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Coercive Power in Social Exchange

Coercive Power in Social Exchange


Part of Studies in Rationality and Social Change

  • Date Published: April 1997
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521574617

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About the Authors
  • This book describes the progression and results of a decade-long program of experimental research on power in social exchange relations. Exchange theorists have traditionally excluded punishment and coercion from the scope of their analyses; but Molm examines whether exchange theory can be expanded to include reward and coercive power. Working within the framework of Emerson's power-dependence theory, but also drawing on the decision theory concepts of strategic action and loss aversion, Molm develops and tests a theory that emphasizes the interdependence of reward and coercive power. Her work shows that they are fundamentally different, not only in their effects on behavior, but also in the structural incentive to use power and the risks of power use. When exchanges are negotiated and secured by the 'shadow of the future,' rather than by binding agreements, dependence both encourages and constrains the use of coercion.

    • Long-term cumulative research, explores puzzles posed by results
    • Comparison of reward and coercive power
    • Extension of social exchange theory to include punishment and coercion
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    Product details

    • Date Published: April 1997
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521574617
    • length: 332 pages
    • dimensions: 211 x 137 x 23 mm
    • weight: 0.42kg
    • contains: 14 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Preface and acknowledgments
    1. Introduction and overview
    2. Social exchange and power
    3. Punishment and coercion
    4. An experimental setting for studying power in exchange relations
    5. The early research: experimental tests and theoretical puzzles
    6. The structural determination of power use
    7. Dependence and risk: structural constraints on strategic power use
    8. Injustice and risk: normative constraints on strategic power use
    9. The effects of coercion: compliance or conflict?
    10. A theory of coercion in social exchange
    11. Conclusions and implications
    Appendix I. Definitions of basic concepts of social exchange
    Appendix II. The experimental instructions for the standardized setting

  • Author

    Linda D. Molm, University of Arizona

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