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Executive Overview Interest in and research about affect in organizations have expanded dramatically in recent years. This article reviews what we know about affect in organizations, focusing on how employees' moods, emotions, and dispositional affect influence critical organizational outcomes such as job performance, decision making, creativity, turnover, prosocial behavior, teamwork, negotiation, and leadership. This review highlights pervasive and consistent effects, showing the importance of affect in shaping a wide variety of organizational behaviors, the knowledge of which is critical for researchers, managers, and employees. CEO wanted to cut our budget by 6%! Jerry's voice had an edge to it, and I could tell that my explanations about the budget were not going to solve this one. Would he ex-plode? Would he blame me? Worse, would he threaten to quit? I could feel the good mood I had started with this morning rapidly disappearing. The insistent brittleness in his voice made me feel defensive and I was starting to get angry myself. I needed to decide what to do next, but I was having trouble remembering the rationale for the raise. I felt like yelling at him. That, I told myself, cannot happen. I need to keep it under control. . .I'm the boss here, remember? He's watching how I act. I need to figure out how I want to deal with his anger—and mine. . .
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ARTICLES
Why Does Affect Matter in Organizations?
by Sigal G. Barsade and Donald E. Gibson
1
Executive Overview
Interest in and research about affect in organizations have expanded dramatically in recent years. This
article reviews what we know about affect in organizations, focusing on how employees’ moods, emotions,
and dispositional affect influence critical organizational outcomes such as job performance, decision
making, creativity, turnover, prosocial behavior, teamwork, negotiation, and leadership. This review
highlights pervasive and consistent effects, showing the importance of affect in shaping a wide variety of
organizational behaviors, the knowledge of which is critical for researchers, managers, and employees.
Why Does Affect Matter in Organizations?
An organizational vignette...
I had just mentioned how small a raise I was going to give
to Jerry, my top salesperson this year. I could see a subtle
wave of anger and frustration wash over his usually calm
features. I had been afraid this was going to happen. But
what could I do? I was caught in the middle—the CEO
wanted to cut our budget by 6%! Jerry’s voice had an
edge to it, and I could tell that my explanations about the
budget were not going to solve this one. Would he ex-
plode? Would he blame me? Worse, would he threaten to
quit? I could feel the good mood I had started with this
morning rapidly disappearing. The insistent brittleness in
his voice made me feel defensive and I was starting to get
angry myself. I needed to decide what to do next, but I
was having trouble remembering the rationale for the
raise. I felt like yelling at him. That, I told myself,
cannot happen. I need to keep it under control. . .I’m
the boss here, remember? He’s watching how I act. I
need to figure out how I want to deal with his
anger—and mine. . .
Affect permeates organizations. It is present in
the interdependent relationships we hold with
bosses, team members, and subordinates. It is
present in deadlines, in group projects, in human
resource processes like performance appraisals and
selection interviews. Affective processes (more
commonly known as emotions) create and sustain
work motivation. They lurk behind political be-
havior; they animate our decisions; they are es-
sential to leadership. Strong affective feelings are
present at any time we confront work issues that
matter to us and our organizational performance.
In the last 30 years, an “affective revolution”
has taken place, in which academics and managers
alike have begun to appreciate how an organiza-
tional lens that integrates employee affect pro-
vides a perspective missing from earlier views
(Barsade, Brief, & Spataro, 2003). While much
about affect remains difficult to explain, dramatic
progress has been made in understanding individ-
uals’ affective lives in organizations. In this article,
we examine why affect is important to organiza-
tional life. We do so by drawing on a range of
studies that help identify critical organizational
1
Order of authorship is alphabetical; both authors contributed equally.
We would like to thank Peter Cappelli, Yochi Cohen Charash, Chia-Jung
Tsay, Marina Milonova, Amanda O’Neill and our anonymous reviewers for
their help and insights.
*Sigal G. Barsade (barsade@wharton.upenn.edu) is an Associate Professor of Management at the Wharton School, The University of
Pennsylvania.
Donald E. Gibson (dgibson@mail.fairfield.edu) is an Associate Professor of Management at the Dolan School of Business, Fairfield
University.
36 FebruaryAcademy of Management Perspectives
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outcomes driven by affect and show how under-
standing feelings can help researchers, managers,
and employees themselves explain and predict
attitudes and behavior in organizations, from turn-
over to decision making to leadership. We address
the question, “How does research seen through
the lens of affect cause us to think differently
about the assumptions we make about how em-
ployees work?”
Defining Affect in Organizations
We begin by defining a range of terms often
used in research on affect in organizations
(see Table 1). These terms describe phe-
nomena ranging from discrete emotions (fear, an-
ger, or disgust), to moods (feeling cheerful versus
feeling melancholy), to dispositional traits (“He’s
such a negative person”; “She’s always so up-
beat!”), to meta-emotional abilities, such as emo-
tional intelligence (“My boss is very good at un-
derstanding how the people on our team are
feeling”). Affect can be thought of as an umbrella
term encompassing a broad range of feelings that
individuals experience, including feeling states,
which are in-the-moment, short-term affective
experiences, and feeling traits, which are more sta-
ble tendencies to feel and act in certain ways
(Watson & Clark, 1984).
2
Within feeling states
there are two established categories: emotions and
moods. Emotions are elicited by a particular target
or cause, often include physiological reactions and
action sequences, and are relatively intense and
short-lived (Frijda, 1986; Lazarus, 1991). In con-
trast, moods are more diffuse, take the form of a
general positive (pleasant) or negative (unpleas-
ant) feeling, and tend not to be focused on a
specific cause (Frijda, 1986; Tellegen, 1985).
There is only one category of feeling trait: dispo-
sitional affect. This is a personality trait referring to
a person’s relatively stable, underlying tendency to
experience positive and negative moods and emo-
tions (Watson & Clark, 1984).
In terms of research approaches, emotions tend
to be assessed and examined differently than
moods and dispositional affect. Because emotions
are focused on a specific target or cause, they have
come to be regarded as discrete, and are linked to
specific tendencies to act (such as the desire to
approach objects in anger and to avoid them in
fear; Frijda, 1986). The discrete emotions ap-
proach has identified “basic” or primary emotions,
including joy, love, anger, fear, sadness, disgust,
and surprise, each with a unique set of prototypi-
cal antecedents and consequences—though the
precise number and identity of discrete emotions
are subjects of much debate (see Ekman, 1992;
Ortony & Turner, 1990). Moods and dispositional
affect, in contrast, tend to be examined through
an approach that summarizes the wide variety of
possible human affective experiences into a few
critical underlying dimensions. Dimensional ap-
proaches often arrange affective experience labels
(such as “astonished,” “enthusiastic,” or
“grouchy”) in a circular graph called an affective
circumplex, and represent the dimensions as axes
on that circumplex (see Figure 1).
The first factor of the circumplex, on the x axis,
is “pleasantness,” a dimension ranging from high
pleasantness to low pleasantness (or unpleasant).
The second dimension, on the y axis, is an “acti-
vation/energy” dimension, ranging from high to
low energy (Russell, 1980). Moods are usually
examined based on their hedonic tone—that is,
how pleasant (toward happy) or unpleasant (to-
ward sad) the mood is. Dispositional affect can be
examined as trait pleasantness (e.g. Staw & Bar-
sade, 1993) or as the combination of the pleasant-
ness and energy dimensions, creating the two in-
dependent constructs of positive affectivity (PA)
and negative affectivity (NA) (Watson, Clark, &
Tellegen, 1988; see the dotted lines in Figure 1).
For example, individuals characterized by high
dispositional NA tend to be distressed, upset, and
have a negative view of self over time and across
situations, as opposed to the more serene, calm,
relaxation shown by people who are low in NA;
people high in dispositional PA tend to be cheer-
ful and energetic, and experience positive moods,
such as pleasure or well-being, across a variety of
situations, as compared to those low in PA who
experience more sadness, melancholy, dullness, or
2
These affective states and traits differ from sentiments or even attitudes
(e.g., job satisfaction) in that the latter reflect an evaluation of a particular
object, and whether that object is evaluated as something that is liked or
disliked (Kelly & Barsade, 2001; Weiss, 2002).
2007 37Barsade and Gibson
Table 1
Translating Affective Terms
Terms Used in Research Formal Definition Colloquial Terms
Affect Umbrella term encompassing a broad range of feelings
that individuals experience, including feeling states, such
as moods and discrete emotions, and traits, such as trait
positive and negative affectivity (all defined below).
“I feel . . .” “She seems to be feeling . . . “
“He is usually unemotional . . .”
Discrete Emotions Emotions are focused on a specific target or cause –
generally realized by the perceiver of the emotion;
relatively intense and very short-lived. After initial
intensity, can sometimes transform into a mood.
For example, love, anger, hate, fear,
jealousy, happiness, sadness, grief, rage,
aggravation, ecstasy, affection, joy, envy,
fright, etc.
Moods Generally take the form of a global positive (pleasant) or
negative (unpleasant) feeling; tend to be diffuse—not
focused on a specific cause—and often not realized by the
perceiver of the mood; medium duration (from a few
moments to as long as a few weeks or more).
Feeling good, bad, negative, positive,
cheerful, down, pleasant, irritable, etc.
Dispositional (Trait) Affect Overall personality tendency to respond to situations in
stable, predictable ways. A person’s “affective lens” on the
world.
“No matter what, he’s always ____.” “She
tends to be in a ____ mood all the time.”
“He is always so negative.”
a) (Trait) Positive
Affectivity
Individuals who tend to be cheerful and energetic, and who
experience positive moods, such as pleasure or well-being,
across a variety of situations as compared to people who
tend to be low energy and sluggish or melancholy.
“She’s always so energetic and upbeat!”
