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Deep Smarts: How to Cultivate and Transfer Enduring Business Wisdom by Dorothy Leonard-Barton, Walter C. Swap, Dorothy Leonard

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SIX

Social Influences

WHEN WE GET UP in the morning and look in the mirror, we like to see a stalwart, independent decision maker—sure of our beliefs and uninfluenced by people around us, perhaps even by our supervisors. But if knowledge is “justified true belief,” who justifies it? Often, other people. Even before our infant eyes were able to bring into focus a parental face bending down over our crib, we’ve been influenced by others—those who have power over us and those we like or admire. While we learn through experience, we are social beings, and we look to others to define how we should act and what is real, especially when we are unsure of ourselves and our convictions. Social influences are so pervasive that even a basic listing would ...

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