Using power to affect performance in China : effects of employee achievement and social context

Dean William TJOSVOLD, Haifa F. SUN

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose - Researchers interested in the positive side of power and managers seeking to develop a resourceful workforce seek to understand the conditions under which managers use their power to assist and encourage employees. This paper aims to address this issue. Design/methodology/approach - An experiment conducted in China tested the hypothesis that employee performance and relationship with the manager affects the use of power. Findings - Results indicate that participants used their power to provide directly relevant information and encouraged employees who demonstrated their need by performing ineffectively. In addition, participants with cooperative, compared with competitive and independent, goals assisted, encouraged, and felt the responsibility to assist their employees. Originality/value - Results were interpreted as suggesting that demonstrating a clear need for managerial assistance and developing cooperative goals are important bases for fostering the positive use of power.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)364-381
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Journal of Conflict Management
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2010


  • China
  • Competitive strategy
  • Employees
  • Empowerment
  • Management power


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