“He’s such a downer all the time!”
b) (Trait) Negative
Affectivity
Individuals who tend to be distressed and upset, and have a
negative view of self over time and across situations, as
compared to people who are more calm, serene and
relaxed.
“She is always so hostile in her approach.”
“Why is he always so anxious/nervous?” “I
admire his steady calmness and serenity.”
Emotional Intelligence “The ability to monitor one’s own and others’ feelings and
emotions, to discriminate among them, and to use this
information to guide one’s thinking and actions” (Salovey
& Mayer, 1990: 189).
“My manager is terrible at expressing his
emotions.” “My teammate is great at
knowing how everyone else on the team is
feeling.” “The CEO is brilliant at dealing with
her employees’ emotions—a real
motivator!”
Emotional Regulation Individuals’ attempts to “influence which emotions they
have, when they have them, and how they experience and
express these emotions” (Gross, 1998a: 275).
“He handles his emotions really well, even
under high pressure situations.”
Emotional Labor Requires an employee to “induce or suppress feeling in
order to sustain the outward countenance that produces the
proper state of mind in others” (Hochschild, 1983: 7).
She has to put on a smile when dealing with
customers, because it’s part of the job.
Emotional Contagion Processes that allow the sharing or transferring of emotions
from one individual to other group members; the tendency
to mimic the nonverbal behavior of others, to “synchronize
facial expressions, vocalizations, postures, and
movements” with others, and in turn, to “converge
emotionally” (Hatfield, Cacioppo, & Rapson, 1994).
“And when we feel good, it’s contagious.”
(Advertising slogan from Southwest Airlines)
“I don’t know why, but every time I talk to
him I feel really anxious afterwards.”
“Infectious enthusiasm.”
Collective Affect A “bottom-up” approach to collective affect emphasizes the
affective composition of the various affective attributes of
the group’s members. That is, the degree to which
individual level affective characteristics combine, often
through emotional contagion, to form group level emotion
or mood. A “top-down” approach to collective affect
emphasizes the degree to which groups are characterized
by emotion norms for feeling and expression.
“Our group has a _____ feel to it.” “What a
negative group!” “In our group showing
positivity is very important.”
38 FebruaryAcademy of Management Perspectives
lethargy (Watson & Tellegen, 1985). Other affec-
tive traits that can influence work behavior in-
clude people’s propensities to feeling emotions
strongly (affective intensity; Larsen & Diener,
1987); being prone to catching other people’s
emotions (emotional contagion; Hatfield, Ca-
cioppo, & Rapson, 1994; Doherty, 1997); and
how emotionally expressive people tend to be
(emotional expressivity; Kring, Smith, & Neale,
1994).
New Ways of Approaching Affect in
Organizations
The delineation of affective terms outlined
above represents significant progress in a field
that has traditionally been characterized by
little agreement over the meaning and boundaries
of basic constructs. This research progress now
makes it possible to examine affective influences
on organizational outcomes with greater precision
and specificity. While this increasing consistency
in definitions has helped, the range of approaches
to studying affect in organizations remains broad.
We identify three emerging trends in conceiving
affect in organizations that take the definitions we
have outlined in new directions and will continue
to shape research language and focus.
Emotional Intelligence
Recently, there has been significant popular and
academic interest in the phenomenon of emo-
tional intelligence (EI), an “ability to monitor
one’s own and others’ feelings and emotions, to
discriminate among them, and to use this infor-
Figure 1
The Circumplex Model of Affect.
Adapted from Feldman Barrett, L., & Russell, J.A. (1998). Independence and bipolarity in the structure of current affect. Journal of Personality and Social
Psychology, 74(4), 967–984 and Larsen, R. J., & Diener, E. (1992). Promises and problems with the circumplex model of emotion. In M. S. Clark (Ed.),
Emotion. Review of personality and social psychology (Vol. 13, pp. 25–59). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, Inc.
2007 39Barsade and Gibson
mation to guide one’s thinking and actions”
(Salovey & Mayer, 1990: 189). The idea behind
emotional intelligence in the workplace is that it
is a skill through which employees treat emotions
as valuable data in navigating a situation. Let’s say
a sales manager has come up with an amazing idea
that will increase corporate revenue by up to
200%, but knows that his boss tends to be irritable
and short-tempered in the morning. Having emo-
tional intelligence means that this manager will
first recognize and consider this emotional fact
about his boss, and despite the stunning nature of
his idea—and his own excitement— he will regu-
late his own emotions, curb his enthusiasm, and
wait until the afternoon to approach his boss. It
also means understanding how one’s own emo-
tions and those of others can facilitate thinking.
For example, the head of a product development
team who is about to embark on a large-scale
development effort senses that the team is gener-
ally feeling down and disheartened because some
key members of the team have left for a different
firm. He knows that he must get his team back
into a positive, upbeat mood for the team mem-
bers to be productively creative in the new
project. He arranges to take them on a “brain-
storming retreat” of white-water river rafting
where they can connect as the newly shaped team,
and most importantly, raise their positivity as they
embark on this new project. In doing so, this
project leader is actively managing his own emo-
tions and those of his team to help meet their
goals; he is “using emotions to think intelli-
gently.”
Mayer and Salovey’s (1997) emotional intelli-
gence model elaborates on this premise and is
based on the following four factors: (1) Perceiving
Emotions: the degree to which people are capable
of attending to their emotions, expressing those
emotions, and reading the emotions of others; (2)
Using Emotions: the process of knowing which
emotions facilitate cognition effectively and using
them to do so; (3) Understanding Emotions: the
understanding of complicated emotional dynam-
ics, including how emotions can change from one
to another (e.g., embarrassment can turn into
anger rather than apology); and (4) Managing
Emotions: the knowledge of how to regulate one’s
own and others’ emotions to reach goals (see
Salovey & Grewal, 2005 for review).
It is important to note, however, that there is a
debate in the emotional intelligence field as to the
exact nature of emotional intelligence (see Brack-
ett, Rivers, Shiffman, Lerner, & Salovey, 2006).
One group of researchers uses an “abilities” ap-
proach based on the four-factor model described
above (Mayer & Salovey, 1997), and measures
emotional intelligence through performance tests
(e.g., the MSCEIT, a computer-based EI test,
Mayer, Salovey, Caruso, & Sitarenios, 2003). This
approach differs from that of other researchers
who take a “mixed model” approach using self-
report measures of emotional intelligence.
3
Self-
report measures of EI ask respondents for percep-
tions of their own emotional abilities through
ratings on items such as, “I am generally very good
at calming someone down when he or she is
upset,” or “I can tell how people are feeling even
if they never tell me.” While these self-report
measures may indicate respondents’ perceptions of
emotional self-efficacy (Tett, Fox, & Wang,
2005), there is serious question as to whether
respondents can be unbiased about their own
emotional skills (Matthews, Roberts, & Zeidner,
2004). One might compare this approach to as-
sessing mathematical skills by asking respondents,
“How good are you at solving algebraic equa-
tions?” rather than asking the person to actually
solve an algebraic equation. There is also serious
concern that “mixed model” self-report-based ap-
proaches have substantial overlap with other per-
sonality measures such as the “Big Five” personal-
ity factors leading to issues of construct validity
(Brackett, Mayer, & Warner, 2004).
4
This issue highlights the degree to which emo-
tional intelligence is still a nascent field, both
3
This includes researchers who base their self-report assessments on
the four-factor EI model, and researchers who expanded the construct to
include components outside that model (see Mayer, Salovey, & Caruso,
2000 for a more detailed discussion of these differences).
4
The Big Five model of personality traits measures the dimensions of
extraversion, conscientiousness, agreeableness, emotional stability (also
known as neuroticism) and openness to experience in individuals (McCrae
& Costa, 1987). These factors have emerged in a wide variety of studies of
personality dimensions and are widely accepted by personality psychologists
(Hogan, Hogan, & Roberts, 1996), and have been found to be relevant to
a variety of organizational outcomes (Barrick & Mount, 1991).
40 FebruaryAcademy of Management Perspectives
theoretically and methodologically, currently un-
dergoing its own set of growth crises on a variety
of dimensions (see Conte, 2005; Daus & Ashka-
nasy, 2005), including methodological challenges
within the current ability-based tests (Matthews
et al., 2004). However, overall there is positive
support for the validity of the EI construct and its
relationship to a variety of life outcomes, includ-
ing behavior at work (Mayer, Roberts, & Barsade,
forthcoming), and we predict that the construct of
emotional intelligence, particularly if decon-
structed into its component parts (e.g., the four
factors), will ultimately have much to offer to our
understanding of organizational life.
Emotion Regulation and Emotional Labor
A second focus has been on the degree to which
employees manage or regulate their emotional ex-
pression through the facial “mask” they present to
others. This perspective first notes that an em-
ployee’s felt emotions can be distinguished from
his or her displayed emotions, which are the facial
expressions, gestures, tone of voice, and language
used to convey feeling (Rafaeli & Sutton, 1989).
Displaying emotions that differ from what we are
actually feeling involves emotional regulation,
which is the attempt to influence which emotions
we have, when we have them, and how these
emotions are experienced or expressed (Gross,
1998a). It thus includes a broad range of regula-
tory activities, including, as the introductory vi-
gnette suggests, controlling anger when a person
feels that it will reflect badly on his or her repu-
tation.
