Among the most widely used conceptualizations of social power is the five-fold typology developed by French and Raven in 1959, and numerous field studies have used this conceptualization over the past few decades. Unfortunately, however, a majority of them suffer from severe methodological shortcomings that make their interpretation problematic at best. In this article, we discuss these problems and present a reanalysis of the literature, which strongly suggests that at least some of our knowledge about the five bases of power is methodologically suspect. Following this, we also present and discuss suggestions for improving future research in this domain.
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