Power, interactional justice, and hard influence tactics: Evidence from China and USA

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Yingchun Wang
Baiyin Yang
Cite this article:  Wang, Y., & Yang, B. (2017). Power, interactional justice, and hard influence tactics: Evidence from China and USA. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 45(1), 51-68.


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We investigated how an individual’s perception of interactional injustice interacts with a target’s position power in determining that individual’s decision to use hard influence tactics, and if this choice is influenced by the cultural factor of power distance. Our hypothesis was that China’s high-power-distance culture, in which a target is in a position in which he or she possesses a high degree of power, would deter mistreated individuals from using hard influence tactics as retaliation, whereas in the USA, where high power distance is less common, positional power would not have this effect. Participants were 415 and 311 managers, respectively, in China and the USA. Our results supported the hypotheses, suggesting that the cultural factor of power distance is a deciding factor in people’s consideration of whether or not to use hard influence tactics in reaction to the mistreatment from targets who hold a high degree of position power.

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