When engaging in emotional labor, an organi-
zation-specific type of regulation, employees man-
age their public displays of emotions to comply
with normative “display rules” (Ekman, 1973;
Hochschild, 1983). Such organizational display
rules or emotion norms can be used as a mecha-
nism for increasing performance—such as sales-
people keeping an upbeat, enthusiastic expression
with customers to encourage purchasing behavior
(Pugh, 2001; Totterdell & Holman, 2003); law-
yers using an aggressive, angry tone to encourage
compliance in adversaries (Pierce, 1995); medical
professionals adopting norms of intentional affec-
tive neutrality (Smith & Kleinman, 1989); and
bill collectors attempting to calm or browbeat
debtors (Sutton, 1991). This is considered to be
labor because part of what these employees are
being paid to do is regulating their own emotions
to produce the appropriate emotional state in oth-
ers (Hochschild, 1983). Research in this area has
also been advanced by accentuating how the or-
ganizational context constrains or encourages
emotion norms (e.g., employees showing positive
emotions only during less busy times in conve-
nience stores or banks; Pugh, 2001; Rafaeli &
Sutton, 1990).
Emotional labor has also been discussed in
terms of “surface acting,” when employees show
emotions without necessarily feeling them (such
as when an irked airline customer service agent
forces himself to smile and be friendly as a cus-
tomer becomes increasingly agitated about lost
luggage); and “deep acting,” when employees dis-
play emotions they have actually worked on feel-
ing (such as if the airline customer service agent
actually tries to sympathize with the customer and
show emotions aligned with feeling empathy). It
was initially theorized that a discrepancy between
individuals’ emotional display and their underly-
ing feelings (characteristic of surface acting)
would cause “emotional dissonance” and contrib-
ute to work strain (Hochschild, 1983; Morris &
Feldman, 1996). That is, when a customer service
agent continuously forces himself to smile despite
feeling negative affect such as irritation, the dis-
sonance created may be a source of anxiety, de-
pression, and burnout (Grandey, 2003). However,
researchers have also found that for many workers
surface acting does not cause strain, particularly if
workers are “faking in good faith” and believe the
act they are putting on is a legitimate part of the
work role (Rafaeli & Sutton, 1989: 37; see sum-
mary in Coˆte´, 2005). Given these divergent find-
ings, researchers are working to understand the
conditions under which emotion regulation in the
form of surface acting does result in strain (Coˆte´,
2005), including the role of individual differences
and organizational context (Grandey, 2000). One
possible clue to this question comes from emotion
regulation research suggesting that regulating
emotions by anticipating them and engaging in
cognitive re-framing (for example, telling oneself
2007 41Barsade and Gibson
in advance to be objective in a potentially emo-
tionally charged situation) causes less strain than
regulating emotions through suppression (for ex-
ample, attempting to “surface act” cheerful when
currently feeling angry) (Gross, 1998b).
Emotional Contagion and Collective Affect
The idea that affect not only occurs intrapsychi-
cally but has a strong social component which can
influence dyadic and group interactions is a third
emerging area of research (Barsade & Gibson,
1998; Kelly & Barsade, 2001; Keltner & Haidt,
1999). The process of emotional contagion is a
primary mechanism through which emotions are
shared and become social, creating collective
emotion.
Emotional contagion, characterized as pro-
cesses that allow the sharing or transferring of
emotions from one individual to other group
members, often occurs without conscious knowl-
edge (although it can also be consciously induced;
Barsade, 2002). This everyday, continuous, auto-
matic process has been described as a tendency to
mimic the nonverbal behavior of others, to “syn-
chronize facial expressions, vocalizations, pos-
tures, and movements” with others, and in turn, to
“converge emotionally” (Hatfield, Cacioppo, &
Rapson, 1994). Research has suggested this mim-
icry can be explained by the facial feedback hy-
pothesis, such that individuals who model certain
facial displays corresponding to emotions actually
begin to experience the same emotions (Larsen &
Kasimatis, 1990; Strack, Martin, & Stepper,
1988). The contagion process may be modified by
a range of factors, such as the degree to which
individuals are good senders and receivers of emo-
tion (Hatfield et al., 1994; Sullins, 1989).
While studies exploring the influence of emo-
tional contagion initially focused primarily on dy-
adic settings, findings from both lab and field
research suggest that contagion also functions at
the group level. For example, in one study, con-
tagion occurred and influenced group dynamics
both with the deliberate mood induction by the
presence of a trained confederate, and within
group dynamics without a confederate (Barsade,
2002). Moving to organizational settings, in an
in-depth daily tracking of nurse and accountant
work groups, collective team mood convergence, a
product of contagion, was found to occur, partic-
ularly in those with high group cohesion (Totter-
dell, Kellet, Teuchmann, & Briner, 1998). In a
broader study of 70 work teams across 51 different
organizational contexts (including product teams,
service teams, strategic planning teams, consult-
ing teams, and engineering teams), mood conver-
gence occurred across all dimensions of the affec-
tive circumplex (Bartel & Saavedra, 2000). In a
recent study of group contagion in a naturalistic
team performance setting, not only was contagion
shown to occur, but this contagion was stronger
for people who had a higher dispositional propensity
toward emotional contagion, and also for those who
had more collectivistic tendencies toward the team
(Ilies, Wagner, & Morgeson, in press).
Why Does Affect Matter in Organizations?
We have laid the groundwork for understand-
ing and answering this question by outlining
the parameters of affect as a construct. We
now focus on how affect of all sorts influences the
thoughts and behaviors of individuals and groups
within organizations. We do so by first examining
a relationship that has long intrigued researchers:
whether employees’ feelings influence their work
performance. We then examine specific relation-
ships between affect and decision making, creativ-
ity, group dynamics, and individual behaviors,
such as turnover, helping behavior, negotiation,
and leadership. Finally, we draw conclusions from
these studies to indicate where we are and what
challenges we face in exploring future directions
in organizational research.
Affect and Performance
The dominant hypothesis about employee emo-
tions in the 20
th
century was that happy workers
ought to be productive workers (Staw, Bell, &
Clausen, 1986). Up until the 1980s, however,
“happiness” was often measured using attitudinal
measures such as job satisfaction, and the results
were decidedly modest.
5
Recently, measures that
5
Recent meta-analyses indicate that job satisfaction and performance
are correlated in the range of .17 (Iaffaldano & Muchinsky, 1985) to .30
42 FebruaryAcademy of Management Perspectives
more directly measure happiness—those focusing
on state and trait positive affect— have been used
to examine this critical relationship. These studies
have produced more compelling results. Indeed, a
comprehensive meta-analysis indicated that an
individual’s tendency to experience positive emo-
tions and moods is associated with increases in a
variety of work performance measures, including
more positive supervisory evaluations, higher in-
come, enhanced negotiating ability, and perform-
ing discretionary acts for the benefit of the orga-
nization (Lyubomirsky, King, & Diener, 2005).
Most studies of affect and work-related perfor-
mance have examined employees’ dispositional
affect (see Staw & Cohen-Charash, 2005 for a
review). For example, an experimental study fo-
cusing on managerial performance found that dis-
positional positive affect was a significant predic-
tor of decision-making effectiveness, interpersonal
performance, and ratings of managerial potential
(Staw & Barsade, 1993). Longitudinal field re-
search has indicated that employees who tend to
meet work obstacles in a positive mood (using
both state and trait measures) tend to reap more
favorable outcomes—including more favorable su-
pervisor evaluations and higher pay 18 months
after the initial measure of positive emotions—
than their more negative counterparts (Staw, Sut-
ton, & Pelled, 1994). Within the sales domain,
salespeople’s general positive affect toward their
customers was found to significantly predict sales
performance (Sharma & Levy, 2003). Overall,
research shows a consistent, strong relationship
between trait positive affect measures and various
measures of work performance. This relationship
has held in experimental, cross-sectional, and lon-
gitudinal studies, even after controlling for possi-
ble confounding variables and using both objec-
tive and subjective ratings (see review in
Cropanzano & Wright, 2001).
When examining the influence of mood on
performance, researchers have found emotional
contagion to be a useful mechanism for under-
standing performance outcomes. For example, the
positive mood of bank tellers was found to lead to
positive emotional contagion among their cus-
tomers, which was then positively associated with
customer evaluations of service quality (Pugh,
2001). In a cleverly done coder observation study
of emotional contagion within 220 employee-cus-
tomer encounters in coffee shops, behavioral
mimicry, an underlying mechanism of emotional
contagion, was shown to occur (the strength of
the employees’ smiles predicted customers’ smiles
during the purchase encounter, even above the
degree of smiling the customers came into the
coffee shop with). This emotional contagion also
predicted customers’ satisfaction with the encoun-
ter (Barger & Grandey, 2006). Similarly, a study
involving a short-term affect measure (though not
quite a measure of mood) found that in a sample
of shoe salespeople, engaging in affectively posi-
tive behaviors with customers such as greeting,
smiling, and eye contact was found to correlate
with customers’ in-store positive mood, which was
then related to the amount of time the customers
spent in the store and their reported willingness to
come and shop there again (Tsai & Huang, 2002).
This effect of emotional contagion has also
been found at the group level. For example, in a
simulated managerial group decision-making task,
the degree to which individuals within the group
experienced positive contagion predicted how
positively other group members rated their perfor-
mance (Barsade, 2002). In the same study, looking
at more collective outcomes, the degree to which
groups experienced positive versus negative con-
tagion led to less conflict and greater cooperation
in the way money was allocated in the salary
decision-making task. Groups in which positive
emotional contagion occurred allocated the pot of
money more evenly among the group members, as
compared to groups in which negative emotional
contagion occurred. In a study of the influence of
the contagion of mood of a group leader on group
members, the positive mood of the leader posi-
tively influenced group members at both the in-
dividual and collective level with the opposite for
leader negative mood. The leader’s positive mood
(Judge et al., 2001). A problem with using an attitudinal measure such as
job satisfaction as a proxy for happiness, however, is that much of job
satisfaction also involves a cognitive component— how employees think or
feel about work, whether they like it or not, which is different from the
experience of affect at work (Brief & Weiss, 2002; George, 1989), which is
how an employee actually feels while on the job and their emotional
approach to life and work.
