Influence is the ability to affect the beliefs or actions of others, often through differences in power or status. Influence is often independent of the organizational chart, and is primarily garnered through control of key resources (Pfeffer, 1992).

Resource dependency theorists like Pfeffer are very interested in the implications of resource dependencies on influence and power. Theoretically, influence is predicated on a dependency relationship. For example, organizations who rely on governmental money for survival are more likely to comply with governmental requests for compliance in affirmative action (Pfeffer and Salancik, 1978).