Requests for reprints should be sent to Edward J. Lawler, Department of sociology, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa 52242.
Cooptation and Coalition Mobilization1
Version of Record online: 31 JUL 2006
Journal of Applied Social Psychology
Volume 8, Issue 3, pages 199–214, September 1978
How to Cite
Lawler, E. J., Youngs, G. A. and Lesh, M. D. (1978), Cooptation and Coalition Mobilization. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 8: 199–214. doi: 10.1111/j.1559-1816.1978.tb00777.x
This research was supported by funds from both the Center for Research on Interpersonal Behavior (Department of Sociology) and from NIMH #25143–01. The first experiment is based on George A. Youngs' M.A. thesis conducted under the supervision of Edward J. Lawler. The authors wish to thank Thomas E. Carter, Stuart Stover, and Martha E. Thompson for assistance in the data collection and analysis. Martha E. Thompson and Samuel B. Bacharach provided helpful comments on an earlier draft.
- Issue online: 31 JUL 2006
- Version of Record online: 31 JUL 2006
The question addressed by this research was, “When structural circumstances make revolutionary action likely, under what conditions will a cooptation strategy prevent subordinate revolts?” Experimental procedures established a group status hierarchy consisting of a leader and two subordinates. Groups earned collective outcomes, and the leader usurped an inequitable portion of these outcomes. In this context, the first experiment shows that a cooptation strategy (i.e., offer of a promotion to one of two subordinates) inhibits subordinate revolts. Two additional experiments indicate that the cooptation strategy is most effective (a) if the offer (strategy) provides the target of cooptation a source of personal gain; (b) if theoffer (strategy) is a result of the leader's own volition, rather than situational constraints; and (c) if the leader converys a strong commitment to follow through on the promotion offer. The results are interpreted with reference to subjective-expected-utility and reciprocity theories.