ArticlePDF Available

Abstract

By integrating the literatures on implicit leadership and the social functions of discrete emotions, we develop and test a theoretical model of emotion expression and leadership categorizations. Specifically, we examine the influence of 2 socio-comparative emotions-compassion and contempt-on assessments of leadership made both in 1st impression contexts and over time. To demonstrate both internal and external validity, Studies 1a and 1b provide laboratory and field evidence to show that expressing the discrete emotions of contempt and compassion positively relates to perceptions that an individual is a leader. Study 2 tests the mechanism explaining these associations. Specifically, we show that in a leadership emergence context, contempt and compassion both positively relate to perceptions that the expresser is a leader because each provides cues matching the implicit theory that leaders have higher intelligence. Our findings add to a growing body of literature focused on identifying the processes through which leaders emerge in groups, showing that emotions are an important input to this process. We discuss the implications of our findings and how they might guide future research efforts. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved).
Looking Down: The Influence of Contempt and Compassion on Emergent
Leadership Categorizations
Shimul Melwani
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Jennifer S. Mueller
University of Pennsylvania
Jennifer R. Overbeck
University of Utah
By integrating the literatures on implicit leadership and the social functions of discrete emotions, we
develop and test a theoretical model of emotion expression and leadership categorizations. Specifically,
we examine the influence of 2 socio-comparative emotions—compassion and contempt—on assess-
ments of leadership made both in 1st impression contexts and over time. To demonstrate both internal
and external validity, Studies 1a and 1b provide laboratory and field evidence to show that expressing the
discrete emotions of contempt and compassion positively relates to perceptions that an individual is a
leader. Study 2 tests the mechanism explaining these associations. Specifically, we show that in a
leadership emergence context, contempt and compassion both positively relate to perceptions that the
expresser is a leader because each provides cues matching the implicit theory that leaders have higher
intelligence. Our findings add to a growing body of literature focused on identifying the processes
through which leaders emerge in groups, showing that emotions are an important input to this process.
We discuss the implications of our findings and how they might guide future research efforts.
Keywords: emotions, leadership, contempt, compassion, implicit theories
Do emotions influence perceptions that a person is a leader?
Decades of research on impression formation have established
that discrete emotions are powerful inputs in person perception,
influencing judgments of traits such as competence, warmth,
and status (Conway, Di Fazio, & Mayman, 1999;Knutson,
1996;McArthur & Baron, 1983;Mignon & Mollaret, 2002;
Mondillon et al., 2005;Tiedens, 2001). Though an important
domain of impression formation in organizations involves lead-
ership perceptions—perceptions that a target is, or could be, a
leader (Mueller, Goncalo, & Kamdar, 2011;Taggar, Hackett, &
Saha, 1999)—research has not yet explored whether and how
discrete emotions relate to the categorization and emergence of
leaders. Instead, the leadership literature has focused on the role
that personality traits and demographic characteristics such as
gender, race, and culture play in promoting leadership impres-
sions and emergence (e.g., Eagly & Karau, 2002;Ensari &
Murphy, 2003;Epitropaki & Martin, 2004;Foti & Hauenstein,
2007;Offermann, Kennedy, & Wirtz, 1994;Sy et al., 2010). So
the question remains, do individuals’ emotions influence
whether they are perceived as leaders? If so, what qualities of
discrete emotions play an important role in influencing leader-
ship categorizations—that is, judgments that a target fits the
category of “leader,” resulting in the target’s emergence as a
leader—and why?
Emotionally expressive cues convey interpersonal information
about the expresser (Knutson, 1996;Montepare & Dobish, 2003).
The literature has generally shown that perceptions of positive
traits such as dominance, competence, and warmth are elicited by
emotions of opposing valence, such that both positive discrete
emotions, such as happiness (Berry, Pennebaker, Mueller, &
Hiller, 1997;Knutson, 1996), and negative discrete emotions, such
as anger (Tiedens, 2001), can promote perceptions of the same
positive traits. As emotions signal aspects of the expresser’s social
position, task-related skills, and ability to form relationships with
others, it is likely that they also communicate information about
the expresser’s leadership abilities. Moreover, since positive traits
such as competence and warmth are associated with both positive
and negative emotions, these findings suggest that the valence of
the emotion alone may not be a consistent predictor of leadership
categorizations and emergence. Rather, we propose that when
social perceivers categorize targets as leaders, they look to the
social information conveyed by the emotion and not merely the
emotion valence.
This article was published Online First October 1, 2012.
Shimul Melwani, Kenan-Flagler Business School, University of North
Carolina at Chapel Hill; Jennifer S. Mueller, Management Department, The
Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania; Jennifer R. Overbeck, David
Eccles School of Business, University of Utah.
Portions of this research were presented at the annual meetings of the
Academy of Management in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (August 2007),
and Montreal, Quebec, Canada (August 2010), as well as the Emotions in
Organizations Conference, Ann Arbor, Michigan (June 2009). We grate-
fully acknowledge Sigal Barsade, Diane Berry, Mandy O’Neill, Monica
Stallings, and our many video coders—especially Charley Lu and Dave
Lebel—for their invaluable help and support.
Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Shimul
Melwani, Kenan-Flagler Business School, University of North Carolina at
Chapel Hill, Campus Box 3490, McColl Building, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-
3490. E-mail: shimul_melwani@unc.edu
Journal of Applied Psychology © 2012 American Psychological Association
2012, Vol. 97, No. 6, 1171–1185 0021-9010/12/$12.00 DOI: 10.1037/a0030074
1171
The socio-functional approach to emotions (Keltner & Haidt,
1999;Keltner & Kring, 1998;Oatley & Jenkins, 1992) argues that
emotions convey information about the expresser’s role- and
position-based characteristics. More specifically, certain emotions
carry comparative information about the expresser’s relative value
and access to essential resources in comparison with others in his
or her social group. These emotions may serve as markers of
relative access to resources and ability to contribute to group
success and, as a result, play a role in establishing social hierar-
chies. A socio-functional view would suggest that emotions con-
veying comparative, hierarchical information about a person’s
leadership relative to other members of a group will best predict
leadership categorizations. Indeed, this view is also commensurate
with theories of leadership emergence and implicit leadership
theories in which members compare a target’s skills with those of
others in a given group to determine the target’s relative leadership
competency and whether the target matches the category of being
a leader (e.g., Hogg, 2001;Offermann et al., 1994). Hence, we
propose that socio-comparative emotionsemotions that convey
comparative information about the expresser’s relative value and
superiority—are important predictors of perceptions that a target is
a leader and will predict leadership emergence.
Emotions which convey an implicit downward social compari-
son, and thereby imply the expresser’s relative advantage, should
promote leadership perceptions regardless of their valence. To test
this possibility, we explore one negative and one positive discrete
1
downward socio-comparative emotion: contempt and compassion.
Contempt and compassion both convey the superior position of the
expresser relative to the perceiver. Specifically, contempt is a
negative emotion that conveys disregard for and social distance
from another person (Fischer & Roseman, 2007;Morris & Keltner,
2000), whereas compassion is a positive emotion which indicates
concern for and an ability to alleviate the suffering of another
(Goetz, Keltner, & Simon-Thomas, 2010). By conveying this
relative information, these socio-comparative emotions match peo-
ple’s implicit theories of the typical characteristics leaders hold
and, thus, prompt the perceiver to regard the expresser as a leader.
Therefore, in this article, we test the proposition that emotions that
convey a downward social comparison and highlight the express-
er’s superiority are more likely to result in leadership categoriza-
tions and emergence.
