I liked Nial Adams blog on authority.
Bob Cialdini describes his research into authority and relates it more to symbols than experience or knowledge. The ‘Click – Whirr’ effect, as he calls it. Triggering an instinct. Despite the ongoing and everlasting philosophical debate, none of us can exercise self determination; we are a slave of our instincts. We all react in subtly different ways but we all react in the same general way to a stimulus.
If you accept this you may use the knowledge to trigger instincts in others and become influential over them. Consider the stimulus of authority. If a policeman walked into your room, now, and told you to sit in the corner with your hands on your head, what would you do? Do you understand why you would do that? How did the policeman trigger that reaction from you?
Your reaction was set in prehistory before your ancestors could walk upright or hold a conversation.
Understanding the origin of the instinct, especially the recognition and reaction to authority, is powerful knowledge. You will find it is a vital learning in my master classes on negotiation.