Professor of Organisational Behaviour
Contextualizing Social Power Research within Organizational Behaviorin The Self at Work: Fundamental Theory and Research (Organizational Frontiers Series of the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology)
Authors: Schaerer Michael, Thau Stefan
Although there has been tremendous scientific interest in social power, much of this recent research has relied on experiments in context-poor settings. However, organizations – a context in which power differences emerge naturally – are more complex and dynamic. The current review discusses whether and how defining organizational features at the intrapersonal level (multiple dimensions of hierarchy, dynamics over time, attentional demands), interpersonal level (interdependence, repeated interactions), and organizational level (accountability, culture, virtual work) moderate the effects of power. We also discuss ways to systematically incorporate organizational complexities into the study of social power and recommend fruitful avenues for future research.