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Measuring Power and Satisfaction in Societies with Opinion Leaders: Properties of the Qualified Majority Case

Rene van der Brink (), Agnieszka Rusinowska and Frank Steffen
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Rene van der Brink: Department of Econometrics and Tinbergen Institute, Free University, The Netherlands

Authors registered in the RePEc Author Service: Rene van den Brink ()

No 901, Working Papers from Groupe d'Analyse et de Théorie Economique Lyon St-Étienne (GATE Lyon St-Étienne), Université de Lyon

Abstract: A well known and established model in communication policy in sociology and mar- keting is that of opinion leadership. It is based on the idea of a two-step flow of communication. Opinion leaders are actors in a society who are able to affect the behavior of other members of the society called followers. Hence, opinion leaders might have a considerable impact on the behavior of markets and other social agglomerations being made up of individual actors choosing among a number of alternatives. For marketing purposes it appears to be interesting to investigate the effect of different opinion leader-follower structures in markets or any other collective decision-making situations in a society. We study a two-action model in which the members of a society are to choose one action, for instance, to buy or not to buy a certain joint product, or to vote yes or no on a specific proposal. Each of the actors has an inclination to choose one of the actions. By definition opinion leaders have some power over other actors, their followers, and they exercise this power by influencing the behavior of their followers, i.e. their choice of action. After all actors have chosen their actions, a decision- making mechanism determines the collective choice resulting out of the individual choices. The structure of the relations between the actors can be represented by a bipartite digraph. We analyze such digraphs investigating satisfaction and power distributions within societies with and without the opinion leaders. Moreover, we study common properties of the satisfaction and power measures and illustrate our findings and some marketing implications for a society with five members.

Keywords: Bipartite digraph; influence; inclination; collective choice; opinion leader; follower; satisfaction; power (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C7 D7 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 20 pages
Date: 2009
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cdm, nep-gth, nep-hap and nep-mkt
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (3)

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