MENU

You are here

Dissertations

How Power and Powerlessness Corrupt

Andy Yap, 2013
Faculty Advisor: E. Tory Higgins

Abstract

This dissertation examines how and when, both powerfulness and powerlessness, can each lead to corrupt behavior. The first half of this dissertation (Chapters 2 to 5) focuses on the link between power and corrupt behavior. Building on previous work that expansive posture induces a state of power, four studies tested whether expansive posture incidentally imposed by our environment lead to increases in dishonest behavior. Chapters 2 to 4 present three experiments, which found that powerful individuals were more likely to steal money, cheat on a test, and commit traffic violations in a driving simulation. Results suggested that participants' self-reported sense of power mediated the link between postural expansiveness and dishonesty. In an observational field study, Chapter 5 revealed that automobiles with more expansive driver's seats were more likely to be illegally parked on New York City streets.

The second part of the dissertation examines if powerlessness can lead to corrupt behavior. Chapters 6 to 10 present a new theoretical model that comprehensively integrates theories on power and regulatory focus. This model reveals that both powerfulness and powerlessness can each lead to corrupt behavior, but through different routes. Three experiments in Chapters 7 to 9 found that prevention-powerlessness and promotion-powerfulness produce more corrupt behavior than promotion-powerlessness and prevention-powerfulness, as evident in individuals' tendency to exploit others, aggression, and dishonest behavior. I also found evidence for the affective manifestations that accompany these effects. Indeed, a meta-analysis on the data suggests that prevention-powerlessness and promotion-powerfulness significantly produced more corrupt behavior than prevention-powerfulness and promotion-powerlessness. These findings have important theoretical implications for power and regulatory focus, and explicate how powerlessness can lead to taking action and even corruption.

Application Deadlines

Master of Science in Marketing >

For Fall 2016 Entry:

Available: August 1st, 2015
Deadline: January 4th, 2016

 

Master of Science in Financial Economics >

For Fall 2016 Entry:

Available: August 1st, 2015
Deadline: January 4th, 2016

 

Master of Science in Management Science and Engineering >

For Fall 2016 Entry:
To be determined

 

Available 8/1/15
Sept 2016

Doctoral
Deadline: 01/05/16

MS Marketing
Deadline: 01/04/16

MS Financial Economics
Deadline: 01/04/16

 

Doctoral Program News

Young Alumni Balseiro wins George B. Dantzig Dissertation Award

At the 2014 Informs national meeting, Santiago Balseiro was honored for his work in "Competition and Yield Optimization in Ad Exchanges". We congratulate Santiago on his accomplishment.

Read More Here

Ethan Rouen wins Deloitte Doctoral Fellowship in Accounting

The Deloitte Foundation has awarded $25,000 grants to 10 top accounting Ph.D. candidates through the Deloitte Foundation’s annual Doctoral Fellowship program. Given to students who plan to pursue academic careers upon graduation, the award will support the 2015 recipients’ final year of coursework and the subsequent year to complete their doctoral dissertation.

Read More Here

Honigsberg featured in Ideas at Work

The August issue of Ideas at Work features research that doctoral candidate Colleen Honigsberg led in conjunction with Sharon Katz.

Read More about Colleen

Wazlawek featured in Ideas at Work

Abbie Wazlawek's joint research with Professor Daniel Ames is featured in the June 24th, 2014 edition of Ideas at Work

Read More about Abbie

Ethan Rouen featured in Ideas at Work

Ethan Rouen's joint research with Professor Dan Amiram is featured in the May 15th, 2014 edition of Ideas at Work

Read More about Abbie

Rivas Wins Fellowship

The PhD program is proud to congratulate Miguel Duro Rivas, who was awarded the Nasdaq Educational Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship.

Read More about Miguel

Wong wins Deloitte Fellowship

We are proud to announce that Yu Ting (Forester) Wong is one of the recipients of the 2014 Deloitte Foundation Doctoral Fellowship in Accounting.

Read More About Yu Ting >

The PhD Program Congratulates John Yao

PhD student John Yao was a finalist in the 2013 M&SOM (Manufacturing & Service Operations Management) student paper competition.

Read More About John >

Honigsberg Named Postdoctoral Fellow

The PhD program is proud to congratulate Colleen Honigsberg, who was named the Postdoctoral Fellow in Corporate Governance at the Millstein Center at Columbia Law School in October 2013

Read More about Colleen >

 

Check Application Status

Students listening to classroom lecture

Once you've submitted your application, you can login and track your status by using the link below.

Check Status