What is Referent Power? Definition and Examples

Bases of Social Power
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Bases of Social Power > Best Practices > What is Referent Power? Definition and Examples

What is Referent Power? Definition and Examples
Tom Milus
The definition for “referent power” in the summary of the basis of social power is not 100% clear when it says: "referent power is power through association with others who possess power". That could be understood as this power is attributed to the follower by virtue of his or her attachment to a powerful person.
French and Raven's definition, however, focuses on the leader having power by virtue of the follower wanting to emulate the leader (wanting to be be like him).
It may well be that the follower hopes to gain personal power through the association with a powerful leader, but that is just one of the possibilities for the follower's attraction to the leader.
Great teachers, successful political leaders, certain military leaders, movie stars, rock stars etc all have some amount of referent power. They have this power because the followers essentially want to be like them, have what they have, or hope for some other sense of personal satisfaction as a ... Read more? Sign up for free
 

 
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Expectations from the Referent Power
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Referent Power (French and Raven)
Jaap de Jonge, Management Consultant, Netherlands
 

     

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