influence within a small group, with the role of recipients being passive and functional as moderators of the leader. The capacity of participants in such group settings can be assessed, according to this theory, along the dimension of strength, immediacy, and possession of numbers. As a factor of influence, the leadership capacity within social settings can be discussed not only along its implications to the leader but also along the impact of the subjects’ ability in the societal setting on their leader (Kassin, Fein, & Markus, 2013). This makes the theoretical basis of social impact within leadership to be a stimulating discussion topic within the social influence concept.

The total influence of persons (within their community) is directly relatable to the individual based on three directly influential factors. These include the strength of a source, its distance from the target individual, and the summation of the number of target individuals under considerations. For such an influence to be affected by each of these factors significantly, the other factors have to be a contestant or a minimal impact level (Kassin et al., 2013). The theory, therefore, captures the consideration that a leader makes in his application of influence on a community. As much as the theory associates such effects with a derived source of information (the leader, in this case), it directs the attention of the social impact towards a division of influence among the receivers of the information. Therefore, there is a reduced impact where the effect of communication is divided among a populace of subjects.
The conformity to be expected from a society with opposing headship (or internal influences) is also influenced by the sheer amount of control that the central leader possesses. This theory is also considered fluid, especially when considered within the context of a dynamic community, such as a political setting, where the influence of controlling persons is subject to changes and leadership can be exchanged (Kassin et al., 2013). In this regard, the applicability of this approach to social psychology may be limited by the environmental aspects of time and space. Also, the participants in such a community are subject to the formation of clusters of influence that form ideas for the penetration of social norms, influences, and environmental aspects that could be initially influenced by a leader. The capacity of leadership in such settings, therefore, makes it possible for persons within the social space to vary over time.

For the significant societal factors to be considered, the importance of passive recipients of the influence of leadership can be adopted as a datum point for the assessment of change in the behavior of these social clusters or the entire community. The possibility of the possession of influence of subjects on their leaders in the societal context is also a significant variant of this theory, which revisits the opportunity to control communications being two-way (Cacioppo & Cacioppo, 2012). Consequently, it makes it possible for the evaluation of the effect of one party on the other to be interchangeable. The dynamic of operating of the community of subject may change, within suitable motivation levels and attempt to inflict control on its leadership through the available means in their environment. The reintroduction of the leaders as followers of their subjects mitigates the need for interaction of social pressure from either side (Oc & Bashshur, 2013). The application of the theory in its initial definition can thus function in such environments at the individual and group levels.

Significance of Social Psychology on Leadership
The contribution of this discussion on the dynamics of social psychology is relatable to the input of subject’s opinions towards their leaders during interactions. Depending on the type of leadership, such views may include resistance, acceptance, bitterness or adoration during instances such as public interaction forums, elections or social environments (Oc & Bashshur, 2013). In the modern day, where social media have changed the interactions between people on various societal levels, the need to monitor, assess, and supervise the effect of such interactions increases. The application of social psychology, therefore, is necessitated by the need by persons in leadership positions in their everyday operations to engage or control their subjects. It is also significant where the consumption levels of information may have an effect on the efficiency of leadership on the populace. This is especially significant in social media, where discussions are fast paced, dynamic, and shift with opinion on a continuous basis.

Aguinis and Glavas (2013) attempt to offer discussions of the conceptualization of the management of corporate function through this approach, where leadership in these setting integrates CSR as a socially influencing approach to the formulation of opinions. This is a valuable application for the usage of leadership concepts towards the moderation of ideologies that the society has about a corporate that adopts the position of leadership within the social setting. In a similar context, the application of the modeling of social opinion towards a leading brand functions towards the achievement of useful perceptions of a product that make the marketing process easy and functional towards specific goals. Apart from the ideologies presented by business environments, these models influence the engagement of leadership position in the management setting, which involves the acceptance of leadership at each level of corporate operation.

The need to execute opinion control through these influences is essential in the maintenance of leaders and positive opinion models. The systems adopt the usage of social influence to form, control, and influence opinions through social networks available in every societal setting. Albi, Pareschi, Toscani, and Zanella (2016) attempt to apply partial differential equations (kinetic-based models) to identify the potential of creating ideal operating opinions within a freely functioning social setting. Such controls of consensus involve the use of distributed control of information through which leaders engage their subjects and actively enforce control. As an application, this approach makes the interest of leadership in social psychology to rise in applicability to very high functional levels.

