Big Picture Is Better: The Social Implications of Construal Level for Advice Taking

Abstract: Advice taking is of growing interest to organizational scholars because it is a critical pathway for knowledge transfer and learning. Based on construal level theory, we hypothesize that high construal advisors are viewed as experts and, in turn, others are more likely to take their advice. In a field study of an online community of programmers and a laboratory experiment measuring psychological mechanisms, we find that signaling higher construal by communicating more abstractly is positively associated with expert reputation, which in turn explains others’ advice-taking behavior. Implications for research on the social consequences of construal level and novel antecedents of perceived expertise and advice taking are discussed.

Reference Information

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Method(s) Used in Paper

Ascribed Expertise Measure

by Batia Wiesenfeld, Jean-Nicolas Reyt, and Yaacov Trope.
Published in "Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes" in 2016.

Behavior Identification Form

by Robin Vallacher and Daniel Wegner.
Published in "Journal of Personality and Social Psychology" in 1989.

Linguistic Category Model

by Gun Semin and Klaus Fiedler.
Published in "Journal of Personality and Social Psychology" in 1988.

Perceived Power Measure

by Cheryl Wakslak, Pamela Smith, and Albert Han.
Published in "Journal of Personality and Social Psychology" in 2014.

APA-Format Citation

Reyt, J. N., Wiesenfeld, B. M., & Trope, Y. (2016). Big picture is better: The social implications of construal level for advice taking. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 135, 22-31.