How can individuals attain influence in organizations? Prior research has identified structural determinants of influence, such as formal authority and position in a social network. However, indirect evidence suggests that influence might also stem from personal characteristics. The authors tested whether influence can stem from the fit between the person and his or her organization (P-O fit). Consistent with expectations, extraverts attained more influence in a team-oriented organization, whereas conscientious individuals attained more influence in an organization in which individuals worked alone on technical tasks. Further, these effects held up after controlling for formal authority, job performance, and demographic characteristics, such as gender, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status. The multiple ways in which individuals can gain influence are discussed.
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