“Empirical evidence suggests that power elicits a generic tendency to disregard advice. We examined different responses power holders may show in their tendency to take advice depending on the construal of power.”

“We report a field study and an experiment among managers and other powerful professionals and an experiment in which participants were assigned to a powerful role. Across studies, we found a higher tendency to take advice among those who construed their power as a responsibility rather than as an opportunity.”

“This effect of the construal of power on advice taking was mediated by a heightened perceived value of advice, not by decreased confidence in own judgments or sense of power. Accordingly, the increase in advice taking when power was construed as a responsibility was observed regardless of whether the advice came from subordinates, expert advisors, or a less powerful teammate.”

“This highlights the relevance of considering how power holders construe their power in order to understand their tendency to take advice from others.”

F.R.C. De Wit, et al
Whether power holders construe their power as responsibility or opportunity influences their tendency to take advice from others
Journal of Organizational Behavior — Volume 38 #7 — September 2017 — page 923