2007 43Barsade and Gibson
also had a subsequent influence on group coordi-
nation and effort (Sy, Coˆte´, & Saavedra, 2005).
Relatedly, while we have been focused on emo-
tional contagion as a transient state, one’s person-
ality trait propensity toward emotional contagion
has also begun to be linked to work outcomes. For
example, it has been related to positive salesper-
son performance, but also to a greater likelihood
of burnout (Verbeke, 1997), and greater vulnera-
bility to emotional exhaustion when faced with
dealing with death and dying among oncology
care providers (LeBlanc, Bakker, Peeters, Van-
Heesch, & Schaufeli, 2001).
It is not clear whether dispositional affect or
mood has a stronger influence on performance,
although there are theories which integrate the
two (Weiss & Cropanzano, 1996). There have
been more studies examining dispositional affect,
but this may be because dispositional affect is
more easily measured than mood, and much easier
than measuring discrete emotions. In an empirical
test of state versus trait affective measures, a study
of public sector employees showed that trait mea-
sures (using a measure of positive psychological
well-being) related to supervisor performance rat-
ings beyond the effects of mood. A replication of
the study with social welfare counselors repeated
the trait findings, but also found that negative
mood was predictive of performance while con-
trolling for trait measures. Thus, both types of
affect mattered in accounting for performance
(Wright, Cropanzano, & Meyer, 2004). It has
been argued that the link between employees’
more short-lived feeling states (e.g. moods and
emotions) and performance measures such as su-
pervisory ratings are inconsistent because of the
time lag problem: employees’ moods and emotions
may be fleeting and short-term, while perfor-
mance measures used tend to reflect longer periods
of evaluation (usually six months to one year;
Wright & Staw, 1999). As we review below, when
performance is measured in more time-delimited
ways (such as through effective decision making,
creativity, or prosocial behaviors), the results for
positive mood are quite compelling. We encour-
age more research examining the influence of
mood, and especially discrete emotions, on perfor-
mance (see Lazarus & Cohen-Charash, 2001).
Last, a more recent line of research examines
whether an employee’s emotional intelligence
leads to increased job performance, with most
studies to date finding results with overall emo-
tional intelligence and the sub-factor of emotional
recognition/perception (see Mayer et al., forth-
coming for a comprehensive review of the influ-
ence of emotional intelligence on work out-
comes). Emotional intelligence has been found to
positively influence performance on problem solv-
ing tasks (Lam & Kirby, 2002; Lyons & Schnei-
der, 2005); and in a variety of managerial simula-
tions, including problem analysis in a managerial
in-box exercise, a layoff decision-making task, and
a simulated claims adjustment task (Day & Car-
roll, 2004; Feyerham & Rice, 2002; Matsumoto et
al., 2004). There have some field studies tying
emotional intelligence with performance, mainly
within the domain of emotion perception skills. A
recent meta-analysis reported a positive relation-
ship with greater emotion perception (emotion
recognition accuracy) and better work outcomes
in occupations as diverse as physicians, medical
interns, human service workers, foreign service
officers, principals, public service interns, school
teachers, business executives, clinicians and busi-
ness managers (Elfenbein, Foo, White, & Tan, in
press). There are significantly fewer field studies
looking at emotional intelligence more broadly
than emotional perception. One such recent em-
pirical examination studied 44 analysts and cleri-
cal employees from the finance department of a
Fortune 500 insurance company and found that
the employees with higher emotional intelligence
ability scores (which varied by which of the four
factors was being examined) received greater
merit increases and were employed at a higher
rank in the company. Employees with higher emo-
tional intelligence were also rated by both their
supervisors and teammates as having better social
skills than employees with lower emotional intel-
ligence ability scores (Lopes et al., 2000).
Overall, however, within field settings, the re-
search evidence tying emotional intelligence abil-
ities to work performance is still in its beginning
phases and has not yet lived up to the claims of its
popular press fame. One possibility may be that
the measures for this construct need to be im-
44 FebruaryAcademy of Management Perspectives
proved, or that outcome variables need to be
chosen more carefully. Another likely possibility
is that cognitive intelligence or other personality
variables (Gohm, Corser, & Dalsky, 2005; Rubin,
Munz, & Bommer, 2005) are particularly impor-
tant in organizational settings and may interact
with emotional intelligence in a way that then
influences performance. For example, one recent
study made exactly this point and found that
among staff members in a public university, the
influence of high emotional intelligence on per-
formance was more pronounced for employees
who had lower cognitive intelligence scores (Coˆte´
& Miners, 2006). Finally, it may be that the field
has not sufficiently considered the links between
the subcomponents of emotional intelligence, tak-
ing into account the entire “EI profile,” rather
than the skills separately. For example, if there are
two managers who are both high in ability to read
others’ emotions, but one is better than the other
in regulating her own emotions or those of others,
the latter manager may well be more successful at
her job.
While many of the preceding studies have used
quantitative task output as their measure of per-
formance, the direction of emotions research has
been to examine a variety of other outcome vari-
ables that may also be considered measures of
“performance,” depending on the task context.
These include effective decision making, creativ-
ity, turnover, prosocial behaviors, and leadership.
We turn to these variables next.
Affect and Decision Making
The influence of affect on decision making has
been an area of active debate focused on whether
positive or negative affect leads to better out-
comes. Support for the influence of positive emo-
tions on decision making comes from a variety of
domains. Alice Isen and her colleagues, in a vo-
luminous research stream, have consistently
shown that positive mood inductions lead to bet-
ter, more efficient decision making, including de-
cision making requiring more careful, systematic,
and thorough processing (see Isen, 2001; Isen &
Labroo, 2003 for reviews). For example, in one
study in a hospital setting, Estrada, Isen, and
Young (1997) induced positive affect in practicing
physicians by providing a small gift of candy. The
physicians then had to read a description of a
patient and think aloud (which was recorded and
rated by outside coders) as they tried to determine
the correct diagnosis. It was found that while the
positive affect-induced doctors considered as
many diagnoses as doctors who did not undergo
the positive mood induction (received no candy),
the positive affect-induced doctors came to the
correct solution significantly earlier than control
participants, and were less likely to incorrectly
anchor on an incorrect hypothesis. This study
suggests that positive affect can facilitate the thor-
ough, efficient, and flexible use of new informa-
tion, which increases decision effectiveness.
However, studies have also found that negative
affect can lead to more effective decision making.
One set of studies shows that negative affect leads
to more concentrated, detailed, and analytic pro-
cessing (see Schwarz, Bless, & Bohner, 1991 for a
review) while positive affect can lead to the op-
posite (Melton, 1995; Mackie & Worth, 1989). A
set of studies in the clinical literature shows a
“depressive realism effect” in which people who
are depressed (trait affect) have more accurate
judgments than nondepressed people (Alloy &
Abramson, 1988). Finally, the “mood-as-input”
model (Martin, Ward, Achee, & Wyer, 1993)
predicts that negative affect will lead to more
effortful processing. The rationale for this is that
people use their moods as indications of the state
of their environment. Thus, negative moods serve
as a signal to people that something is wrong, so
that active cognitive processing will continue as
people try to solve the problem, whereas positive
mood signals that all is well and people should not
continue to analyze.
Addressing this debate within the organiza-
tional domain, Staw and Barsade (1993) directly
tackled the question of whether positive versus
negative affect contributes to effective decision
making. In a managerial simulation with MBA
students, they offered competing hypotheses as to
whether high versus low trait positive affect par-
ticipants would do better in decision making on a
managerial simulation scored by outside raters.
They found a salutary influence of positive affect
on a gamut of detailed, effortful decision making
2007 45Barsade and Gibson
tasks, including: greater decision making accuracy;
greater amount of additional information re-
quested before making decisions; greater use of
quantitative indices in the decision making, and
greater recognition of situational contingencies.
They thus concluded that positive affect led to
better decision making than negative affect. Pos-
itive affect has also been linked to deeper analytic
processing and efficiency in decision making. In a
study of graduating university students seeking
employment, those with higher trait positive af-
fectivity had more clarity about their job search
(integrating information more deeply and effi-
ciently), which then led them to look for a job
more intensely and ultimately led to more inter-
views and job offers (while trait negative affectiv-
ity was not found to be associated with job search
clarity; Coˆte´, Saks, & Zikic, 2006). A recent
meta-analysis showed that the preponderance of
evidence indicates that positive emotions are bet-
ter for myriad facets of decision making (see Ly-
ubomirsky, King, & Diener, 2005). Overall, it may
be that positive mood allows people to better
process at a level most appropriate to the situation
at hand. Thus, when more heuristic, quick an-
swers are needed, people in positive moods can
respond with an appropriate decision making
strategy; if the task requires deeper, more analytic
processing, people who are in a good mood recog-
nize this necessity and can do so as well (Isen,
2004).
There has been less examination of the in-
fluence of discrete emotions on decision mak-
ing. However, a qualitative study of three Brit-
ish professional symphony orchestras offered an
interesting model of how multiple negative
emotions such as fear, anxiety, shame, embar-
rassment, humiliation, anger, and pity influ-
enced decision making (Maitlis & Ozcelik,
2004). The authors effectively used qualitative
techniques to capture these phenomena. It
would be significantly more difficult to capture
the same dynamics quantitatively; this is likely
one of the reasons there has been less research
of discrete emotions conducted in organizations
and particularly the interaction of multiple dis-
crete emotions (Maitlis & Ozcelik, 2004).
