Power in Leader–Follower Work Relationships

Arthur D. Martinez of Illinois State University; Rachel E. Kane and Gerald R. Ferris, both of Florida State University;  and C. Darren Brooks of the Florida Department of Children and Families published “Power in Leader–Follower Work Relationships” on April 4, 2012 in the Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies. To view other OnlineFirst articles, please click here.

The abstract:

There is perhaps no more important dyadic relationship than that between a leader and a follower. Nonetheless, few studies examine the implications of both leader and follower power on important work outcomes. Therefore, using resource dependence and role theories, the authors examined the process by which leader power affects important work outcomes, namely, work relationship quality and job tension, through met relationship expectations. Additionally, the authors suggest that the leader power–met expectations relationship is conditional on follower power. A state agency was sampled to obtain and analyze 100 leader–follower work relationship dyads, whereby both dyadic partners were surveyed. Results indicated that leader power affected both leader–follower relationship quality and job tension through followers’ met relationship expectations. However, contrary to our hypothesis, the leader power–met expectations relationship was not conditional on follower power. Contributions of this study, strengths and limitations, and directions for future research are discussed.

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