Graduation Year


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Organizational Studies

Reader 1

Professor Jeff Lewis

Reader 2

Professor Ronald Riggio


As part of organizational politics, influence allows employees to impact the attitudes and behaviors of peers, supervisors, and subordinates. Even though there are a variety of influence tactics, this thesis examines the few tactics used individually and in combination in an upward direction. This thesis adds to upward influence literature by discussing not only effective upward tactics, but also strategies found in unsuccessful attempts, providing insights for employees. The individual influence tactics discussed to be most successful are rational persuasion, consultation, and ingratiation, while exchange tactics are likely to lead to a failed influence attempt. The combined influence tactics found to lead to a greater chance of success are soft and rational tactics, while combinations of hard as well as hard and soft tactics were shown to be less successful in upward influence attempts. Additionally, limitations and future research on upward influence are identified in the thesis.