Journal of Business and Psychology

, Volume 18, Issue 3, pp 385-402

First online:

Usage of and Compliance with Power Tactics in Routine Versus Nonroutine Work Settings

  • Joseph SchwarzwaldAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, Bar-Ilan University Email author 
  • , Meni KoslowskyAffiliated withBar Ilan University
  • , Tali Ochana-LevinAffiliated withBar Ilan University

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This study examines situational determinants of power usage and compliance derived from the Interpersonal Power Interaction Model. Organizations where routine tasks predominate were compared with those where complex tasks prevail. Samples of workers (N = 194) and supervisors (N = 100) from four companies representing routine tasks and complex ones completed three versions of the Interpersonal Power Inventory (Raven, Schwarzwald & Koslowsky, 1998). Results indicated that in settings where routine tasks predominate usage of and compliance with harsh power tactics was greater than in complex ones. Yet, soft tactics were not related to task complexity. It was also found that rank and tactics interacted. Regardless of settings, supervisors as compared to subordinates reported more frequent usage of soft tactics and less frequent usage of harsh ones. The discussion suggests a mechanism for understanding these patterns.

compliance social power interpersonal influence organizational structure