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IACM 2023

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The Rich Get Richer (at Least When They Are Men): The Reciprocal Relationship Between Power and Status

Scholars and practitioners alike have long thought that power and status share a reciprocal, mutually reinforcing relationship. However, examination of this relationship has largely been left to theoretical accounts to date due to the proliferation of static research designs and a dearth of dynamic methodology palatable to organizational researchers. Moreover, the correlation between power and status varies considerably from one study to the next, indicating the possibility of moderators. Utilizing a sample of nascent project teams observed over four time points and leveraging a contemporary methodology from developmental psychology for modeling dynamic relationships, we illustrate that there is indeed a mutually reinforcing relationship between perceived power and status. Critically, however, we find that this relationship is contingent upon gender, such that it is present for men but not for women.

James Matusik
University of Georgia
United States

Rebecca Mitchell
University of Colorado-Boulder
United States


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