Leaders and their ability to perform and deliver to the populace are both affected by the opinions held by these persons. These views are not only beliefs of the people, but they also possess significant contributions towards the acceptance that is held towards policies, projects, and delegated tasks from the leader. Regardless of the setting, the leader always intends to have the ability to influence the perceptions to ease their functioning and prevent unwarranted resistance within the social groupings (Albi et al., 2016). At the institutional level, the capacity of a leader may be significantly limited by the formation or opposition clusters or shrewd conflicts which can be avoided through the application of these concepts.

Social Influence on Leadership Interactions within Groups
On furthering their discussions, Albi et al. (2016) develop a group model that applies to the control of social functions, interactions, and communication towards the achievement of the intention of a central organizer. This party possesses the ability to moderate the opinions of individuals, clusters, and an entire group through the application of the theoretical basis of the continuum of social influence. Through the engagement of a group, it is possible to derive the definition of social communication limits, the dynamics of operations of such communications and come up with similar kinetic-based models of control (Albi et al., 2016). The continuum of possibilities, in this scenario, captures the interests that leaders of small groups may have regarding their subjects (in terms of control), as applicable on a social psychology level.

The functionality of small groups differs with the larger social interactions on an unlimited social platform. For example, there are observable differences between social influences on social media and social banter in the office kitchen. The variability of influence in this case changes due to the immediacy (distance) within which these communications are presented. Also, there are variations in the features of the magnitude of numbers and strength of interaction change significantly due to immediacy. Such conditions necessitate the enforcement of the ideas desired by the leader on a similar approach, with minimal distance, one on one interactions with personnel, and the delivery of strong messages for social consumption within these limits (Aguinis & Glavas, 2013). The leader applying a custom influence model (modified for the smaller populace) may choose to interact with each individual or use an extension of his leadership (a junior supervisor) to enforce the intended opinion control. It is possible to moderate the ability of resistance groupings formed within similar settings since they are easy to identify. Also, the social impact theory applies to these situations; requiring minimal modification since the implications of each interaction are similar whether from the leader to the subjects or vice versa (Kassin et al., 2013). Either way, it is possible for a leader to engage everyone, and in this way ensure full compliance with their interests and eradicate resistance.

While assessing the overall understanding of the interaction between the concepts of social influence through the continuum offered by social impact in group settings, it has emerged that there is a broad range of application of modeling. The created models dispel the ideology that social influence is a function of interactions between peers in a social setting. It can be applied to a wider range, and through the engagement of various strategies, it is possible to come up with strategies of control for each social setting that a leader is interested. Based on the consideration of the significance of these influences, it is possible to sum up all arguments as being linked to the ability of the leader to engage the subjects in communication. Such interactions form the forum from which leaders can control the social interactions that are allowed, enhanced, and emphasized by the kinetic-based model of influenced. Also, the development of social influence calls upon the leadership capacity of each individual in such positions


Aguinis, H. & Glavas, A. (2013). Embedded Versus Peripheral Corporate Social Responsibility: Psychological Foundations. Industrial and Organizational Psychology6(4), 314-332.

Albi, G., Pareschi, L., Toscani, G., & Zanella, M. (2016). Recent advances in opinion modeling: control and social influence. ArXiv. Retrieved 27 August 2016

Cacioppo, S. & Cacioppo, J. (2012). Decoding the invisible forces of social connections. Frontiers in Integrative Neuroscience6(51), 354.

Kassin, S., Fein, S., & Markus, H. (2013). Social psychology (9th ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.
Oc, B. & Bashshur, M. (2013). Followership, leadership and social influence. The Leadership Quarterly24(6), 919-934.

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By Hanna Robinson

Hanna has won numerous writing awards. She specializes in academic writing, copywriting, business plans and resumes. After graduating from the Comosun College's journalism program, she went on to work at community newspapers throughout Atlantic Canada, before embarking on her freelancing journey.

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