Affect and Creativity
A very similar set of competing arguments as were
presented in the decision-making literature have
been made for the influence of positive versus
negative affect states and traits on creativity (see
James, Brodersen, & Jacob, 2004 for a review).
Positive affect has been proposed to positively
influence creativity by leading to a state in which
more cognitive material—more variety in the el-
ements that are considered—is available for pro-
cessing. Then, once those elements are available,
positive affect leads to a more complex, flexible
thinking, allowing a broader choice of elements to
come together and an increased chance that peo-
ple will in fact put together all of the cognitive
elements that have become available (see Isen,
1999; Frederickson, 1998). There is strong support
for this theory in laboratory studies of induced
positive affect and creativity, with myriad studies
showing that when people are in more positive
moods, they are more creative (see Isen, 1999 for
a review of this literature). This support has re-
cently been extended to studies within organiza-
tions. In the first longitudinal study of daily work
creativity, a study examined self-reports, other-
ratings, and daily diary data from 222 employees
in seven companies over the length of an entire
project, directly addressing the question of
whether negative versus positive affect would en-
hance creativity (Amabile, Barsade, Mueller, &
Staw, 2005). This study found a strong linear
relationship between greater positive mood and
creativity in organizations. Also, the influence of
positive affect on creativity lasted up to two days
after the positive mood had been felt. Another
recent field study, conducted in the knitwear in-
dustry, also found facilitative effects for positive
mood on creative performance work by showing
that positive but not negative moods mediated the
relationship between the support employees get
for creative work and their actual creative perfor-
mance (Madjar, Oldham, & Pratt, 2002). Overall,
most research support is for a positive relationship
between positive affect and creativity.
6
6
While most evidence points to a strong positive relationship between
positive affect and creativity, it is important to note that there have been
some indications that the influence of negative affect on creativity should
46 FebruaryAcademy of Management Perspectives
Affect and Turnover/Absence
Turnover and absence from work are critical or-
ganizational variables, since the cost of replacing
employees and lost employee time is extremely
high (see Cascio, 1991; Shaw, Delery, Jenkins, &
Gupta, 1998). Several studies have linked affect
to these variables. In general, studies support the
idea that positive affectivity (both state and trait)
is associated with reduced absence and intention
to turnover, and that negative affectivity (both
state and trait) is associated with increased ab-
sence, intention to turnover, and actual turnover
(George & Jones, 1996; Pelled & Xin, 1999;
Thoresen, Kaplan, & Barsky, 2003). Paying atten-
tion to the differing effects of positive and nega-
tive affect is, however, important. For example, in
one study, the experience of positive moods (mea-
sured as how employees felt “during the past
week”) caused employees to be absent less, but the
experience of negative moods had no effect on
their absence behavior (George, 1989: 321).
Another study on the differential influence of
positive and negative affect found an answer to a
question that has long puzzled researchers: why
does job dissatisfaction result in turnover inten-
tions for some workers, but not for others? Studies
find that workers who are dispositionally higher in
positive affect are more likely to leave their jobs if
they are dissatisfied than are people who are char-
acterized by low positive affect (Judge, 1993;
Shaw, 1999). One reason behind this relationship
is that for low positive affect individuals, the im-
petus to quit is small because they do not expect a
new job to be more satisfying. Conversely, high
trait positive affect individuals are more likely to
be willing to change their situations when they are
dissatisfied. Furthermore, the relationship be-
tween job satisfaction and the intent to turnover
is strongest among people who feel that their
values are not being met at work and tend to
experience high positive moods. This could be
because they feel higher self-efficacy in their skills
and ability to find a new job that will meet their
values (George & Jones, 1996).
Affect and Prosocial Behavior
Prosocial behaviors are those undertaken to ben-
efit or help another individual, group, or organi-
zation (Brief & Motowidlo, 1986). It is well es-
tablished in the social psychological literature
that positive mood is associated with helping be-
havior in general (Isen, Clark, & Schwartz, 1976;
Salovey, Mayer, & Rosenhan, 1991).
7
Research
has also been directed at the more specific ques-
tion of whether an employee’s positive mood will
enhance prosocial organizational behaviors. Re-
searchers have found that employees who experi-
ence positive moods at work are more likely to
engage in prosocial behavior both in terms of what
their job requires (such as superior customer ser-
vice) and aspects that go beyond their job descrip-
tion (such as helping peers, or engaging in altru-
ism—George, 1991). In these studies, more
proximal positive moods have been shown to have
an effect, while dispositional affect appears to
have less of an effect. In one study, employees’
positive mood predicted prosocial behaviors such
as altruism and helping, while dispositional affect
(measured as PA) had no effect (George, 1991).
That is, unlike turnover or absenteeism, these
helping behaviors appear to be more affected by
aspects of the immediate situation rather than an
individual’s relatively stable tendency to experi-
ence positive affect.
Prosocial behavior has also been linked to
moods expressed by group leaders. A study of sales
associates in 37 retail stores examined whether a
group leader’s positive mood contributed to the
extent to which the group engaged in prosocial
behavior and reduced the group’s voluntary turn-
over rate. The findings were affirmative (George
at least be considered. For example, there is some support for the influence
of negative emotions on creativity from studies of affective illness (e.g.,
depression and manic-depression; Jamison, 1993; see Feist, 1999 for a
review). There is also organizational evidence from a field study based on
the “mood-as-input” model. In this cross-sectional study in a large manu-
facturing organization, there was a positive relationship between negative
affect and creativity when both recognition and rewards for creativity, and
clarity of feelings (ability to recognize one’s own feelings) are high (George
& Zhou, 2002).
7
However, under the rubric of “motivated cognitive processing theory”
which indicates that people want to maintain their positive moods and on
average avoid situations which would reduce their positive emotions (Clark
& Isen, 1982; Forgas, 1991), there is evidence that people in positive moods
are more prone to help if helping does not negatively influence their
positive mood (Isen & Simmonds, 1978; Forest et al., 1979). But see Parrott
(1993) for an additional perspective.
2007 47Barsade and Gibson
& Bettenhausen, 1990). It was posited that leaders
who experience high levels of positive mood at
work would tend to feel “active, excited, enthusi-
astic, peppy, and strong,” and this enthusiasm for
the work task would “rub off” on group members,
producing an increased incidence of prosocial be-
haviors (George & Bettenhausen, 1990: 701).
The logic behind this emotional connection to
prosocial behaviors is that positive mood leaders
would be more likely to encourage and notice
positive behaviors performed by the group and
positively reinforce the group. This study suggests
the power of the leader’s mood in shaping group
members’ perceptions of the group and their be-
havior toward each other.
Overall, there is strong support for the idea that
positive emotions make prosocial behaviors more
likely. Some studies also suggest a corollary: that
negative emotions make anti-social behaviors
more likely. One study argued that discrete nega-
tive emotions produced by environments that are
perceived as unjust or stressful increase the fre-
quency of anti-social or deviant organizational
behaviors (Spector & Fox, 2002). This approach
suggests that in organizational environments (or
groups) that encourage positive affective states,
employees are more likely to engage in prosocial,
supportive, and cooperative behaviors. The oppo-
site is predicted in organizational environments
that foster employees’ negative emotions (see
Frost, 2004).
Affect and Negotiation and Conflict Resolution
Conflict is an inherent part of organizational life
and frequently causes strong emotional responses
in the conflicting groups and individuals. Negoti-
ation is the primary means by which organization
members manage their conflict (Allred, Mallozzi,
& Matsui, 1997). After many years of either ig-
noring emotions or emphasizing practical advice
to show neutral emotions and use the proverbial
“poker face” (Gibson & Schroeder, 2002), nego-
tiation scholars have begun to recognize the im-
portance of emotions and how emotions influence
the negotiation process (see Barry, Fulmer, & Van
Kleef, 2004; Thompson, Nadler, & Kim, 1999 for
reviews). The results of these studies generally
show that positive moods help to resolve conflict
(Lyubromirsky et al., 2005). Negotiators in a pos-
itive mood (usually induced in experimental set-
tings) tend to be more cooperative and less likely
to engage in conflict, and in some cases, come to
agreements that enhance joint gains more fre-
quently (Baron, 1990; Barsade, 2002). Positive
mood induces individuals to adopt more innova-
tive problem-solving strategies, suggesting that
these negotiators will be more likely to come to
integrative (“win-win”) agreements (Carnevale &
Isen, 1986). Positive mood in a negotiator is likely
to create more positive feelings in his or her coun-
terpart, and liking between negotiators has been
linked to added flexibility in the negotiation
when opponents know each other (Druckman &
Broome, 1991). Positive mood is also related to
persistence and increased confidence levels in ne-
gotiators, which have been associated with in-
creased outcomes (Kumar, 1997). Last, a face-to-
face negotiation study showed that negotiators
can be easily and effectively instructed in how to
be emotionally strategic in the emotions they dis-
play (an interesting result in its own right). It also
showed that positive negotiator emotional display
(as compared to neutral or negative displays) led
to a desire by negotiating partners to want to
continue doing business with the positive negoti-
ator. The positive negotiator was also better able
to close a deal in a distributive (win-lose) setting,
even through increased concessions from the
other party (Kopelman, Rosette, & Thompson,
2006).
