In the current challenging situation, active use of role models with integrity, trust, and commitment are constructive possibilities for changing people’s behavior.

This work was the work of Arne Nygaard, a prof. at the University of Kristiania College and a Florida Atlantic University is hosting me as a visiting scholar. in Florida.

DeSantis is a well-known politician. Florida Atlantic University’s As a lecturer, Roland Kidwell teaches in the United States. Ragnhild Silkoset is a Visiting Scholar In the College of Arts and Sciences at Florida Atlantic and a professor at the BI Norwegian Business School.

Governments and corporations must now deal with a broad and challenging area of influence, persuasion, and communication to restrict the spread Covid-19 is a model virus—even more so if they want to maintain high public trust.

Most people believe they have an outstanding obligation and responsibility to minimize infection levels. This has given government officials the authority to impose harsh restrictions and punitive measures against businesses, groups, and individuals. Our research, however, reveals that trust when it comes to the application of power influence people’s conduct has both both constraints and possibilities Our data suggest that the most significant variables influencing behavior are good role models and expertise, not force, if one truly desires to influence people’s thoughts and actions.

Coercion has the potential to destroy trust, which is necessary for anti-Covid-19 tactics to work.

Threats, commands, regulations, and coercion

We published research pieces in the prestigious Business Ethics of Journal in the past,  in which we reported found to be of interest be concerning in the current situation: As an influence tactic, the use of force, threats, punishment, and limits a different result than what was expected.

In our opinion, this is the case, the exercise of “coercive power” frequently leads to the deployment of “counteracting power,” which causes conflict and destroys trust and consensus, lowering the shared responsibility and duty that we require now. In the case of Covid-19, such a regime results in the “social compact” being broken. Using “coercive force” might have detrimental or even destructive consequences. It’s not unexpected that protests against tight measures that many invasive and “coercive” power” is now taking place in Italy, the United Kingdom, Germans, as well as Americans.

It is possible for coercion to have even more adverse effects than the epidemic that it is meant to prevent since centralised measures usually come at the wrong time and location for the criminals.

One example is the The US is embroiled in a debate. about school closures; as is well known, children have a considerably reduced probability of being affected by Covid-19. This is why centralized coercive authority frequently fails to work in situations like pandemics.

The increased alcoholism and drug usage, suicide rate, abuse, depression, unemployment, and economic collapse due to coercive control through lockdowns may be a reaction to the dysfunctional impacts of coercive power through lockdowns.

We also learned that “the power of example” is significantly more strong than we had previously thought. According to the report, firms that are now subject to strict controls, limitations, and closures are included in the study. As a result, it could be fascinating to relate the conclusions of our research to the current scenario.

Since the fundamental study of power by French and Raven in 1959, we have known the “toolbox” that authorities have in the form of energy: Power, or the ability to persuade people to do things they would not otherwise do, is a complex puzzle involving primarily five primary influencing strategies:

  1. coercion
  1. expertise
  1. legitimacy
  1. remuneration and compensation
  1. the “power of example,” as evidenced by allusions to role models.

According to our findings, using invasive coercion to change behavior can have detrimental consequences. On the contrary, they demonstrate the importance of expert power and positive role models in modifying behavior.

Using invasive coercive programmes to modify behaviour is often the most easy technique when dealing with an external shock like Covid-19.

Of course, coercion may be necessary at first to change people’s minds about the fact that health authorities have the legal power to affect behavior. However, our findings imply that prolonged coercion could actually have the opposite impact compared to short-term coercion anticipated due to the use of force; people’s perceptions healthcare officials’ responsibilities shift.

Role Models vs. Coercion (Instead of following my instructions, do what I advise you to do.) (Do as I do)

The relevance of role models startled us the most during our research. When role models lead the way, strong positive impulses develop under the influence of collective reasoning.

This is the power of setting a good example. A great symbol that reinforces that we are on the same side and share the same objectives is a crown prince, a politician, or a celebrity picking up trash or sharing their healthy lifestyle. As a result, we imitate their beneficial activities because we admire their excellent intentions as role models. Role models are frequently employed in corporate management to boost team spirit and enthusiasm.

A pandemic is an external shock requiring inspiring leaders who can guide us through difficult times with words and deeds, not just words.

