The bigger they are, the harder they fall: Linking team power, conflict, congruence, and team performance

By Lindred GreerHeather CarusoKaren Jehn
Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes
2011 Vol. 116 Pages 116-128.

Across two field studies, we investigate the impact of team power on team conflict and performance. Team power is based on the control of resources that enables a team to influence others in the company. We find across both studies that low-power teams outperform high-power teams. In both studies, higher levels of process conflict present in high-power teams explain this effect fully. In our second study, we show that team interpersonal power congruence (i.e., the degree to which team members’ self-views of their individual power within the team align with the perceptions of their other team members) ameliorates the relationship between team power and process conflict, such that when team interpersonal power congruence is high, high-power teams are less likely to experience performance-detracting process conflict.