Currently, the findings for feeling and display-
ing negative emotions in a negotiation are typi-
cally the inverse of the findings regarding the
feeling and display of positive moods and emo-
tions. For example, negotiators in a generally neg-
ative mood were more competitive and received
poorer outcomes (Forgas, 1998). However, re-
search examining negative moods in conflict
management and negotiation are also more likely
to examine discrete emotions, which can offer
more nuanced insights. For example, one study
examining the discrete emotions of anger and
compassion found that negotiators who felt high
anger and low compassion for their counterpart
achieved fewer joint gains in their negotiations
(Allred et al., 1997). The study also found that
48 FebruaryAcademy of Management Perspectives
those negotiators’ discrete emotions of anger and
compassion influenced their negotiations more
than their generalized positive or negative moods
did. There have also been results showing positive
effects of anger, finding that a negotiator facing an
angry counterpart is more likely to concede than a
negotiator facing a happy counterpart. However,
these effects occurred under high time pressure
and when the negotiator who faced the angry
counterpart had lower power, and in a computer-
mediated setting (Van Kleef, De Dreu, & Man-
stead, 2004). Computer-mediated settings are
clearly important to organizational life (e.g., in
the use of e-mail), but it is critical to see how the
effects of anger operate in face-to-face negotia-
tions as well.
Last, looking at emotional intelligence skills,
emotional perception has been shown to influ-
ence individual negotiator outcomes in a variety
of sometimes contradictory ways. More consis-
tently, they have been shown to increase the
integrative outcomes of negotiating dyads (Elfen-
bein et al., in press; Foo, Elfenbein, Tan, & Aik,
2004). Emotion understanding skill was shown to
positively influence how one’s negotiation partner
felt about his/her negotiation outcome, above and
beyond the amount of money that negotiation
partner received and his/her trait positive affect
(Mueller & Curhan, in press).
Collective Affect and Team Behavior
The role of affect has long been an implicit factor
in studies of groups, for example, in studies of
group cohesiveness (Ashforth & Humphrey,
1995) and the progression of group development
(Tuckman, 1965; Wheelan, 1994). However,
there are few studies examining how affect oper-
ates as an explicit factor within team development,
behavior, and outcomes. This is surprising given
that in the process of getting work accomplished,
groups offer a prime place for intense interactions
involving individuals with their own emotional
histories, emotional agendas, and affective person-
alities confronting positive and negative group
events. Of the studies that have been conducted,
however, there is very promising evidence for the
influence of emotion on group outcomes.
One way to conceptualize group emotion and
its outcomes is a “bottom-up” approach where
group emotion is defined by the affective compo-
sition of the various affective attributes of the
group’s members (Barsade & Gibson, 1998). For
example, a group’s affective tone, the “consistent
or homogenous affective reactions within a group”
measured by the group’s mean level of positive
affect, was found in retail sales groups to be posi-
tively related to higher levels of customer service
and lower absenteeism (George, 1995).
A different way of looking at group emotion is
through affective diversity, or the degree of differ-
ence in affective traits that exists between group
members. Affective diversity has been shown to
influence group outcomes. In a sample of 239 top
managers in 62 U.S. corporations, the greater the
degree of trait affective diversity on the senior
management team, the greater the conflict in the
team, the less cooperation and the poorer the firm
financial performance (Barsade, Ward, Turner, &
Sonnenfeld, 2000). There are a few studies that
examined the effect of discrete emotions in
groups, such as group envy, which was found to be
directly associated with decreased group perfor-
mance. It was also associated with more absentee-
ism, less group satisfaction, and poorer group per-
formance via the mechanisms of increased social
loafing, decreased cohesion, and decreased feel-
ings of group potency (Duffy & Shaw, 2000).
There is also a “top-down” approach in which
collectively held norms—implicit or explicit—
about appropriate emotions to express or hold in
the group and/or organization, shape the type of
emotions that are allowed and expressed in the
group context (see Barsade & Gibson, 1998; Kelly
& Barsade, 2001, for reviews). There has been
much research examining emotion norms within
an emotional labor perspective (e.g., see reviews
by Grandey, 2000; Rafaeli & Sutton, 1989), but
significantly less examining the influence of “af-
fective culture.” Affective culture can be thought
of as normative systems which include display
rules about expressed emotions at the collective
level, prescribing the appropriateness or inappro-
priateness of particular emotional expressions in
the organization (Barsade, Brief, & Spataro, 2003;
Barsade & O’Neill, 2004). Overall, while we
2007 49Barsade and Gibson
would predict that the influence of affective cul-
ture on group and individual dynamics would be a
powerful one, of the many areas we have exam-
ined showing the influence of collective affect on
workplace outcomes, this is currently one of the
least studied and most open for development.
Affect and Leadership
We conclude with a critical— but complex—pro-
cess within organizations, the process of leader-
ship. It has become increasingly apparent that
emotions permeate the leadership process, both in
terms of the emotions leaders feel and express, and
the emotions followers feel toward their leaders
(see George, 2000). Leaders must substantially
regulate their own emotions. For example, they
often must express a positive or upbeat mood
about the future, while suppressing expressions of
anxiety or sadness that might de-motivate follow-
ers. They must also manage the emotions of oth-
ers, for example, by understanding and empathiz-
ing with employees’ emotions about change so
that change efforts will be accepted (Huy, 2002).
While the notion of emotions as critical to the
leadership process is not new (see, for example,
Ashforth & Humphrey, 1995; Wasielewski,
1985), recent advances in emotions research and
emotional intelligence in particular have sparked
an increase in the study of leadership and emo-
tion.
In terms of positive affectivity and leadership,
the work cited above on prosocial behavior, cre-
ativity, and decision making suggest that PA
should contribute to leader effectiveness. There is
some empirical support for this connection. In a
simulated managerial setting, high trait positive
affect MBA students were rated by their peers and
outside observers as being better leaders (Staw &
Barsade, 1993). Trait positive affectivity was re-
lated to leader-follower liking and perceived sim-
ilarity in a simulated interview setting (Fox &
Spector, 2000), and in a lab study, leaders in
positive versus negative moods had groups who
performed better in their task, expending less un-
necessary effort and more coordination in com-
pleting the task (Sy, Coˆte´, & Saavedra, 2005).
Testing this within organizations, in a customer
service field setting, leaders’ positive moods were
found to be associated with higher performance of
the leader’s group (George, 1995).
Transformational leadership is a setting in
which the importance of emotions in leadership
effectiveness has been specifically emphasized
(Ashkanasy & Tse, 2000).
8
For example, a recent
study examining the effects of emotional intelli-
gence and personality traits on transformational
leadership behavior found that leaders with high
trait positive affectivity were more likely to be
rated as engaging in transformational leadership
behaviors. As might be expected, trait PA was not
a significant predictor of transactional or contin-
gent reward behavior (Rubin, Munz, & Bommer,
2005). This study also found an intriguing inter-
action: the researchers focused on ability to read
others emotions (using the DANVA test) as a
particularly important dimension of emotional in-
telligence that should relate to transformational
leadership behavior. But as they predicted—and
found—the leadership personality trait of extra-
version (being outgoing and deriving energy from
other people) moderated this relationship. Specif-
ically, while extraversion alone did not have a
direct effect on transformational leadership be-
havior, extraversion combined with emotion rec-
ognition skills did have an effect. Thus, high ex-
traversion provided a clear benefit to leaders who
also possess the ability to accurately recognize
emotion. Conversely, leaders who “possessed low
extraversion and high emotion recognition abili-
ties did not seem to reap the benefits of their
emotion recognition ability” (Rubin, Munz, &
Bommer, 2005: 854). These findings point to an
important characteristic of emotional intelligence
that we referred to earlier: it does not operate
separately, but rather in conjunction with other
abilities and personality traits.
While leadership researchers have emphasized
the critical place of followers in determining lead-
8
Transformational leadership is characterized by a leader’s ability to
articulate a shared vision of the future, intellectually stimulate employees,
motivate colleagues and followers to look beyond their own interests and
towards group interests, and provide individual consideration and support
for followers (Bass, 1998; Lowe, Kroeck, & Sivasubramaniam, 1996).
Transformational leadership has been contrasted with transactional lead-
ership, which is based on motivating followers by emphasizing reward and
exchange relationships.
50 FebruaryAcademy of Management Perspectives
ership style and shaping leadership behavior,
much less work has focused on followers’ emotions
in response to leadership. Several researchers em-
phasize that leader effectiveness is at least partially
defined by the satisfaction and emotional liking of
followers (Ashforth & Humphrey, 1995; Conger
& Kanungo, 1987; Dasborough & Ashkanasy,
2002). There is also evidence that followers are
influenced by leaders’ displays of emotions. As
noted above, leaders’ expressions of positive emo-
tions are thought to arouse positive emotions in
others through the mechanism of emotional con-
tagion, where the positive, upbeat emotions of the
leader are emulated by followers, resulting in pos-
itive outcomes (George & Bettenhausen, 1990;
Hatfield et al., 1994).
Laboratory studies have also examined the ef-
fects of leader displays of negative emotions and
found more complex results. Following a conta-
gion argument, leader displays of negative emo-
tions could cause followers to similarly feel and
display negative emotions, potentially hindering
morale and motivation. Leader expressions of neg-
ative emotions such as sadness and anger, for
example, have been shown to influence how em-
ployees view the leader, reducing their percep-
tions of leader effectiveness (Lewis, 2000). How-
ever, recent studies also show that a leader
expressing anger may increase perceptions of the
leader’s power, while a leader expressing sadness
may decrease those perceptions (Tiedens, 2001).
Displays of negative emotion by the leader may
also focus followers’ attention on situations that
require attention. For example, a leader’s anger
about an issue of discrimination or fairness may
direct resources to solving the problem (George,
2000).
Leadership and emotion studies are also just
beginning to examine the more detailed processes
and interactions involved in a leaders’ manage-
ment of their teams’ emotional responses (e.g.,
Huy, 2002). A recent model examines how lead-
ers can “set the emotional tone” of a group and use
emotional skills to focus group members on goals.
In order to do this, the emergent leader of a group
must first empathize and identify the collective
emotional state of a group and also understand the
aspects of the situation that are causing this emo-
tional state. The leader must then craft a response
to the situation that takes into account the emo-
tional tone, and communicates that response ef-
fectively (Pescosolido, 2002).
