Where Power Resides in Committees

Georg Granic, AK Wagner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
66 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

The power to control decisions is rarely distributed equally in committees. In a small voting committee, in which members have conflicting interests, we study how the decision right to break ties (formal power) translates into effective control over outcomes (real power). Two controlled experiments show that the level of real power held by the chair is larger than predicted by rational-choice theory. We also provide causal evidence that the legitimacy, but not the salience, of holding formal tie-breaking power affects voting behavior and thus the distribution of real power in the committee. Attitudinal measures related to the perceived attractiveness of the decision right to break ties exhibit a strong asymmetry between the one holding the decision right and those who do not.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-66
Number of pages65
JournalThe Leadership Quarterly
Volume32
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank Carlos Alós-Ferrer, Steven J. Brams, John Duffy, Holger Herz, Dennis C. Mueller, Karine Van der Straeten, Juha Tolvanen, James Tremewan, Jean-Robert Tyran, and especially the editor as well as two anonymous referees for helpful comments. We also thank seminar participants at the University of Cologne, Erasmus University Rotterdam, University of Vienna, and conference participants at the 9th AEW in Barcelona, the 2nd IMEBESS in Toulouse, the FPRWS Workshop in Vienna, the NOeG-SEA Conference in Bratislava, the GAMES 2016 in Maastricht, and the 11th NCBEE in Oslo for useful comments. The first draft was written while Granić was visiting New York University, whose hospitality is gratefully acknowledged. Granić also gratefully acknowledges financial support from the German Research Foundation (DFG) through research project AL-1169/2-1 and from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research through VIDI project 452-13-013. Wagner gratefully acknowledges support from the Heinrich Graf Hardegg'sche Stiftung as well as financial support from the German Research Foundation (DFG) through research fellowships WA3559/1-1 and WA3559/2-1 .

Funding Information:
We thank Carlos Al?s-Ferrer, Steven J. Brams, John Duffy, Holger Herz, Dennis C. Mueller, Karine Van der Straeten, Juha Tolvanen, James Tremewan, Jean-Robert Tyran, and especially the editor as well as two anonymous referees for helpful comments. We also thank seminar participants at the University of Cologne, Erasmus University Rotterdam, University of Vienna, and conference participants at the 9th AEW in Barcelona, the 2nd IMEBESS in Toulouse, the FPRWS Workshop in Vienna, the NOeG-SEA Conference in Bratislava, the GAMES 2016 in Maastricht, and the 11th NCBEE in Oslo for useful comments. The first draft was written while Grani? was visiting New York University, whose hospitality is gratefully acknowledged. Grani? also gratefully acknowledges financial support from the German Research Foundation (DFG) through research project AL-1169/2-1 and from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research through VIDI project 452-13-013. Wagner gratefully acknowledges support from the Heinrich Graf Hardegg'sche Stiftung as well as financial support from the German Research Foundation (DFG) through research fellowships WA3559/1-1 and WA3559/2-1.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Elsevier Inc.

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