Referent Power (French and Raven)
Jaap de Jonge, Editor, Netherlands
Indeed referent power is the power someone has, because another person likes or wants to be like that person. It can be thought of as charisma, charm, admiration, or appeal. It comes from one person liking and respecting another, and strongly identifying with that person in someway.
Celebrities have a lot of referent power, allowing them to influence what people buy (this effect is heavily exploited in various forms of advertising
) and even who should be elected to certain political positions.
Also in (business) organizations, people with charm often make colleagues feel good, and have a lot of influence as a result. Referent power is also typical for great leaders. Consider for example in charismatic leadership
A potential drawback of referent power is that it can be abused, for example for coercion or social exclusion, because someone with a lot of referent power could easily cause someone to be shunned by others in some group or department by saying something negative about that person.
@Tom, I improved the text of the summary to explain referent power more clearly. Thanks for this tip.