Overall, work in emotions and leadership is
emerging as a very exciting area that will enhance
our knowledge of what leadership means and how
leaders can be effective, but it is also an area in
which work needs to be done to sharpen con-
structs more effectively so that our understanding
of the intersection of these two domains can be
better understood.
Conclusions
This article offers a review of “what we know”
about emotions in organizations at the present
time. The review, albeit not exhaustive, indi-
cates that the study of affect in organizations is a
vibrant and growing area. It is characterized by a
wide breadth of approaches, developing measures,
and refinement of variables and outcomes. Orga-
nization researchers are increasingly recognizing
that affect is inherent to the human experience,
and thus inherent to any situation in which hu-
mans interact with each other and their environ-
ment, including at work. We draw the following
conclusions from this wide range of studies.
Affect influences critical organizational variables
This article has identified a range of ways that
affect is critical to explaining outcomes that con-
cern managers in organizations. We have outlined
effects on performance, decision making, turn-
over, prosocial behavior, negotiation and conflict
resolution behavior, group dynamics, and leader-
ship. These are discrete categories that help us to
group variables as scientific studies have con-
ceived them, but it is our view that affect perme-
ates virtually every aspect of organizational life,
even those areas that have been traditionally
thought of as the exclusive province of cognitive
behavior, such as decision making and task per-
formance. The evidence is overwhelming that ex-
periencing and expressing positive emotions and
moods tends to enhance performance at individ-
ual, group, and organizational levels. As a recent
meta-analysis has shown, positive affect is funda-
mentally linked with an individual’s “active in-
2007 51Barsade and Gibson
volvement with goal pursuits and with the envi-
ronment” (Lyubomirsky et al., 2005: 804). This
desire to develop new goals and engage with them
is linked with confidence, optimism, self-efficacy,
likability, activity, energy, flexibility, and coping
with challenges and stress, among other abilities
and behaviors. The evidence is compelling that
feeling and expressing positive affect is critical to
success in organizations and in life.
It is particularly ironic that while positive affect
has been found to show greater influence on work-
place outcomes, it has been studied significantly
less than negative affect (Lyubomirsky et al.,
2005; Thoresen et al., 2003). A rationale for why
positive affect has been found to have a relatively
stronger effect on these outcomes could be that
positive affect has been shown to consistently be
related more strongly than negative affect to so-
cially related processes (McIntyre, Watson, Clark,
& Cross, 1991; Watson, Clark, McIntyre, & Ha-
maker, 1992), which are particularly critical to
effective organizational interactions. Negative af-
fect, on the other hand, is more strongly related to
non-social intrapsychic outcomes, such as stress
and burnout (Watson et al., 1988). Thus both sets
of emotions serve a role in important outcomes,
but in different arenas.
The influence of negative affect is complex
Conclusions about the meaning and influence of
negative affect on organizational life are far more
complex. The history of reactions to negative em-
ployee affect has tended to be simplistic: managers
ought to avoid negative affect in their employees
and suppress negative affect in themselves (see
Stearns & Stearns, 1986). Given the power of
positive affect identified above, this approach is
understandable. However, current research has
helped us to appreciate more of the complexity of
negative affective responses, allowing us to be
more nuanced in our approach. First, we must
acknowledge that the evidence for the deleterious
effects of individual negative affect is substantial,
particularly since they tend to be strongly felt by
employees (Miner, Glomb, & Hulin, 2005). Neg-
ative affective expressions can poison organiza-
tional cultures (Aquino, Douglas, & Martinko,
2004), negatively influence perceptions of leaders
(Lewis, 2000), and potentially lead to aggression
or violence (Fox & Spector, 1999). However,
negative emotions (especially anger) may also
draw our attention to situations of unfairness and
injustice (George, 2000), enhance perceptions of
power (Tiedens, 2001), and enhance negotiating
outcomes (Van Kleef, De Dreu, & Manstead,
2004). Research and practice should be directed
to the important questions of, “Under what con-
ditions can negative affective responses lead to
positive organizational outcomes?” To do so, it
would be helpful for emotion scholars to focus on
examining the various discrete negative emotions,
as the outcomes that will come from angry versus
anxious versus sad employees, for example, are
likely going to be very different.
Constructs and methods are advancing
No longer is there a “one size fits all” way to
measure work-related affect, such as using general
attitudinal measures like job satisfaction. Drawing
from and contributing to the robust literature of
affect in psychology, our understanding of affect
has been both expanded and refined via the study
of discrete emotions, the affective circumplex,
emotional labor, emotional contagion, and emo-
tional intelligence. Methods are becoming more
varied and sophisticated to match the variety and
complexity of the phenomena, so that in addition
to surveys, methods include controlled mood in-
ductions, diary studies, daily experience sampling
research, coding of behavior in-situ and video
coding.
Future Directions
While much current work is being directed to
refining the variables and relationships we
have examined above, we also anticipate
new approaches to studying affect. First, extant
studies of affect assume that most important affec-
tive experiences arise through face-to-face inter-
actions, and that most of emotional communica-
tion occurs through facial, or at least auditory
communication, with very little occurring
through text (Mehrabian, 1972). However, the
impact of an entirely text-based technology on
emotions must be explored. Significant communi-
cation in organizations now takes place through
52 FebruaryAcademy of Management Perspectives
synchronous (e.g., instant messaging) or asynchro-
nous (e.g., e-mail) text-based means, which re-
moves critical nonverbal sources of emotion and
tone. How can emotions be best conveyed via
these media? What is the effect of conveying
emotionally charged messages via text, when
these messages are more likely to be misconstrued?
How must we re-think emotional contagion and
other social processes in an organizational world
in which many meetings take place online? In-
deed, a recent study examining e-mail versus face-
to-face communication suggests that individuals
tend to be overconfident in their ability to accu-
rately convey the emotions they wish via e-mail,
particularly when they are trying to be sarcastic or
humorous (Kruger, Epley, Parker, & Ng, 2005).
The use of emoticons (:-)) may be somewhat
helpful in this regard, but are also open to sub-
stantial misinterpretation or may be perceived as
unprofessional in the business context. Video con-
ferencing, also increasing in its use, has more cues,
but is also not yet the same as interacting face to
face, particularly in group situations. Given that
these technologies continue to grow as a primary
means of communication within the business
world, it is crucial that we understand how the
interpretation and communication of affect occurs
in these contexts.
Second, research on affect has primarily fo-
cused on conscious feelings and expressions, those
moods and emotions we are aware of and can
possibly trace to their source and are thus amena-
ble to regulation. However, there is also substan-
tial developing research on affective processes ex-
isting at a level below consciousness: emotions
existing at the subconscious or unconscious level
that nonetheless have an impact on our conscious
feelings and behavior. Subconscious affective pro-
cesses include the automatic mimicry of others’
emotions characterizing emotional contagion, as
we have discussed earlier (Hatfield, Cacioppo, &
Rapson, 1994), and automatic emotion regulation
(Mauss, Evers, Wilhelm, & Gross, 2006). These
processes also include our “emotional uncon-
scious,” which can be explained as an individual
being consciously aware of his or her current emo-
tional state, but not being aware of the source of
that state, which may come from a current or past
experience (Kihlstrom, 1999). That is, rather than
being consciously driven, individuals’ current
emotions may be reflections of their “implicit
memory” of past events, which may create moods
that are out of our awareness (e.g., Singer &
Salovey, 1988) and implicit perceptions and emo-
tions (see Kihlstrom, 1999, for a review).
Much of this future work will likely need to
consider that people do not walk into organiza-
tions as tabula rasa, but rather have life and work
experiences that may shape current behavior—
either consciously or unconsciously. People may
not always be aware of this, as is exemplified in
the phenomenon of transference, where “repre-
sentations of significant others, stored in memory,
are activated and used in new social encounters on
the basis of a new person’s resemblance to a given
significant other” (Berk & Andersen, 2000: 546;
also known as the “You vaguely remind me of that
kid in elementary school who I hated, and I don’t
like you much either” phenomenon–Kelly & Bar-
sade, 2001: 109). Such inquiry may well spark new
research on long-ignored constructs such as trans-
ference, ego defensive routines, and attachment
relationships and their effect on individuals’ be-
haviors in organizations. The benefit now is our
ability to conduct rigorous empirical research to
better help us understand how these phenomena
occur (Glassman & Andersen, 1999; Westen &
Gabbard, 2002).
Last, the research findings we cite for negotia-
tion and social influence suggest that affect can be
used strategically: individuals can “put on” partic-
ular emotional expressions in order to influence
others (Gibson & Schroeder, 2002; Kopelman et
al., 2006). However, the emotion labor literature
has also emphasized that there is a cost to masking
authentic emotions— by acting like we’re feeling
something we actually aren’t, we may experience
emotional dissonance and lose touch with our
authentic selves (see Hochschild, 1983). This re-
search suggests that employees would be better off
if they could engage in less emotion regulation and
that employees need organizations where they can
express themselves more authentically (Erickson
& Wharton, 1997). There is a paradox, however,
in the assumption that authenticity is the desired
state for employees. We know that authenticity in
2007 53Barsade and Gibson
our feeling and expression of affect is desirable;
however, we also know that regulating emotions is
often essential: in order for managers to be en-
couraging, inspiring, and motivating to their em-
ployees (despite having a bad day, for example)
they must engage in regulation in order to be
effective. Part of the job is to be strategic with our
emotions; indeed, emotional regulation of self and
others is an important part of emotional intelli-
gence construct (Mayer & Salovey, 1997). The
question is, at what point do individuals “over-
regulate” their emotions? What is the point at
which regulated emotion is too far removed from
authenticity? Current studies of the differing an-
tecedents of surface and deep acting (e.g.,
Grandey, 2000) may hold a clue to these ques-
tions, but more work remains. Thus, the paradox
we need to explore is that authenticity may be
desirable, but regulation is essential to meeting
personal and organizational goals.
