Skip to content Skip to navigation

How Do the Powerful Attain Status? The Roots of Legitimate Power Inequalities

Robb Willer, Reef Youngreen, Lisa Troyer, and Michael Lovaglia. 2012. "How Do the Powerful Attain Status? The Roots of Legitimate Power Inequalities." Managerial and Decision Economics. 33:355-367.

More from:

Power inequalities are coercive, based on relative control over resources, whereas status hierarchies are based on collectively endorsed conceptions of merit. How then do the powerful achieve status? We argue that using power for personal gain can lead to perceptions of the powerful as competent—enhancing status—but also selfish—diminishing status. Consequently, power users will be most likely to attain status when they successfully avoid perceptions of selfishness. Two experiments support this view, finding that power users achieve greater status when moderating their power use, forgoing maximal profits in exchange, or using philanthropic gestures to counteract perceptions of greed. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Managerial and Decision Economics
2012
Reef Youngreen
Lisa Troyer
Michael Lovaglia