Leadership Judgments and the Perceptions of
Intelligence
Influential work undertaken by Lord and colleagues (e.g., Foti &
Lord, 1987;Lord & Alliger, 1985;Lord, Foti, & de Vader, 1984;
Lord & Maher, 1991) has highlighted the influence of implicit
leadership theories on a perceiver’s tendency to engage in leader-
ship categorization, the process of categorizing a given person as
a leader. Their notion, based on theories of cognitive categoriza-
tion (Rosch, 1978) and person perception (Cantor & Mischel,
1979), is that due to the influence of media exposure, cultural and
socialization experiences, and prior interactions with leaders, peo-
ple form implicit leadership theories that encompass their overall
notions about the skills, behaviors, and abilities that are most
representative of leaders. Implicit leadership theories serve as
heuristics that allow perceivers to match targets’ behaviors to
perceiver’s preexisting leadership expectations (Lord et al., 1984)
and thereby allow perceivers to subsequently categorize targets as
leaders. Such implicit leadership theories consist of associations—
often implicit and automatic—between particular target character-
istics and the category of “leader.”
Lord and colleagues have long noted that the extent to which
each leadership characteristic relates to leadership perceptions is
partially determined by contextual variations (e.g., Lord et al.,
1984). Work groups—groups that value and reward performance
on a specific task—provide one context which has garnered in-
creasing importance in the practical and scholarly domain pertain-
ing to organizations. In work group contexts, an individual’s
intelligence is viewed as highly predictive of individual and group
task success (Berger, Cohen, & Zelditch, 1972;Van Vugt, 2006),
and people hold strong expectations that leaders will succeed at
their various tasks (Meindl, Ehrlich, & Dukerich, 1985). As such,
behaviors indicating intelligence or cognitive ability are the most
closely related to overall leadership judgments in task groups
(Driskell, Olmstead, & Salas, 1993). For example, in functional
groups, or groups with a specific task-related goal, research shows
that perceptions of intelligence are more proximal predictors of
leadership categorizations compared with targets’ attempts to hi-
erarchically dominate the group (Anderson & Kilduff, 2009). In
sum, there is strong evidence that in group contexts, leadership is
likely to be awarded to those who signal their intelligence, cogni-
tive ability, and task-related expertise.
However, even though leadership is often bestowed based on the
group’s overall assessment of the individual members’ intelli-
gence, it is difficult for individuals and groups to accurately detect
intelligence (Anderson & Kilduff, 2009;Paulhus & Morgan,
1997). Indeed, “there is a great deal of difference between a person
being intelligent and appearing intelligent” (Geier, 1967, p. 317),
and individuals often act in ways that signal enhanced intelligence
(Murphy, Hall, & LeBeau, 2001), irrespective of their actual
cognitive ability. Thus, group members can only attribute leader-
ship abilities on the basis of what they believe each teammate’s
intelligence to be (Berger et al., 1972;Driskell & Mullen, 1990).
Past research highlights the use of external cues such as nonverbal
behavior (Imada & Hakel, 1977;Mehrabian & Williams, 1969),
speaking style (Driskell et al., 1993), personality traits (Anderson
& Kilduff, 2009;Paulhus & Morgan, 1997), and demographic or
physical characteristics (Eagly, Makhijani, & Klonsky, 1992;
Judge & Cable, 2004) in assessments of a target’s intelligence.
Discrete emotional expressions, revealed through facial expres-
1
The emotions discussed in this article are all discrete emotions. Dis-
crete emotions are defined as distinct feeling states (Russell & Feldman
Barrett, 1999) that are intense (Forgas, 1999), fleeting (Frijda, 1993), and
elicited by specific causes or stimuli (Lazarus, 1991). These emotions are
composed of different components, including cognitive appraisals, nonver-
bal facial expressions, and physiological experiences, and they serve spe-
cific functions (Ekman, 1993). They differ from moods, which are more
diffuse, less intense, not attributed to a specific cause, and potentially
longer in duration than emotions (Frijda, 1986) and trait affect or dispo-
sitional affect, which refer a person’s relatively stable inclination to expe-
rience positive or negative affect (Watson, Clark, & Tellegen, 1988).
Socio-comparative emotions may include any discrete emotions whose
underlying appraisal dimensions inherently involve comparisons with other
people. For purposes of parsimony, we have chosen one positive and one
negative example of emotions conveying downward comparisons with
others to examine here. However, our arguments are intended to generalize
to other downward comparative emotions as well.
1172 MELWANI, MUELLER, AND OVERBECK
sions, voice tones, physiological changes, and verbal articulations,
can also act as social signals that allow perceivers to extrapolate
expressers’ intentions, roles, and traits (e.g., Ekman, 1993;Frid-
lund, 1994;Izard, 1977;Keltner, Ekman, Gonzaga, & Beer, 2009).
Emotions may thereby serve as a source of category-consistent (or
inconsistent) data for observers to compare with relevant attributes
of the implicit theory that leaders are “intelligent.”
Contempt, Compassion, and Leadership Judgments
Contempt and compassion, two oppositely-valenced discrete
emotions that carry unique diagnostic value by implicitly commu-
nicating the expresser’s privileged standing vis-a
`-vis the target of
the emotion, may be especially relevant to judgments related to
intelligence and leadership potential. At first glance, contempt and
compassion seem antithetical to each other: Compassion is a
prosocial, positive emotion that involves feeling for and wanting to
help others in distress (Goetz et al., 2010), whereas contempt tends
to have an antisocial flavor and serves to derogate and reject its
targets (Fischer & Roseman, 2007;Izard, 1977). However, these
emotions also share many similarities. Both contempt and com-
passion are elicited by their targets’ failures (Frijda, 1986;Smith &
Ellsworth, 1985); are driven by moral, often negative judgments
about others’ behaviors (Fiske, Cuddy, Glick, & Xu, 2002;Hutch-
erson & Gross, 2011;Rozin, Lowery, Imada, & Haidt, 1999); and,
in turn, involve a socio-comparative facet that highlights the ex-
presser’s advantage in contrast to the target of the emotion. Func-
tionally, both these emotions serve a social-distancing purpose,
allowing those who express them to draw clear self–other distinc-
tions between themselves and their targets (Fischer & Manstead,
2008;Goetz et al., 2010).
Contempt indicates the expresser’s feelings of superiority and
dominance with regard to a target who is implied to be inferior,
incompetent, or even worthless (Ekman, 1994;Izard, 1977). Con-
tempt conveys an expresser’s relative value through its signals of
disapproval and condescension (Darwin, 1872/1965;Izard, 1977),
which indicate that the target is inferior to the expresser with
regard to general ability, morality, or social skills (Hutcherson &
Gross, 2011;Rozin et al., 1999) and comparative inability to reach
goals (Miller, 1997). In this way, contempt functions to diminish
interaction with individuals who cannot contribute in a meaningful
way to the group. As such, in work group contexts, the mere ability
of a person to express contempt, with its distancing and derogatory
judgments of others’ incompetence and ineffectiveness, will likely
highlight the expresser’s relative superiority (Keltner, Young,
Heerey, Oemig, & Monarch, 1998;Merten, 1997) in the salient
domain of cognitive skills and intelligence. Since intelligence is a
trait associated with the typical leader (Epitropaki & Martin, 2004;
Offermann et al., 1994), especially in task-related group contexts
(Driskell et al., 1993), expressing contempt is likely to have a
positive effect on perceptions that the target is a leader and, thus,
influence emergent leadership.
Hypothesis 1: Expressions of contempt positively relate to
perceptions that the target is a leader.
Compassion is defined as the feeling that arises in response to
others’ failures, suffering, or distress, and the subsequent desire to
ameliorate this suffering (Goetz et al., 2010;Lazarus, 1991). In
displaying compassion, the compassionate expresser conveys a
categorical self–other distinction, thus inherently suggesting that
he or she is in a better (safer, happier, more secure) position than
the target of the compassion and has the ability or the resources to
provide help to the target (Nussbaum, 1996). Indeed, this under-
standing of the expresser’s advantage relative to the target of
compassion is reflected in the expresser’s heightened sense of
self-efficacy (Mikulincer, Shaver, Gillath, & Nitzberg, 2005), cop-
ing and care-taking ability (Mikulincer & Shaver, 2005;Oveis,
Horberg, & Keltner, 2010), and determination to alleviate the
target’s suffering (von Dietze & Orb, 2000). Together, these feel-
ings may then increase social distance and drive subtle hierarchical
differentiation between the expresser and the suffering other. In
addition, compassion arises through moral judgments of whether
targets are seen as deserving of help (Harris & Fiske, 2006). Past
research highlights that targets who are seen as being worthy of
sympathy and compassion are usually warm but not competent
(Fiske et al., 2002) and have, for no fault of their own, fallen to a
position where they need help and assistance (Rudolph, Roesch,
Greitemeyer, & Weiner, 2004). The simple fact that compassionate
expressers engage in such judgments may implicitly signal to
perceivers that they feel entitled to do so, and are thus higher up in
the pecking order (cf. Yzerbyt, Leyens, & Schadron, 1997).
