Chapter 4 Soft power … take it slowly

In the 1990s, along with high-waisted ripped jeans, the Spice Girls (remember them?) and The Simpsons, we discovered soft power. The term soft power comes to us from the work of Harvard business professor Joseph Nye.

Nye saw soft power as the use of co-option and attraction, rather than force, to influence. The theory was first applied to international relations, where hard power is represented by the military and soft power relates to trade, diplomatic negotiation and building friendly relations.

Soft power influences through persuasion rather than coercion. In organisations it involves ...

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