French and Raven Essay

Pages: 4 (1416 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: ≈ 6  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: Master's  ·  Topic: Leadership

Other studies have looked at issues of interpersonal trust (Frost & Moussavi, 2011), which is important for referent and legitimate power in particular.

French and Raven's work, and works built on it, have certainly come under criticism. Blois and Hopkinson (2013) took French and Raven to the proverbial woodshed, albeit with some logical flaws. They rejected the work on the basis that it wasn't as good as they thought it would be, given its influence. Granted -- but let's be honest quantitative rigor was not a big thing in 1959, and we still look at a lot papers from that era and older to learn things. They argue that French and Raven is overused -- which admittedly is a fair criticism as it does seem to be quite popular -- but don't have any ideas of their own. In other news, a man who never played football didn't like the Broncos' play-calling in the Super Bowl and wrote all about it on his blog.

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Elias (2008) notes that French and Raven has been used extensively both in academia but also in practice. This has provided researchers with ample learning opportunities and opportunities to adapt the model to a number of different settings. In particular, French and Raven was given a update with Raven's power/interaction model (Raven, 1992), which expands the model by giving personal and impersonal forms to coercion and reward. Expert and referential power can be either negative or positive (if you don't trust someone's expertise, they have negative power) and introduces other variables. This adaptation is more valuable as a means to gain deeper understanding of how power works in a practical setting, but renders the model more complex such that the basic model is the one usually still taught in management circles.

Essay on French and Raven Assignment

However, it is important that Raven and others have sought to understand how the effects of power can change based on different factors, how influencers go about utilizing their power and how the different forms of power interact with each other. This greater understanding of power, built off the initial framework, has made for a more robust model, one that requires deeper study, but over the past 55 years a lot of that study has been conducted to test the referential and expert power that the model has in leadership study.

Raven also introduced a sixth base of power at a later date, this being informational power. Raven (2008) explains this using the example of a supervisor explaining how to do something to a subordinate. With this explanation, the supervisor is enabling the subordinate to perform the task. Motivation to perform might come from legitimate power or coercive power, but the information is also a power base under Raven's thinking. Informational power is power that leads to socially independent change -- the person is empowered but then undertakes the action on their own without specific direction from any other sort of power base (Raven, 2008). This is another, powerful expansion of the original model that incorporate new ways of thinking. In 1959, legitimate authority was probably stronger than it is today, but this is the information age, and just having access to vast amount of information at one's fingertips is sufficient to provide power to individuals and communities, so this is a reasonable expansion of the model. It is likely that there are other forms of power yet to be fully explored in the model, but they could be in the future.


Changing (2013). French and Raven's forms of power. Retrieved March 6, 2014 from

Frost, T. & Moussavi, F. (2011). The relationship between leader and power base and influence: The moderating role of trust. Journal of Applied Business Research. Vol. 8 (4) 9-14.

Hofstede, G. (2014). Dimensions. The Hofstede Centre. Retrieved March 6, 2014 from

Mind Tools. (2014). French and Raven's five forms of power. Retrieved March 6, 2014 from

Raven, B. (1992). A power/interaction model of interpersonal influence: French and Raven thirty years later. Journal of Social Behavior and Personality. Vol. 7 (2) 217-244.

Raven, B. (2008). The bases of power and the power/interaction model of interpersonal influence. Analyses of Social… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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How to Cite "French and Raven" Essay in a Bibliography:

APA Style

French and Raven.  (2014, March 6).  Retrieved September 18, 2020, from

MLA Format

"French and Raven."  6 March 2014.  Web.  18 September 2020. <>.

Chicago Style

"French and Raven."  March 6, 2014.  Accessed September 18, 2020.