‘Stock’ Options: The Debilitating Effects of Autonomy and Choice on Self-Perceptions of Power

Proell, C.A., and Sauer, S.J. (2011). Stock options: The debilitating effects of autonomy and choice on self-perceptions of power. Journal of Business and Behavioral Sciences, 23(3): 82-102

44 Pages Posted: 7 Mar 2011 Last revised: 4 Jun 2013

See all articles by Chad A. Proell

Chad A. Proell

UNT- Department of Accounting

Stephen J. Sauer

Cornell University - Johnson School of Management

Date Written: March 4, 2011

Abstract

In this paper we report the results of two experimental studies designed to test how increases in objective power might systematically lead to decreases in self-perceptions of power, which in turn can lead to inaction. We draw upon theories of power and choice to examine these effects. We find that an increase in objective power, via increased autonomy and choice, results in decreased self-perceptions of power. Further, as the choice context requires more expertise, participants faced with making a decision feel more powerless. In addition, results demonstrate that when objective power and self-perceptions of power diverge, self-perceptions of power are a more significant predictor of action. We discuss the theoretical and practical implications of these findings.

Keywords: power, choice, autonomy, action

Suggested Citation

Proell, Chad A. and Sauer, Stephen J., ‘Stock’ Options: The Debilitating Effects of Autonomy and Choice on Self-Perceptions of Power (March 4, 2011). Proell, C.A., and Sauer, S.J. (2011). Stock options: The debilitating effects of autonomy and choice on self-perceptions of power. Journal of Business and Behavioral Sciences, 23(3): 82-102, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1777522 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1777522

Chad A. Proell

UNT- Department of Accounting ( email )

Denton, TX
United States

Stephen J. Sauer (Contact Author)

Cornell University - Johnson School of Management ( email )

Ithaca, NY 14853
United States

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