This combination of relative standing and the capacity to pro-
vide psychological and material resources to assuage the target’s
distress may enhance perceptions of the compassionate expresser’s
ability to provide help and assistance to others. The ability to
provide help is generally associated with higher amounts of pres-
tige and social standing (Flynn, Reagans, Amanatullah, & Ames,
2006;Mueller & Kamdar, 2011) and indicates that the person
giving help is smarter and more capable than the person receiving
the help (Lee, 1997,2002). This is because the mere ability to
provide task-related help to another indicates that the helper has a
greater knowledge and understanding of the specific task (Lee,
2002). Furthermore, being seen as someone who can provide
emotional help can reinforce the view that the helper has a rela-
tively greater position, social standing, and value, which in a task
context may be overgeneralized to include what is valued broadly
such as knowledge of the task. In sum, expressing compassion can
imply that expressers have a relatively higher amount of the
knowledge and intelligence required to provide help, which may in
turn cause the expressers to be seen as leaders.
Hypothesis 2: Expressions of compassion positively relate to
perceptions that the target is a leader.
Studies 1a and 1b: Contempt, Compassion, and
Leadership Categorizations
Studies 1a and 1b test the hypotheses that downward socio-
comparative emotions—here, specifically, contempt and compas-
sion—relate to leadership impressions, using two different set-
tings, laboratory and field, to triangulate and thereby enhance the
validity of our results. Specifically, in Study 1a, we used video-
taped interactions as part of a naturalistic study in which we
explored the influence of emotional displays of contempt and
compassion on first impressions of leadership as rated by external
coders. In Study 1b, we extended the effects beyond the laboratory
by corroborating the manner in which expressing contempt and
compassion shaped peer-ratings of emergent leader perceptions in
a sample of student work-groups over the course of several weeks.
1173
CONTEMPT, COMPASSION, AND LEADERSHIP
We also wished to compare the effects of contempt and com-
passion with those of two additional discrete emotions that past
studies have shown may be similar to the emotions in our study:
anger, a negative emotion similar to but distinct from contempt
(Ekman & Friesen, 1988;Fischer & Roseman, 2007), and love, a
positive emotion that belongs to the same emotional family as
compassion but is also distinct from it (Shaver, Schwartz, Kirson,
& O’Connor, 1987). All four of these emotions (i.e., anger, love,
contempt, and compassion) are similar in that they are other-
directed and other-oriented (Markus & Kitayama, 1991), yet they
are different, as neither anger nor love involves social compari-
sons. Hence, we included anger and love as comparisons to estab-
lish differential validity and to dismiss the possibility that our
results were driven by the valence or the other-directed nature of
the emotion. Furthermore, by showing that neither love nor anger
relates to leadership categorizations and emergence, we provide
some assurance that it is the downward socio-comparative nature
of each emotion which contributes to our findings.
Study 1a
Method
Participants and procedure. A total of 100 (49 male and 51
female) participants from a large, private university in the south-
western United States took part in a videotaped interview study to
receive course credit. Their ages ranged from 18 to 22 years, and
the sample’s ethnic composition was 90% Caucasian, 5% Black,
2% Asian American, and 3% other (or unknown).
During the videotaping session, each participant was instructed
to talk about a task-related, emotionally-laden subject: the posi-
tives and negatives of coming to college. We chose this as our
interview question because it carried a task-related component
(e.g., classes and coursework at college, as well as the inherently
task-related nature of education) while also encouraging emotional
expression. Participants were interviewed by a female undergrad-
uate research assistant, who sat across from the participant, below
and to the left of the camera so that her image was not recorded
and eye contact was maintained through the entire interview. The
research assistant was instructed to remain engaged with the par-
ticipant throughout the entire interview; however, her verbaliza-
tions were limited to emotionally-neutral, content-free comments
(e.g., “Uh huh”; “Yes, I see”). Interviews varied in length with a
mean length of 116.77 s (SD 96.69 s).
Social perceptions. Eight raters split across two groups rated
each participant; one group coded expressed emotions, and a
second separate group judged the leadership qualities of each
participant. All the independent raters were naïve in that none
knew the research questions being addressed. They were similar in
age to the participants but did not know any of the participants. All
judgments of emotions and leadership were made on 9-point scales
ranging from 1 (not at all)to9(extremely).
Discrete emotion ratings. We trained four independent raters
how to recognize four discrete emotions (anger, contempt, com-
passion, and love). Training consisted of a set of group instruc-
tional sessions in which the coders were trained to code levels of
emotions by studying pictures and videotapes; they were trained
using a behavioral coding system that takes into account facial
expression, verbal tone, and body language. For instance, the facial
expression of contempt involves looking down on a target and a
unilateral tightening and raising of the lip corner (Ekman &
Friesen, 1988), while the compassion expression includes oblique
eyebrows, a fixed gaze (Keltner & Buswell, 1996), as well as the
forward tilt of the head and a relaxed lower face (Eisenberg,
McCreath, & Ahn, 1988). Anger was coded as having contracted
and raised eyebrows, compressed lips, stiff and unyielding body
language, and a raised voice. Expressions of love included Duch-
enne smiles, open handed gestures, and a forward bent of the body
(Gonzaga, Keltner, Londahl, & Smith, 2001). Each coder subse-
quently viewed 10 participant interviews, rating each and discuss-
ing any discrepant ratings. After training, coders individually rated
the remaining 90 participants. We calculated intra-class correlation
coefficients finding acceptable inter-judge reliability for each emo-
tion (all intraclass correlation coefficients [ICCs] .73).
Leadership judgments. We instructed another four coders to
rate leadership for each of the participants. Perceptions that the
target is a leader comprised three questions adapted from Lord et
al. (1984; e.g., “To what extent does this person fit your image of
a leader?”). Inter-rater reliability assessing the agreement between
the four raters for all participants ranged from .71 to .87 for each
of these items. These three items were then averaged (␣⫽.98) to
create a single leadership composite measure.
Control variables. We also controlled for two theoretically-
relevant variables: gender and physical attractiveness. In terms of
gender, prior work suggests that gender activates implicit leader-
ship theories that influence leadership categorizations (Eagly et al.,
1992). For instance, men are expected to be more agentic, closely
mirroring societal expectations for leaders. Women, on the other
hand, are expected to act in a communal manner, which is incon-
sistent with leadership roles (Eagly & Karau, 2002). In addition,
we controlled for the participants’ levels of physical attractiveness.
In general, physical attractiveness is a valued characteristic (Eagly,
Ashmore, Makhijani, & Longo, 1991) that is prone to halo effects,
such that more physically attractive people tend to make more
favorable impressions on others (Riggio, 1986) in terms of social
skills (Eagly et al., 1991), status (Anderson, John, Keltner, &
Kring, 2001), and leadership (Offermann et al., 1994). We also
controlled for the length of interview to ensure that increased
exposure to the participant did not influence coders’ leadership
judgments.
Results and Discussion
Means, standard deviations, reliability coefficients, and inter-
correlations among study variables are shown in Table 1.To
examine the effects of expressing socio-comparative emotions on
first impressions of leadership, we tested our hypotheses using
regression analyses, entering control variables (sex, length of
interview, and physical attractiveness, as well as anger and love) in
Step 1 and the two socio-comparative emotions—contempt and
compassion—in Step 2. These results are summarized in Table 2.
