The experience of powerlessness in organizations

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

221 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Powerlessness is defined as a lack of autonomy and participation. Unexpected or undesired powerlessness is argued to generate, sequentially, reactance, helplessness, and work alienation. These stages are further argued to be mediated or moderated by generalized expectations of control, social isolation, the perceived legitimacy of organizational controls, and expectations of advancement. Self-report data from 206 nonsupervisory production employees with up to 2 years organizational tenure provided partial support for the model. Implications for theory, management, and research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)207-242
Number of pages36
JournalOrganizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes
Volume43
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1989
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Illegitimacy
Social Isolation
Self Report
Organizations
Research
Employees
Autonomy
Alienation
Social isolation
Self-report
Management theory
Participation
Legitimacy
Organizational control
Organizational tenure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Strategy and Management
  • Psychology(all)
  • Applied Psychology

Cite this

The experience of powerlessness in organizations. / Ashforth, Blake.

In: Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Vol. 43, No. 2, 1989, p. 207-242.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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