Title: When Power Makes Others Speechless: The Negative Impact of Leader Power on Team Performance
Authors: Leigh Plunkett Tost, Francesca Gino and Richard P. Larrick
Abstract: We examine the impact of the subjective experience of power on leadership dynamics and team performance and find that the psychological effect of power on formal leaders spills over to affect team performance. We argue that a formal leader’s experience of heightened power produces verbal dominance, which reduces team communication and consequently diminishes performance. Importantly, because these dynamics rely on the acquiescence of other team members to the leader’s dominant behavior, the effects only emerge when the leader holds a formal leadership position. Three studies offer consistent support for this argument. The implications for theory and practice are discussed.