The use of Vignettes to Measure the Dynamics of Wasta

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Tucker, Lewis
Buckton-Tucker, Rosalind
Journal Article
Wasta is commonly viewed in the context of influence or powerful social connections to which an individual has access. Although, much has been written about the phenomenon it has for the most part been unstructured and anecdotal. The purpose of this paper is to advance the understanding of Wasta by further refining a research design to operationalize a previously developed conceptual model—one that is grounded in the constructs of social power expectancy theory and information processing. Specifically, the authors propose to formulate and present a vignette based research plan to measure the relevance and potency of the expert, legitimate, referent, coercion and reward dimensions of power. The vignette research technique, which underpins the proposed design, is particularly useful for obtaining rich data responses while addressing the artifact of social desirability. Research propositions will be created to guide the methodology construction. Implications for researchers, organizational strategists and public policy makers are presented. Finally, limitations and future research directions are examined.