Using power to affect performance in China

Dean Tjosvold (Department of Management, Lingnan University, Hong Kong)
Haifa Sun (Management School, Sun Yat‐Seng University, Guangzhou, China)

International Journal of Conflict Management

ISSN: 1044-4068

Publication date: 5 October 2010



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.


An experiment conducted in China tested the hypothesis that employee performance and relationship with the manager affects the use of power.


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.


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.



Tjosvold, D. and Sun, H. (2010), "Using power to affect performance in China", International Journal of Conflict Management, Vol. 21 No. 4, pp. 364-381.

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Copyright © 2010, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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