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From approach to inhibition: The influence of power on responses to poor-performers


Journal of Applied Psychology


Organisational Behaviour

Authors / Editors

Ferguson A;Ormiston M E;Moon H

Publication Year



This article examines how relative differences in power affect responses to poor performers in organizations. We predicted that higher power individuals would engage in approach-related behaviors, whereas lower power individuals would be inhibited when responding to poor performers. Results from a scenario study and a field study generally supported this prediction, indicating that power was positively related to training or confronting a poor performer and negatively related to compensating for or rejecting a poor performer. A second scenario study investigated the effect of the interaction of power and emotion on individual responses to poor performers. Results showed that the type of emotion expressed moderated the effect of power on inhibition-related responses. We discuss implications for managing poor performers with relative power differences.

Available on ECCH


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