An examination of individual parameters revealed that our two
hypotheses were supported. Expressions of contempt were posi-
tively and significantly associated with perceptions that targets fit
the image of a leader (␤⫽.55, p.01), thus providing support
for Hypothesis 1. Furthermore, as predicted by Hypothesis 2,
compassion was positively associated with perceptions that the
target is a leader (␤⫽.38, p.01). In terms of the non
1174 MELWANI, MUELLER, AND OVERBECK
socio-comparative control emotions, anger was significantly, but
negatively, related to perceptions that the target is a leader (␤⫽
–.48, p.01), whereas expressions of love did not significantly
relate to judgments of leadership.
Study 1a used a laboratory methodology in a setting that evoked
task-related expectations (e.g., discussing college) to show that the
two emotions which involve downward social comparisons, con-
tempt and compassion, both positively contributed to perceptions
that the target is a leader. The results from Study 1a support our
predictions regarding the positive influence of socio-comparative
emotions contempt and compassion on perceptions that the target
is a leader as assessed by two different sets of coders, a method
which eliminates single source bias. Furthermore, by using third-
party coders, we were able to precisely establish the association
between the expression of emotions and perceptions of leadership,
a link which is not possible to make when using field methodology
where the observed emotional expression can result from having
achieved credibility as a leader in the eyes of followers. Indeed,
this methodology confirms that our findings were not simply
driven by perceivers’ motivated perceptions, that is, by using two
sets of outside observers, we were also able to eliminate the
possibility that leadership perceptions reflected biased, post hoc
rationalizations constructed to justify an emergent hierarchy. Last,
a further strength of Study 1a is that the coders’ judgments of
leadership were made independent of task performance (only in a
task-relevant context). This allowed us to demonstrate that expres-
sions of contempt and compassion were sufficient to cue attribu-
tions of leadership, independent of performance cues, thus en-
abling us to rule out alternative explanations of our findings.
Study 1b: Socio-Comparative Emotions and
Leadership Emergence in a Group Context
The purpose of this study was to examine the influence of the
two socio-comparative emotions on perceptions that the target is a
leader in a setting where leadership emergence was possible—that
is, where participants had the opportunity to lead a specific task.
Whereas Study 1a showed evidence of a directional relationship
between expressions of contempt and compassion and leadership
perceptions in first impression contexts, we were also interested in
the external validity of these associations. Hence, we sought to
replicate our findings in a more naturalistic, field setting, and we
conducted Study 1b in a longitudinal student group context. This
study also enabled us to investigate whether socio-comparative
emotions influence perceptions of leadership and leadership emer-
gence over time.
Method
Fifty-one participants (64.7% male) in 11 four- or five-person
teams worked together to analyze a current strategic or organiza-
tional problem facing a company of their choosing as part of a
5-week long introductory management course at a large mid-
Atlantic business school. We collected data in two waves of
surveys during this 5-week course: The first survey was conducted
during the 2nd week of the course, when the team assignments
took place, and the second wave of data was collected when the
project was nearing completion, during the 5th and last week of the
course. We separated waves of data collection to diminish single
source bias (Podsakoff, MacKenzie, Lee, & Podsakoff, 2003).
Participation in the study was voluntary; however, in exchange for
their participation, students were eligible for cash prizes (two
raffles of $100 each).
Measures. We used the same measures as in Study 1. At Time
1, we collected round-robin data within each team asking team
Table 1
Means, Standard Deviations, and Intercorrelations Among Study 1a Variables
Variable MSD12345678
1. Sex: 0 female, 1 male 0.48 0.50 1
2. Facial attractiveness 4.47 1.21 .09 1
3. Length of interview 116.01 96.86 .09 .04 1
4. Contempt 2.06 1.48 .04 .05 .57
ⴱⴱ
1
5. Compassion 1.73 1.03 .06 .02 .49
ⴱⴱ
.20
1
6. Anger 1.71 1.15 .10 .03 .42
ⴱⴱ
.56
ⴱⴱ
.13 1
7. Love 2.12 1.21 .03 .05 .38
ⴱⴱ
.05 .70
ⴱⴱ
.06 1
8. Perceptions of leadership 3.88 1.85 .01 .22
.41
ⴱⴱ
.21
.28
ⴱⴱ
.22
.11 (.98)
Note. N 100.
p.05.
ⴱⴱ
p.01.
Table 2
Hierarchical Regression Analyses Identifying the Relationship
Between Contempt, Compassion, and Perceptions of Leadership
in Study 1a
Variable type
Leadership
Step 1 Step 2
␤␤
Control variables
1. Sex: 0 female, 1 male .01 .01
2. Attractiveness .22
.22
3. Length of Interview .13 .22
4. Anger .28
.48
ⴱⴱ
5. Love .10 .06
Predictor variables
6. Contempt .55
ⴱⴱ
7. Compassion .38
ⴱⴱ
df 100 100
R
2
.13
.24
ⴱⴱ
R
2
.13 .36
Note. Standardized coefficients are reported; two-tailed tests (N100 at
the individual level).
p.05.
ⴱⴱ
p.01.
1175
CONTEMPT, COMPASSION, AND LEADERSHIP
members to assess one another on the degree to which each person
exhibited the specific emotions of contempt, compassion, anger,
and love in their interactions with other people, both in and out of
the team context. At Time 2, we collected round-robin data by
asking each team member to assess the degree to which the other
team members were seen as leaders using the same three-item
Lord et al. (1984) measure. Three raters also coded for levels of
physical attractiveness using the faculty seating chart that included
photographs (all ICCs.68).
Results and Discussion
Table 3 shows the descriptive statistics and correlations among
all major individual level variables. We proposed that contempt
and compassion would both positively relate to perceptions that
the target is a leader when controlling for gender, attractiveness,
warmth, anger, and love as well as for random variance at the team
level. Because individuals in our sample were nested within
groups, we employed SAS PROC MIXED to generate a multi-
level model controlling for non-independence of observations and
random group level variance that might influence the results be-
yond variance at the individual level (Singer, 1998). To control for
random variance related to group membership, we treated group as
a random factor in the analysis (Nezlek & Zyzniewski, 1998). In
addition, we grand-mean-centered all variables in our analysis
(Hofmann & Gavin, 1998).
We ran a multi-level model controlling for random variance at
the group level, as well as gender, physical attractiveness, anger,
and love to assess whether contempt and compassion each inde-
pendently related to perceptions that targets were leaders. Table 4,
Model 2, presents results of a multilevel model showing that both
contempt, ␥⫽.31, t(34) 3.26, p.01, and compassion, ␥⫽
.35, t(34) 2.89, p.01, positively and significantly relate to
perceptions that the target was a leader; however, the four control
variables—gender, attractiveness, anger, and love—were not sig-
nificantly related to perceptions that the target was a leader.
Overall, the findings from Study 1b demonstrated that initial
expressions of contempt and compassion had a positive influence
of leadership perceptions and emergence over a longer time frame
and in real groups. In this study, we found that expressing con-
tempt and compassion during early interactions predicted emer-
gent leadership judgments later in the lifecycle of the group as
well. By using both the longitudinal design and round-robin data
collection methods in this study, we are able to ensure that our
findings were generalizable beyond a single rater’s perceptions. In
general, the results support our central proposition that emotions
with an inherent downward comparative component carry infor-
mation that has a bearing on perceivers’ perceptions that the target
is emerging as a leader. Most important, these studies confirm that
valence alone is not sufficient to determine whether someone is
seen as a leader; rather, the socio-comparative nature of these
emotions allows for richer inferences and uniquely predict judg-
ments of emergent leadership.
However, we also argued that expressing downward socio-
comparative emotions relate to leadership categorizations because
they conveyed the expressers’ high intelligence—a prototypical
characteristic of leaders. Because we did not actually measure this
dimension of people’s implicit theory of leadership, perceptions of
intelligence, we employed Study 2 to overcome this limitation and
show that perceived intelligence mediates the downward socio-
comparative emotion–emergent leadership categorization link.
