Thursday, March 3, 2011

When Power Makes Others Speechless: The Negative Impact of Leader Power on Team Performance

We examine the impact of subjective power on leadership behavior and demonstrate that the psychological effect of power on leaders spills over to impact team effectiveness. Specifically, drawing from the approach/inhibition theory of power, power-devaluation theory, and organizational research on the antecedents of employee voice, we argue that a leader's experience of heightened power produces verbal dominance, which reduces perceptions of leader openness and team open communication. Consequently, there is a negative effect of leader power on team performance. Three studies find consistent support for this argument. The implications for theory and practice are discussed.
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1 comment:

gweil said...

The "Servant Leader" empowers others to find their voice. This has also been called Leading from Behind.

The classical text of the Tao Te Ching has this to say on the
Servant leadership principle:

"If you want to govern the people,
You must place yourself below them.
If you want to lead the people,
You must learn to follow them."