Functional accounts of hierarchy propose that hierarchy increases group coordination and reduces conflict. In contrast, dysfunctional accounts claim that hierarchy impairs performance by preventing low-ranking team-members from voicing their potentially valuable perspectives and insights. I will present evidence that supports both of these views.
At the individual level, I will show how being high in a hierarchy is related to well-being. At the group level, I will show that the benefits of having a strong hierarchy are contingent on the intended function of the group, the degree of interdependence within group processes, and the group outcome. I will present a series of archival and laboratory data to highlight these important conditions.