Leaders’ sense of power and team performance: A moderated mediation model

Yan Rong1, Baiyin Yang1, Lin Ma2
1Department of Leadership and Organization Management, Tsinghua University, People’s Republic of China
2School of Economics and Management, Beihang University, People’s Republic of China
Cite this article:  Rong, Y., Yang, B., & Ma, L. (2017). Leaders’ sense of power and team performance: A moderated mediation model. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 45(4), 641-656.

Volume 45 Issue 4 | e5662 | Published: May 2017 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2224/sbp.5662

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Organizational behavior researchers have typically focused on role- or structure-based power, such as hierarchical status and position in the social network. In contrast, we examined the psychological experience of power in organizations. Our purpose was to determine how and when a team leader’s subjective sense of power is beneficial in an organizational context. Data were collected from 70 work teams using a 2-wave design to test the proposed model. Results showed that a team leader’s sense of power enhanced team performance by decreasing leader–member relationship conflict, but only when perceived task interdependence was high. These associations remained after controlling for hierarchical status and demographic characteristics. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.

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