Study 2: Intelligence as a Mediator of the
Socio-Comparative Emotions–Leadership
Emergence Relationship
We had three primary aims in Study 2. First, we explored the
role that various implicit leadership theories, especially intelli-
Table 3
Descriptive Statistics for All Major Variables in Study 1b
Variable type MSD 123 4 56
Control variables
1. Sex: 0 female, 1 male 0.65 0.48
2. Attractiveness 4.24 1.12 .58
ⴱⴱ
3. Anger 2.34 0.98 .04 .04
4. Love 3.64 0.95 .01 .01 .31
Predictor variables
5. Contempt 2.59 1.16 .00 .13 .42
ⴱⴱ
.20
6. Compassion 4.84 0.93 .22 .17 .30
.36
ⴱⴱ
.27
Outcome variable
7. Leadership 4.90 0.78 .05 .06 .18 .22 .24
.36
ⴱⴱ
Note. N 51.
p.10.
p.05.
ⴱⴱ
p.01.
Table 4
Multi-Level Models Identifying the Relationship Between
Contempt, Compassion, and Perceptions of Leadership
in Study 1b
Variable type
Leadership
Model 1 Model 2
Control variables
1. Sex: 0 female, 1 male .11 (.272) .25 (.251)
2. Attractiveness .11 (.118) .02 (.107)
3. Anger .18 (.119) .17 (.113)
4. Love .12 (.131) .07 (.112)
Predictor variables
5. Contempt .35
ⴱⴱ
(.121)
6. Compassion .31
(.101)
Note. N 51. Unstandardized coefficients are reported; standard errors
are in parentheses. Two-tailed tests (N51 at the individual level).
p.05.
ⴱⴱ
p.01.
1176 MELWANI, MUELLER, AND OVERBECK
gence, play in the downward socio-comparative emotions–
emergent leadership perceptions link. Overall, we argue that ex-
pressions of contempt and compassion indicate a target’s relative
superiority to another, specifically in terms of perceived intelli-
gence. Recall that, according to implicit leadership theory, per-
ceivers use featural cues to categorize social targets as leaders (or
not). The featural cues conveyed by socio-comparative emotions—
specifically, contempt and compassion—resemble cues of superi-
ority, ability, and intelligence relevant to leadership. Social per-
ceivers may over-generalize expressions of these emotions to
mean that targets have relatively high amounts of resources and
skills to bring to their tasks, including high intelligence. Further-
more, the comparative nature of these emotions facilitates catego-
rization based not only on the particular content of featural cues
but also on the highlighted differences between the target and the
self (or between the target and an inferior referent). The perceived
presence of these qualities evokes perceptions of intelligence, an
essential dimension of the overall implicit leadership theory be-
cause it is associated with team leadership skills such as setting
standards for performance, organizing activities, solving problems,
and gathering information (Dansereau & Yammarino, 1998;Hol-
lander, 1985). Through this process, we propose that expressions
of contempt and compassion lead to perceptions of intelligence,
which in turn lead to perceptions of leadership:
Hypothesis 3: Perceived intelligence mediates the relationship
between contempt and perceptions that the target is a leader.
Hypothesis 4: Perceived intelligence mediates the relationship
between compassion and perceptions that the target is a leader.
Our second goal was to include a series of theoretically
relevant control variables that may account for our hypothe-
sized associations and allow for important comparisons. Spe-
cifically, when testing the manner in which perceptions of
intelligence mediated associations between contempt, compas-
sion, and leadership judgments, we also evaluated two other
implicit leadership theory dimensions directly implicated by the
two target emotions. For instance, due to the unique hierarchi-
cal and exclusionary message embedded in contempt, contemp-
tuous individuals could be perceived as domineering, authori-
tative, and dominant—attributes that directly map onto the
negative implicit leadership theory factor of tyranny (Offer-
mann et al., 1994). Furthermore, displays of compassion could
be likely to map directly onto the implicit leadership theory
factor of sensitivity (Offermann et al., 1994), as it is composed
of attributes relevant for maintaining trust and improving inter-
personal relationships, such as being helpful, understanding,
and sincere—qualities conveyed through expressions of com-
passion. However, if contempt and compassion are significantly
related to perceptions of intelligence even when controlling for
these other matching implicit leadership theory dimensions,
then we can conclude with confidence that both emotions
influence leadership ratings through a common mechanism—
perceived intelligence—driven by their downward socio-
comparative nature. Study 2 employed a field methodology to
fill this gap.
Additionally, we wanted to demonstrate the influence of socio-
comparative emotions on leadership perceptions above and beyond
demographic characteristics, personality traits, and actual cogni-
tive abilities, all of which have been linked with leadership per-
ceptions in prior research (Epitropaki & Martin, 2004;Foti &
Hauenstein, 2007;Offermann et al., 1994). Thus, we controlled for
the personality traits of extraversion and conscientiousness, which
past research has shown are strong predictors of perceptions of
leadership both in initial interactions and over time (Judge, Bono,
Ilies, & Gerhardt, 2002). Furthermore, since we were interested in
understanding the role of perceived intelligence on perceptions of
leadership, we also controlled for participants’ actual intelligence
as assessed by an objective measure—in this case, the Graduate
Management Admission Test (GMAT; Graduate Management Ad-
missions Council, 2009), which assesses verbal, mathematical, and
analytical skills. We hypothesized that individuals who displayed
contempt and compassion would be viewed as leaders by their
group members, even when controlling for their demographic
characteristics (i.e., sex and age), personality traits, and actual
cognitive ability.
Third, we investigated the role of two emotions which convey a
different type of social comparison. As described earlier, contempt
and compassion indicate a positive relative comparison between an
expresser and a target, or a downward social comparison with the
target. However, social comparison can be not only downward—
conveying superiority—but also upward— conveying inferiority.
To understand the bearing of this type of comparison on emergent
leadership judgments, we also included one positive and one
negative other-directed emotion—admiration and envy—that con-
veyed negative relative comparisons (or upward comparisons)
between the expresser and the target. Envy, which is felt “when a
person lacks another’s superior quality, achievement, or posses-
sion and either desires it or wishes that the other lacked it” (Parrott
& Smith, 1993, p. 906) conveys the expresser’s disadvantage with
regard to the comparative other. Admiration, a positive emotion
defined as feeling respect and warm approval toward another,
usually in response to exceptional displays of achievement and
success (Algoe & Haidt, 2009;Ortony, Clore, & Collins, 1988),
signals a desire to emulate the admired person and improve the self
(Algoe, Haidt, & Gable, 2008)—that is, it conveys the other’s
advantage over the expresser. Because these emotions imply up-
ward comparisons with the target, our argument suggests, they are
unlikely to prompt inferences of target intelligence or leadership.
Including envy and admiration in our models allows us to test
whether these, too, affect perceptions of intelligence and thereby
leadership categorizations and emergence. If not, that provides
further support for our argument that downward socio-comparative
emotions provide uniquely salient information that affects whether
one is seen as a leader.
Method
We employed a sample of Master of Business Administration
(MBA) students enrolled in a core management course at a large
west coast business school. Two hundred and twelve partici-
pants (65.1% male) in 39 four- to six-person teams worked
together in a context in which leadership emergence was pos-
sible. On average, participants were 28 years of age (SD
2.21) with 4.91 years of work experience (SD 1.79). Partic-
ipants responded to an online survey about their teammates. We
collected data in a single wave, 3 weeks into the course, at
1177
CONTEMPT, COMPASSION, AND LEADERSHIP
which point the teams had completed two graded assignments
together.
Measures.
Discrete emotions and perceived leadership. We used many
of the same measures as in Study 1b. Specifically, we collected
round-robin data within each team, asking team members to assess
one another on the degree to which each person exhibited the
specific emotions of contempt, compassion, anger, love, envy, and
admiration when interacting with teammates. Similar to Study 1b,
we collected round-robin data by asking each team member to
assess the degree to which the other team members were seen as
effective leaders. In the current sample, peers showed acceptable
level of agreement regarding target characteristics (all ICC2s
.70).
