A mini-symposium on the topic of POWER



Ana Guinote
University College London, UK

Title: How Power Affects Individuals: Revisiting the Behaviour Approach and Inhibition Model

Over one decade of socio-cognitive research on social power has been guided by the notion that having power activates the tendency to seek rewards, driven by an over-activate behavioral approach system (Keltner, Gruenfeld, & Anderson, 2003). In contrast, lack of power leads to behaviour inhibition and negative affect. Yet evidence regarding some tenets of the model is inconsistent. Based on a recent review of literature (Guinote, 2017, Annual Review of Psychology), and research from my own lab I will discuss evidence showing that power activates a specific type of approach motivation: that associated with the pursuit of one’s aims and desires rather than the pursuit of rewards (the hedonic tone of approach). Power energizes thought, speech and action, increases wanting and working to obtain salient goals. Goals can be linked to power roles, predispositions, tasks or opportunities. I will also discuss research showing that powerlessness does not always lead to behaviur inhibition and that characteristics of the people in positions of authority, such as empathic accuracy and feedback given to subordinates, determine the extent to which individuals in powerless positions are inhibited.

Jennifer Jordan
IMD Business School, Switzerland

Title: Power, Instability, and Leadership

Building on a diverse, interdisciplinary body of research, I will discuss the effects of power and stability of power on individuals’ stress, risk-taking behavior, and power-sharing in organizations. I will also argue that individuals’ felt stress explains their risk behavior and discuss the implications of these effects for managers and the organizations they lead. 

David De Cremer
University of Cambridge, UK

Title: An OB-perspective on building trust across hierarchies in organizations