To that end, we would like to see researchers
explore to what degree and under what conditions
individuals in organizations can and should ex-
press their authentic emotions, and how an orga-
nization’s affective culture and the national cul-
ture in which it is embedded may influence these
processes. We also urge researchers to explore the
ethical implications of being inauthentic as part of
the work role. Is emotional labor, which involves
regulating and changing emotions to fit work re-
quirements, something that organizations should
be able to expect from their employees as a nec-
essary part of the job? We are inclined to think
that this is acceptable as long as employees know
what they have signed up for, and that this emo-
tional labor has logical performance outcomes fa-
vorable to the company (see Rafaeli & Sutton,
1989), but could see opposing views to this and
encourage a thorough discussion of this issue
within the field.
Why does affect matter in organizations? The
state of the literature shows that affect matters
because employees are not isolated “emotional
islands.” Rather, they bring all of themselves to
work, including their traits, moods, and emotions,
and their affective experiences and expressions
influence others. Thus, an understanding of how
these affective experiences and expressions oper-
ate and influence organizational outcomes is an
essential piece in understanding how work is done
and how to do it better.
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... For example, Barsade and Gibson (2007) used the term "affective culture" to suggest that organizations have a unique shared normative system, which shapes the way in which employees express emotions. However, our concept of an EIsupportive organizational culture differs from their approach. ...
... However, our concept of an EIsupportive organizational culture differs from their approach. Whereas affective culture refers to rules prescribing the appropriateness or inappropriateness of displaying certain emotional expressions in the organization (Barsade et al., 2003;Barsade and Gibson, 2007), the proposed concept of EI-supportive culture refers to a broader normative system, which does not prescribe which emotional expressions are appropriate, but rather embodies the norm about the importance of emotion-related insights and the instrumentality of EIB at work. ...
Article
Full-text available
Despite continuing interest in the impact of employees’ emotional intelligence (EI) in explaining for their engagement and emotional exhaustion, there are still large gaps in our understanding of the role played by contextual EI-related factors, such as an EI-related organizational culture and supervisors’ emotionally intelligent behavior (EIB). This two-study research approaches EI from a macro-level perspective, attempting to address three objectives: (1) to develop and define a theoretical concept of EI-supportive organizational culture, (2) to develop and validate measures of organizations’ EI-related values and practices, and (3) to investigate their top-down effect on employee engagement and exhaustion, via supervisor EI-related behavior. In the first study, we conceptualize and develop measures of perceived EI-related organizational values and human resource management (HRM) practices, as separate yet related dimensions of organizations’ EI-related culture, and test their validity. In the second study, we build on the job demands-resources (JD-R) theory and Ability-Motivation-Opportunity (AMO) framework to develop and test a model of the process links between perceived EI-related values and HRM practices and employee engagement and exhaustion, using a large sample of employees across industries in the USA workforce ( N = 12,375). In line with our hypotheses, the findings suggest that EI-supportive HRM practices have a top-down effect on employee engagement and exhaustion via supervisor EIB, whereas low regard for emotions values has a top-down effect on employee exhaustion via supervisor emotional misbehavior. Results are discussed in the context of the JD-R theory, AMO framework, and the EI literature.
... Σε οργανωσιακό επίπεδο, τα άτομα εκφράζουν τα συναισθήματά τους προς τους συναδέλφους τους, αλλά, ταυτόχρονα, δέχονται τα συναισθήματά τους και επηρεάζονται από αυτά. Η συμπεριφορά των εργαζομένων, η οποία διαμορφώνεται μέσα από τη βίωση είτε θετικών είτε αρνητικών συναισθημάτων, επηρεάζει βασικά οργανωτικά αποτελέσματα, όπως η εργασιακή απόδοση, η λήψη αποφάσεων και η διαπραγμάτευση (Barsade & Gibson, 2007). ...
Thesis
Σκοπός της παρούσας έρευνας ήταν να διερευνήσει τη σχέση των χαρακτηριστικών προσωπικότητας των εκπαιδευτικών με το υποκειμενικό αίσθημα ευζωίας τους και το συναίσθημα στην εργασία. Επιπλέον, εκτιμήθηκε η προβλεπτική ικανότητα των χαρακτηριστικών προσωπικότητας για την υποκειμενική ευζωία και για το συναίσθημα στην εργασία, καθώς και ο διαμεσολαβητικός ρόλος της συναισθηματικής ρύθμισης στις παραπάνω σχέσεις. Στην έρευνα συμμετείχαν 310 εκπαιδευτικοί πρωτοβάθμιας και δευτεροβάθμιας εκπαίδευσης, ηλικίας 26 έως 66 ετών, οι οποίοι κλήθηκαν να απαντήσουν (α) στο ερωτηματολόγιο NEO Five Factor Inventory (NEO-FFI) των Costa και McCrae (1992) για την εκτίμηση της προσωπικότητας, (β) στη κλίμακα Satisfaction With Life Scale (SWLS) των Diener, Emmons, Larsen και Griffin (1985) για την διερεύνηση της ικανοποίησης από τη ζωή, (γ) στη κλίμακα Scale of Positive And Negative Experience (SPANE) των Diener, Wirtz, Biswas-Diener, Tov, Kim-Prieto, Choi και Oishi (2009) για την εκτίμηση του θετικού και του αρνητικού συναισθήματος, (δ) στη κλίμακα Job Affect Scale (JAS) των Brief, Burke, George, Robinson και Webster (1988) για τη διερεύνηση των συναισθημάτων στην εργασία και (ε) στο ερωτηματολόγιο Emotion Regulation Questionnaire (ERQ) των Gross και John (2003) για τη συναισθηματική ρύθμιση. Τα αποτελέσματα της έρευνας φανέρωσαν σημαντικές συσχετίσεις όλων των χαρακτηριστικών προσωπικότητας με την υποκειμενική ευζωία και με το συναίσθημα στην εργασία. Επιπλέον, διαφάνηκε ισχυρή προβλεπτική αξία των χαρακτηριστικών προσωπικότητας για την υποκειμενική ευζωία των εκπαιδευτικών και για τα συναισθήματα που βιώνουν στην εργασία τους. Ακόμη, βρέθηκε μερική διαμεσολάβηση της γνωστικής αναπλαισίωσης στις συσχετίσεις της εξωστρέφειας, της δεκτικότητας στην εμπειρία και της ευσυνειδησίας με το θετικό συναίσθημα και με το θετικό συναίσθημα στην εργασία. The purpose of the present investigation was to explore teachers' personality traits in relation to their subjective well-being and affect at work. Additionally, the predictive capacity of personality traits for subjective well-being and affect at work was assessed as well as the mediating role of emotion regulation in the above relationships. The survey involved 310 primary and secondary school teachers, aged 26 to 66, who were asked to answer (a) the NEO Five Factor Inventory (NEO-FFI) by Costa and McCrae (1992) on personality assessment, (b) the Satisfaction With Life Scale (SWLS) by Diener, Emmons, Larsen and Griffin (1985) for exploring life satisfaction, (c) the Scale of Positive And Negative Experience (SPANE) by Diener, Wirtz, Biswas-Diener, Tov, Kim-Prieto, Choi and Oishi (2009) for the evaluation of positive and negative affect, (d) the Job Affect Scale (JAS) by Brief, Burke, George, Robinson and Webster (1988) for the investigation of affect at work and (e) the Emotion Regulation Questionnaire (ERQ) by Gross and John (2003) for emotion regulation. The results revealed important correlations of all personality traits with subjective well-being and affect at work. In addition, a strong predictive value of personality traits for teachers' subjective well- being and the emotions they experience at work was revealed. Furthermore, partial mediation of cognitive reappraisal was found in the associations of extraversion, openness to experience and conscientiousness with positive affect and with positive affect at work.
... Dispositional positive affect refers to a stable tendency to experience positive moods and emotions . Individuals with high dispositional positive affect tend to perceive things through »pink lens« while people with high negative affectivity tend to perceive things through »black lens«, an effect which has immediate impact on individuals' sensations and behaviors (Barsade and Gibson, 2007). Moreover, prior research emphasizes »positivity« in organizational life (Luthans, 2002). ...
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... Following the conception of Diener (1984), subjective well-being consists of three components: positive affect, negative affect, and life satisfaction. Affect can be described as an umbrella term for mood and emotions (Barsade & Gibson, 2007). Mood and emotions, however, are distinct phenomena (Lochner, 2016). ...
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... However, specific, intense and short-lived emotions occurring shortly after the abusive episode may, over time, accumulate and evolve into more general negative affective states, including increased negative affect (NA) and decreased positive affect (PA). These differential affective responses to abusive supervision are hypothesized to subsequently result in "fight" or "flight" reactions as a way for subordinates to cope with the situation (Barsade & Gibson, 2007;Lazarus & Folkman, 1984). CWB-O is usually directly driven by negative emotions (Spector & Fox, 2005), and thus we posit that NA mediates the relation between abusive supervision and CWB-O (i.e., angry employees are likely to engage in deviant behavior). ...
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... In this case, the power of person A over person B is affective. Importantly, affect describes a term comprising all aspects of subjective feelings, including emotions, moods, and subjective feelings in general [19]. As stated by Gruda, et al. [10], "[i]f person A is successful in transferring their emotions to person B, person B non-consciously imitates the communicated affect, which leads to convergence in both interaction partners' emotions" (p. ...
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