The traditional idea that power is limited was hypothesized to induce managers to develop a competitive relationship with and withhold their resources from employees. Results of an experiment conducted in China with 60 male and 60 female students indicated that participants used their information power to provide assistance and encouraged their subordinates when their organization valued expandable power compared with limited power and when they believed the others were unable rather than unmotivated. Results were interpreted as suggesting that even in high power distance societies such as China, organizational valuing of expandable power and the development of cooperative goals contribute importantly to the constructive use of information power. Results have implications both for the general theory of cooperation and competition and for general understanding of power in China. Results support the study's reasoning that an organization's power values impact leaders' use of informational power to support employees, conclusions about the nature of their goal interdependence, power attitudes toward responsibility and their own power, and the team relationship they develop with employees. Values toward power are not just of theoretical interest.
Copyright © 2003 American Psychological Association
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