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Lindred L. Greer

While power is known to have a potent effect on individuals, researchers have only recently begun to investigate how power structures at the team level may impact team-level conflict and performance. In this chapter, the new and growing literature on power and teams is reviewed and an overarching theoretical framework is developed to explain how different team power structures impact team conflict and performance. In defining the different aspects of power structures in teams, this chapter focuses on team power level (the average level of power held by members in the team), team power dispersion (the degree to which team members vary in the level of their power, or otherwise said, are hierarchically differentiated), and team power variety (the degree to which team members vary in their primary source of power in the team). The theoretical effects of these different power structures on team conflict dynamics and team outcomes are explained, recent empirical findings on these topics are discussed, and potential moderators of these effects are proposed, including interactions among the different team power structures and the moderating role of team power structure perceptions, including the congruency and legitimacy of member perceptions. The chapter concludes with a discussion of the predominant trends in the field at this point in time and areas interesting for future research on power and conflict in teams.