Implicit leadership factor: Perceived intelligence. To build
upon Study 1a and 1b, we assessed the specific content of partic-
ipants’ implicit leadership theories to determine why contempt and
compassion related to perceptions that the target is a leader. As
discussed earlier, the primary quality of “good leadership” in a task
context is intelligence (Offermann et al., 1994). Thus, we mea-
sured team members’ perceptions of one another’s intelligence by
having each member rate every other member using a question-
naire item assessing the extent to which each member thought the
target teammate was “intelligent (that is, he or she is clever and
knowledgeable).” Because group members showed acceptable
level of inter-judge agreement, ICC2 .72, we then aggregated all
peer ratings to create a single perceived intelligence score for each
target participant. Prior research has used this method, as it allows
for the calculation of inter-judge reliability (Amabile, Barsade,
Mueller, & Staw, 2005;Anderson, Srivastava, Beer, Spataro, &
Chatman, 2006;Saavedra & Kwun, 1993).
Alternative implicit leadership factors. We wanted to com-
pare the effects of intelligence, the leadership factor most relevant
to the expression of contempt and compassion, with two other
implicit leadership theories that carry similar information. Specif-
ically, Offermann et al. (1994) and others suggest that the leader-
ship categories of tyranny and sensitivity are most clearly related
to contempt and compassion expressions, respectively. We asked
participants to rate each teammate using a single item to assess the
extent to which they thought the teammate was “tyrannical (that is,
he or she is controlling and seeks power)” as well as “sensitive
(that is, he or she is sympathetic, understanding and sensitive).”
(ICC2s for both ratings were greater than .70.)
Results and Discussion
We employed the same analytic strategy used in Study 1b,
multi-level modeling, to account for non-independence. Parameter
estimates represent the extent to which individual level predictors
relate to individual level perceptions of leadership capability,
controlling for random group level variance.
Table 5 shows the descriptive statistics and correlations among
all major variables in the study. We proposed that contempt and
compassion would positively relate to perceptions that the target is
an emergent leader, even when controlling for demographic, per-
sonality, and intelligence variables, as well as other socio-
comparative emotions.
Table 6, Model 2 presents results of a multilevel model showing
that both contempt, ␥⫽.25, t(129) 2.10, p.05, and com-
Table 5
Means, Standard Deviations, and Intercorrelations Among Study 3 Variables
Variable type MSD 1234567891011121314
Control variables
1. Sex, 0 female, 1 male 0.72 0.45
2. GMAT 693.28 33.83 .20
ⴱⴱ
3. Age 27.65 2.22 .24
ⴱⴱ
.07
4. Extroversion 4.78 1.48 .04 .11 .02
5. Conscientiousness 5.64 1.07 .14
.18
.03 .01
6. Sensitivity 4.99 0.95 .18
.08 .05 .07 .01
7. Tyranny 2.13 0.93 .09 .08 .04 .17
.03 .41
ⴱⴱ
8. Anger 2.58 1.11 .12 .11 .07 .05 .01 .41
ⴱⴱ
.62
ⴱⴱ
9. Love 4.12 1.14 .11 .02 .06 .19
.02 .38
ⴱⴱ
.17
.15
10. Envy 1.79 0.72 .12 .09 .02 .05 .00 .13 .50
ⴱⴱ
.57
ⴱⴱ
.16
11. Admiration 5.04 0.75 .06 .10 .03 .11 .03 .46
ⴱⴱ
.31
ⴱⴱ
.40
ⴱⴱ
.45
ⴱⴱ
.21
ⴱⴱ
Mediator
12. Intelligence 5.77 0.72 .18
.12 .08 .08 .18
.08 .16
.19
.17
.32
ⴱⴱ
.21
ⴱⴱ
Predictor variables
13. Contempt 2.38 1.03 .02 .02 .00 .05 .03 .42
ⴱⴱ
.60
ⴱⴱ
.76
ⴱⴱ
.32
ⴱⴱ
.58
ⴱⴱ
.45
ⴱⴱ
.20
ⴱⴱ
14. Compassion 5.14 0.90 .08 .08 .01 .10 .16
.59
ⴱⴱ
.37
ⴱⴱ
.47
ⴱⴱ
.50
ⴱⴱ
.27
ⴱⴱ
.63
ⴱⴱ
.36
ⴱⴱ
.53
ⴱⴱ
Outcome variable
15. Leadership 4.55 1.07 .06 .05 .11 .21
ⴱⴱ
.11 .19
.06 .07 .33
ⴱⴱ
.20
ⴱⴱ
.31
ⴱⴱ
.59
ⴱⴱ
.11 .43
ⴱⴱ
Note. N 212. GMAT Graduate Management Admission Test.
p.05.
ⴱⴱ
p.01.
1178 MELWANI, MUELLER, AND OVERBECK
passion, ␥⫽.42, t(129) 3.59, p.01, positively and signifi-
cantly relate to emergent leadership perceptions even when con-
trolling for random group variance, sex, GMAT scores, age,
extroversion, conscientiousness, perceptions of sensitivity, tyr-
anny, and emotions including anger, love, envy, and admiration.
This replicates the findings from Studies 1a and 1b and confirms
our primary prediction. Further, team members’ expressions of
anger, ␥⫽.05, t(129) 0.49, ns; love, ␥⫽.10, t(129) 1.32, ns;
and admiration, ␥⫽.20, t(129) 1.60, ns, were unrelated to
perceptions that they were leaders, although envy was significantly
and negatively associated with these perceptions, ␥⫽–.50,
t(129) –3.84, p.05.
We next sought to demonstrate that perceived intelligence
would mediate the relationship between emotion expression and
ratings of emergent leadership. Bauer, Preacher, and Gil (2006)
have proposed that demonstrating mediation using nested data
requires a first model showing that the independent variable or
variables (e.g., contempt and compassion) relate to the mediator
(e.g., intelligence), and a second model showing that the relation-
ship between the independent variable and dependent variable
(e.g., leadership categorization) is reduced when including the
mediator in the model. Having already shown that the relationship
between the independent and dependent variables was significant,
we ran these two additional multi-level models, each controlling
for random group variance, gender, GMAT, age, extroversion,
conscientiousness, leadership factors of sensitivity and tyranny, as
well as emotions including anger, love, envy, and admiration.
As seen in Table 4, Model 1, regressing intelligence onto
expressions of contempt and compassion revealed that compas-
sion, ␥⫽.32, t(129) 3.76, p.01, and contempt, ␥⫽.18,
t(129) 2.11, p.05, positively and significantly related to
perceptions of intelligence. Table 4, Model 3, shows that the
relationships between contempt and emergent leadership, ␥⫽.15,
t(128) 1.36, ns, and compassion and emergent leadership, ␥⫽
.18, t(128) 1.77, p.079, diminished to non-significance when
intelligence was included in the model; at the same time, intelli-
gence was significantly and positively associated with emergent
leadership, ␥⫽.80, t(128) 9.10, p.01. A Sobel test (Sobel,
1982) supported our hypothesis that the relationship between con-
tempt and perceptions that the target is a leader via intelligence
perceptions was significant (z2.06, p.05). A second Sobel
test also suggested that the influence of compassion on perceptions
that the target is an emergent leader via intelligence perceptions
was also significant (z3.47, p.05). In addition, we employed
a macro developed by Bauer et al. (2006) to calculate the simple
indirect effect and a 95% confidence interval of this effect, using
SAS PROC MIXED to control for variance of the slopes and
intercepts. Specifically, we found that the simple indirect effect of
compassion on perceptions that the target is a leader through
intelligence was significant and the Monte Carlo confidence inter-
val did not overlap with zero (␥⫽.26, p.01, SE .07; Monte
Carlo confidence interval .109, .402; ␣⫽.05). We also found
that the simple indirect effect of contempt on perceptions that the
target is a leader through intelligence was significant and the
Monte Carlo confidence interval did not overlap with zero (␥⫽
.14, p.05, SE .07; Monte Carlo confidence interval .003,
.285; ␣⫽.05). Hence, given the cross-sectional nature of our data,
we found a degree of support for our central explanatory argument:
that the positive relationship between contempt and emergent
leadership, as well as that between compassion and emergent
leadership, appear to have mediated by perceptions of participants’
intelligence. That is, team members appear to use expressions of
these emotions as signals of intelligence, which in turn fosters
perceptions that the expresser is a leader and predicts emergent
leadership.
