When will individuals accept or reject systems that subordinate them, when will they take actions that will challenge these status hierarchies, and when will such challenges be more intense, overt, and non-normative? Research suggests that individuals often justify and maintain systems that subordinate them, yet we suggest that there are certain boundary conditions that predict when individuals will no longer accept their place in such systems. We propose a model that examines how multiple factors: A sense of power, emotions associated with power, and perceptions of the system's legitimacy and stability — predict when those in low power will act against authority or when they will act to justify and maintain such systems. We also suggest that the level and type of action taken against a hierarchy changes as more of the elements (i.e., sense of power, emotions, perceptions of the status hierarchy) of our model are present. We predict that the actions taken against hierarchies become more overt and non-normative as more of these factors are present.

P. Martorana, Adam Galinsky, and Hayagreeva Rao
Publication Date
Research on Managing in Teams and Groups, vol. 7, Status and Groups

Full Citation

Martorana, P., Adam Galinsky, and Hayagreeva Rao
. “From system justification to system condemnation: Antecedents of attempts to change power hierarchies.” In
Research on Managing in Teams and Groups, vol. 7, Status and Groups
, edited by
Melissa C. Thomas-Hunt
Greenwich, CT
, 2005.