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ISSN: 2353-4192
Current Issues in Personality Psychology
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1/2018
vol. 6
 
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abstract:
Original paper

The need for power, need for influence, sense of power, and directiveness in female and male superiors and subordinates

Dagna Kocur
,
Eugenia Mandal

Current Issues in Personality Psychology, 6(1), 47–56
Online publish date: 2017/12/22
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Background

The purpose of the study was to examine the phenomenon of power within an organisation from the vantage point of gender, the occupied position, earnings, and the number of subordinates.



Participants and procedure

The sample group comprised 107 female and 98 male participants. The mean age was 42.14 years (SD = 11.73). The study covered 100 superiors and 105 subordinates. The research tools were: the Need for Power and Influence Questionnaire (Bennett, 1988), the Personal Sense of Power Scale (Anderson, John, & Keltner, 2012), and the Directiveness Scale SD (Ray, 1976).



Results

The superiors scored significantly higher on the need for power, need for influence, and directiveness. They also scored higher in terms of the need for power in relations with other people, with colleagues, and in superior-subordinate relations. The number of male leaders was conspicuously greater than the number of female leaders. Furthermore, women had fewer subordinates than men and earned less than men. Female participants scored lower on the sense of power and the need for power scales.



Conclusions

Occupying either an executive or subordinate position differentiates between women and men in terms of sense of power in interpersonal relationships. The findings on sense of power in the professional context may be applied in organisational psychology in order to increase employees’ competence and qualifications.
keywords:

power; need for power; sense of power; gender; superiors; subordinates

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