Our studies show how role models promote team spirit, behavior change, and good outcomes.

However, role models who are supposed to exemplify positive values can quickly go the opposite way. The power of example may be equally detrimental, and there are several examples—for example, O.J. Simpson (Herz), Tiger Woods (Nike), or Lance Armstrong (Budweiser)—that indicate that relationships with role models come with risks.

During a pandemic, people are also influenced by political role models. In May of this year, a woman in Texas was sentenced to 7 days in prison for reopening her hair business. Coercion of the populace to follow the Covid-19 guidelines resulted in these outcomes.

Not shortly after, Nancy Pelosi, the House Speaker of Representatives, was discovered in flagrante delicto without a mask at a hair shop that was meant to be closed, defying the Covid-19 guidelines in San Francisco. Pelosi is a staunch proponent of the forceful use of “coercive power,” such as lockdowns, penalties, and the use of masks.

The Czech Minister of Health, Roman Prymula, an epidemiologist and the principal architect of the coercive measures enacted the Czech Republic, suffered the same fate.

Primula was captured on camera when it came to city’s best restaurants without wearing the required face mask, which should’ve been shut down according to his instituted rules.

When individuals involved in creating the rules do not follow them, it is unhelpful and detrimental. It indicates that the “elite” are exempt from their regulations, as in “one rule for me, one rule for thee.” The potential of role models to influence collective behavior by setting an example, one may have a positive and negative impact. As a result, role model hypocrisy undermines collective accountability.

When we looked at our data, we were astounded by the influence role models had on both behaviour and performance.

Expertise has the power to affect people’s actions.

Expert power as a basis for influence will only affect if we believe that the “experts” have a better knowledge-based background than other people who can comment on Covid-19. After Since the outbreak of Covid-19, subsided, the ability of expertise to affect behavior will need to be re-examined.

Not only have “facts” not proven to be “facts,” but organizations and authorities have produced contradictory, rewritten, and contradictory recommendations. Consistency between specialists in different pandemic stages is highly linked to confidence in “expertise.”

For example, the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) modified its mask recommendation, while the World Health Organization (WHO) delayed until March 11 to declare Covid-19 a pandemic.

Two of the most prestigious medical publications, which certify study quality in this field, were accused of facilitating research fraud during the epidemic. Medicine’s NEJM and The Lancet, two of the world’s most prominent medical journals, published studies based on data from Surgisphere Corp., a small Illinois-based corporation now accused of falsifying the data. Because of this, the WHO decided to stop conducting worldwide hydroxychloroquine research studies…

Politicians are accused of intruding in the area of specialists, while professionals are charged with following politics.

Professor Didier Raoult, the head scientist at a research institute in Marseille that undertakes malaria treatment research, has emerged as President Macron’s backing for a political activist. The power of experts to influence the public will always be They are reliant on the public’s confidence. If there are role conflicts, politics and expertise can be toxic.

Covid-19 has demonstrated that “expert power” to persuade people to follow recommendations is set to “erode,” as experts have become embroiled in a political power struggle. We are hearing about and seeing an unhealthy role conflict between scientists and politicians.

As our research suggests, expertise is a significant aspect of achieving performance. That is why the detailed contribution of professionals to knowledge needs to be stressed right now. During Covid-19, their ability to transfer “objective” advice, documented information, and research into people’s active actions were more vital than ever.

Simultaneously, there is a growing distrust of one-sided expert power if results are not realized. Sweden’s predicament serves as an instructive example.

With its immense worldwide economic and political ramifications, this epidemic is too crucial to be left to a few epidemiologists; as French statesman Georges Clemenceau observed during World War I, “War is too important to be left to the generals.”

So, what’s the deal?

A pandemic devastating event. It necessitates the sensible behavior of many people in a short amount of time. However, we notice that the expectation of speedy solutions and active action frequently leads to ill-conceived methods to influence people, businesses, and organizations.

The use of invasive forcible intervention might lead to counterproductive power, a lack of confidence, and a greater likelihood of conflict in the community at large,. Expert power and the active use of role models with integrity, trust, and commitment, according to our research, are powerful methods for changing people’s habits in the current challenging situation.


The essay has been given a more in-depth look because of one published on on December 14, 20.

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