We included four different emotions in our model to control for
potential third variables. Specifically, we included love, anger,
envy, and admiration. Again, in the full model including intelli-
gence, the emotions anger and love did not predict leadership. We
consider this strong evidence that emotion valence is not sufficient
to account for perceptions of leadership. Interestingly, envy and
admiration both significantly related to perceptions that the target
was a leader above and beyond perceptions of intelligence. Though
unexpected, these results highlight the differential validity of our
findings. First, for admiration, there was no effect on leadership
without intelligence in the model, and admiration did not predict
intelligence (see Table 6, Model 1). Thus, the positive effect of
admiration on leadership categorizations does not, as predicted,
mirror the effects of contempt and compassion. Second, envy also
clearly operated differently from contempt and compassion. Envy
did lead to lower ratings of intelligence; however, because envy
remained a significant (negative) predictor of leadership percep-
tions even when intelligence was included in the full model, we
can see that intelligence did not mediate the relationship between
envy and leadership perceptions (see Table 6, Model 3). Hence, the
relationship of envy and admiration expressions to perceived lead-
ership does not appear to reflect the activation of the intelligent
implicit leadership theory dimension. Instead, the negative effects
of envy and positive effects of admiration on perceptions that the
target was a leader apparently operate through different mecha-
nisms, as we discuss in the General Discussion.
Table 6
Multi-Level Models Identifying the Relationship Between
Contempt, Compassion, and Leadership Perceptions
Variable type
Intelligence Leadership Leadership
Model 1 Model 2 Model 3
Control variables
1. Sex: 0 female,
1male .32
ⴱⴱ
(1.33) .47
ⴱⴱ
(.151) .23
(.123)
2. GMAT .01
(.001) .00 (.001) .00
(.002)
3. Age .04
(.021) .07
(.029) .04
(.024)
4. Extroversion .00 (.034) .08
(.047) .09
(.038)
5. Conscientiousness .10
(.045) .062 (.062) .01 (.050)
6. Sensitivity .06 (.069) .11 (.093) .14
(.077)
7. Tyranny .07 (.072) .30
ⴱⴱ
(.100) .18
(.083)
8. Anger .02 (.074) .05 (.103) .10 (.087)
9. Love .05 (.06) .10 (.079) .03 (.076)
10. Envy .35
(.093) .50
ⴱⴱ
(.129) .26
(.121)
11. Admiration .03 (.090) .20 (.125) .29
(.109)
Mediator
12. Intelligence .80
ⴱⴱ
(.088)
Predictor variables
13. Contempt .18
(.085) .25
(.118) .15 (.108)
14. Compassion .32
ⴱⴱ
(.084) .42
ⴱⴱ
(.118) .18
(.103)
Note. Unstandardized coefficients are reported; standard errors are in
parentheses. Two-tailed tests (N212 at the individual level). GMAT
Graduate Management Admission Test.
p.10.
p.05.
ⴱⴱ
p.01.
1179
CONTEMPT, COMPASSION, AND LEADERSHIP
General Discussion
To date, research on perceptions of leadership has tended to
focus on the role of demographic characteristics, dispositions, and
group composition, while emotional antecedents of leadership
categorization have been under-researched. Considering the simul-
taneous influence of socio-comparative emotions on attributions of
leadership, across three studies, we found evidence for clear path-
ways between expressions of contempt and compassion and lead-
ership categorizations. Study 1a examined leadership perceptions
in a first impression context, and results confirmed that both
contempt and compassion influenced attributions of leadership.
Study 1b replicated and extended these findings to a natural setting
where ratings were made during two discrete time periods, at the
start and the end of a 5-week long course. In this study, we found
that expressing contempt and compassion during early interactions
predicted leadership emergence later in the lifecycle of the group,
a finding that is especially relevant in modern organizations that
have flatter, team-based structures and lack formal leadership. In
general, these two studies point to the potency and functional value
of expressing socio-comparative emotions in social interactions.
At first blush, it may seem surprising that two such different
emotions as compassion and contempt could have such similarly
positive effects on leadership perceptions. The two emotions differ
not only in valence, but in their social functions—compassion has
a prosocial function and motivates helping behavior, whereas
contempt is antisocial and serves to derogate its targets. We
proposed that, even given these differences between the two emo-
tions, each conveys information that the expresser is relatively
more intelligent, and this relates to the expresser being seen as a
leader because intelligence cues match people’s implicit beliefs
that leaders in a task context are smarter and more knowledgeable
than other members in the group. Indeed, the findings from Study
2 suggested that the relationship between the two socio-
comparative emotions and leadership categorization was mediated
by perceptions of the expressers’ intelligence. We cannot be de-
finitive about the nature of causality due to the cross-sectional
nature of our data, but our findings are nevertheless consistent with
the argument that perceptions of intelligence, a prototypical char-
acteristic of leaders, may mediate the relationship between these
two socio-comparative emotions and judgments of leadership.
Study 2 also established that this pattern is unique to downward
socio-comparative emotions: Similar relationships were not found
for either upward socio-comparative emotions (admiration and
envy) or non-comparative emotions (love and anger).
Integrating the leadership, emotions, and social comparison
literatures expands each. First, we found that expressions of down-
ward socio-comparative emotions have a particularly important
influence on leadership categorizations in group contexts. These
findings depart from the broader leadership literature, which has
largely explored how gender composition (Berdahl, 1996;Kent &
Moss, 1994) and individual differences such as extraversion, con-
scientiousness, intelligence, and physical attractiveness (Brunell et
al., 2008;Foti & Hauenstein, 2007;Hogan, Curphy, & Hogan,
1994;Van Vugt, 2006) influence leadership perceptions and emer-
gence. Second, our research also contributes to a more thorough
understanding of the social functions and interpersonal effects of
emotions by demonstrating the functional similarities of two seem-
ingly divergent interpersonal emotions, compassion and contempt,
that share a comparative flavor. Third, unlike prior work that either
focuses on initial or longer-term perceptions that the target is a
leader, we explore through our three studies whether the emotional
factors that predict preliminary perceptions of leadership in first
impression interactions also relate in the same way to leadership
perceptions developed over time in natural settings. Furthermore,
by focusing on contempt and compassion, we make a unique
contribution by integrating leadership, emotion, and social com-
parison theory, a conceptual link that has yet to be explored
(Greenberg, Ashton-James, & Ashkanasy, 2007). Specifically, we
theorize and test the notion that the expression of downward
socio-comparative emotions promotes perceptions of leadership
because these emotions indicate the expressers’ relatively high
intelligence or ability to perform the task.
The Pathways Between Emotions and Leadership
In addition to establishing the effects of downward socio-
comparative emotions on leadership perceptions, our studies raise
some interesting questions for future research. For example, the
surprising and discouraging finding that displaying contempt pos-
itively influences leadership categorizations deserves further atten-
tion, especially given that contempt has been shown to be the key
damaging emotion in marital interactions (Gottman, 1993). How-
ever, some more recent research highlights its positive interper-
sonal effects in the workplace. Melwani and Barsade (2011) found
that receiving contempt caused targets to work harder and perform
better on a series of different tasks. Our article highlights another
potentially functional outcome of this antisocial, dysfunctional
emotion, at least in the short run. As we illustrate, contempt
conveys strength and dominance along with increased access to
resources; it causes perceivers to acknowledge the expresser’s
superiority and enables expressers to place themselves above oth-
ers (Miller, 1997). We note, however, that culture can moderate
reactions to discrete emotions (Bagozzi, Verbeke, & Gavino,
2003). As such, showing contempt may only have these types of
positive effects in Western cultures that value self-enhancement,
power and achievement (Koopmann-Holm & Matsumoto, 2011)as
well as autonomy and uniqueness (Markus & Kitayama, 1991).
