Who steals my purse steals trash: The structure of organizational influence reputation

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Researchers often ask participants in community power structure and organizational network projects to rate actor reputations according to their perceived influence over system affairs. Analysts typically assume that such evaluations comprise a uni-dimensional ranking from low to high influence, but the extent of inter-rater consensus about judgments might vary across informants. I conceptualize the reputation measurement process as network relationships where organizational informants choose among a set of organizations treated as objects. I test three hypotheses that informant consensus increases with similarity in type of organizations, position in the influence hierarchy, and communication proximity, using data on 117 US and 126 German organizations in those nations' labor policy domains of the 1980s. Although I find some support for two hypotheses, a substantial consensus occurred between two primary blocks of informants about the most and least influential labor policy organizations. I conclude with some suggestions for further investigations of sources of consensus and variation in the evaluation of organizational reputations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)507-530
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Theoretical Politics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1998

Bibliographical note

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  • Germany
  • Labor policy domains
  • Organizational influence reputation
  • Power structures
  • Social networks
  • United states


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