Date of Conferral





Public Policy and Administration


Richard Worch


Florida reformed its civil service system with the passage of the Service First Initiative of 2001, resulting in a unique organizational setting by altering the employer-employee relationship, yet little academic research explored the power tactics used by politicians and political appointees in order to gain subordinate compliance in unique organizational environments. Using French and Raven’s bases of social power theory and Raven’s interpersonal power interaction model as the foundation, the primary purpose of this stratified cross-sectional study of politicians and political appointees in Florida was to explore whether certain demographic factors are predictors of the extent to which French and Raven’s “hard” and “soft” power tactics are used. Survey data were collected using the interpersonal power inventory, political predisposition measure, and a self-developed demographic information form from 354 political appointees and state employees and were analyzed using simple multiple linear regression. Findings indicated the usage of the power tactics is consistent Ravens original research with influence agents preferring the soft power tactics over hard. Findings also showed that age and race (notably African American) are statically significant predictors of usage of soft power tactics of expert, referent, informational, the legitimacy of dependency, personal reward and harsh power tactics of personal coercion, legitimacy of reciprocity and equity (p <.05). Positive social change implications resulting from this study include recommendations regarding development of leadership programs to reduce the reliance on the use of harsh power tactics in order to increase organizational and personal outcomes within Service First Initiative organizations.