Expressing contempt is consistent with the endorsed values and
display rules of these cultures (Koopmann-Holm & Matsumoto,
2011), and this is probably a prerequisite for its beneficial impli-
cations for expressers. In cultures that prize self-effacement or
humility, we would expect contempt expressions to be a poorer
strategy for augmenting one’s appearance of leadership (cf. Heine,
Lehman, Markus, & Kitayama, 1999).
Though we did not make any specific predictions about love or
anger in the models, we found that, in general, these emotions did
not show any associations with leadership in all three of our
studies (other than the unreplicated, negative effect of anger on
leadership perceptions in Study 1a). We interpret these null find-
ings as encouraging support for our arguments about the impor-
tance of socio-comparative emotions: Though love and anger
appear superficially similar to compassion and contempt, they do
not convey comparative information and thus do not foster lead-
ership perceptions.
In Study 2, we also examined the effects of expressions of envy
and admiration, two socio-comparative emotions that involve up-
ward social comparisons, or comparisons whereby the target of the
1180 MELWANI, MUELLER, AND OVERBECK
emotion expression is in an advantaged position relative to the
expresser. Interestingly, both admiration and envy did relate to
perceptions that expressers were leaders, but in different ways.
Specifically, in the full model that also included perceptions of
intelligence, envy was negatively and admiration positively related
to perceptions that the expresser was a leader. On the one hand,
each socio-comparative emotion (i.e., envy, admiration, contempt,
compassion) related to leadership categorizations, suggesting that
merely making a comparison with another may influence leader-
ship categorizations. However, because the upward socio-
comparative emotions (i.e., envy and admiration) were not medi-
ated by perceptions of intelligence, other mechanisms are likely to
account for the relationship between each upward socio-
comparative emotion and related leadership categorizations.
Though it was outside the scope of the current study to identify
the mechanisms through which envy and admiration—our two
upward social comparison emotion control variables—related to
leadership categorizations, considering the fundamental aspects of
each emotion may offer some insights. Envy expressions occur
because expressers experience displeasure at a teammate’s rela-
tively superior outcome in a mutually valued domain (Cohen-
Charash & Mueller, 2007). Expressing envy indicates that com-
parison others have achieved a relatively superior outcome and
may even signal expressers’ relative failure. Because failure is
viewed as not only unexpected but inconsistent with the overall
view of leadership (Meindl & Ehrlich, 1987;Meindl et al., 1985),
expressing envy may promote the view that expressers lack lead-
ership. Future research should test this association. In contrast,
admiration related to leadership categorizations in our final model
only when including perceptions of intelligence; in the model
without intelligence (see Table 6, Model 2), admiration was unre-
lated to leadership categorizations. When present, the positive link
between leadership and admiration may occur because admiration,
which involves a display of positive emotion in regards to anoth-
er’s relative achievement or success (Algoe & Haidt, 2009;Ortony
et al., 1988), may be also seen as ingratiating, a behavior that is
associated with gaining more promotions at work (Cable & Judge,
2003;Westphal & Stern, 2006). Hence, it is possible that partic-
ipants expressed ingratiation through admiration and were seen as
leaders because they had gained influence by winning favor with
more powerful team members. However, given that the effect
emerged only when controlling for intelligence, even this causal
explanation is limited and speculative. Future research should
further examine the association between admiration and percep-
tions that the target is a leader.
Strengths and Limitations
One of the strengths of our studies is that we obtain highly
consistent results even though the studies were conducted in mul-
tiple, geographically diverse settings. Another strength is the con-
sistency across data collected experimentally, cross-sectionally,
and longitudinally including both coded and round-robin mea-
sures. These differing research designs and methodologies serve
the purpose of constructive replication (e.g., Gordon, Slade, &
Schmitt, 1986) and enhance the ecological validity of the work.
The student workgroups allowed us greater methodological control
and enhanced response rates, and mimicked organizational teams
in that they were legitimately working together on a set of relevant,
important, and consequential team tasks. In addition, using both
undergraduate and master’s-level student samples enhanced our
ability to generalize our results across populations, suggesting that
our findings would replicate in organizational settings as well.
Finally, these complementary methodologies enabled us to not
only replicate our findings but do so in a manner that addressed the
shortcomings of each. For instance, the experimental context and
external coders employed in Study 1a strengthen our findings by
reducing bias from retrospective self- or other-reported emotions,
whereas the use of round-robin data in Studies 1b and 2 established
that our findings were generalizable beyond a single rater’s per-
ceptions.
Despite our progress in understanding the influences of con-
tempt and compassion on leadership perceptions, we also realize
that our studies were subject to methodological limitations. A
major limitation of our model showing the indirect effect of
contempt and compassion to perceptions of emergent leadership
through perceptions of intelligence (as described and studied in
Study 2) is that we were able to capture only a cross-sectional
depiction of the relationships among these variables. Although the
results are in line with our hypotheses and prior research, we
certainly cannot rule out the possibility of reverse, or mutual
causality. Indeed, as suggested by Lord, Brown, Harvey, and Hall
(2001), intelligence and leadership perceptions may simultane-
ously and reciprocally be activated in social perceivers’ minds.
Because our cross-sectional data cannot shed light on the precise
causal association among emotions, intelligence and leadership,
we rely on existing theory to support the mediation analyses and
propose that a longitudinal study that assesses expressed emotions,
perceptions of intelligence and leadership categorizations and
emergence would better allow us to make stronger causal infer-
ences. We will leave that for future research and can only conclude
from this study that prior theory and our data suggest that contempt
and compassion expressions influence leadership categorizations
and emergence through perceptions of intelligence.
Another limitation of our work is that many of the effects we
have identified are subject to boundary conditions and moderation
by other interaction variables. For example, compassion and con-
tempt expressions may operate differently in contexts where group
members experience extreme stress or failure. Specifically, re-
search in the domain of social support suggests that demonstrating
transferring and exchanging compassion, through offering re-
sources, help and time may serve the important role of buffering
stress (Etzion, 1984). Compassion may therefore become an even
greater asset and corresponding desirable leadership quality when
groups experience stress. On the other hand, the opposite may be
true for contemptuous expressions. Contempt may work as a
hierarchy-building strategy in teams that have high levels of co-
hesion, wherein using contempt as a means to exclude straying
group members may actually enhance cohesion and solidarity
(Merten, 1997). However, in teams that are experiencing high
levels of interpersonal stress and decreased cohesion, expressing
contempt may backfire and exacerbate the stressful situation. In
this case, targets may view the expresser as not being able to
provide needed resources to the group.
Furthermore, we explored expressions of contempt and compas-
sion directed toward individual group members. Yet, it is also
possible that members may express contempt and compassion
toward other groups—expressions which may also promote per-
1181
CONTEMPT, COMPASSION, AND LEADERSHIP
ceptions that a target is a leader, but for different reasons. Specif-
ically, expressing contempt or compassion toward another group
may serve to promote group identity and solidarity (Hogg & Terry,
2000). Hence, showing contempt and compassion toward other
groups may also cue implicit leadership theories, but probably not
associated with intelligence. Rather, expressing contempt and
compassion toward other groups may relate to leadership catego-
rizations by cueing implicit leadership prototypes associated with
being a coach and competitor (Carson, Tesluk, & Marrone, 2007).
Future research should explore this possibility.
Conclusion
In some ways, our findings may be seen as discouraging. After
all, most of us would probably prefer to avoid leaders who express
contempt—particularly if it is directed our way. However, it is
probably not too surprising that contemptuous individuals are seen
as leaders, given the self-aggrandizing, superiority-asserting con-
notations of that emotion. What is perhaps more surprising—and,
to us, quite gratifying—is that compassion also leads to greater
perceptions of leadership. Someone who is concerned for others,
and who intends to help, is also seen as more likely to be a leader.
This more positive view, which allows for a more sensitive inter-
personal style, reassures us that perceivers are considering more
than just dominance in their judgments of potential leaders, and
offers the opportunity for those seeking leadership to reach it
without compromising their caring for others.
References
Algoe, S. B., & Haidt, J. (2009). Witnessing excellence in action: The
‘other-praising’ emotions of elevation, gratitude, and admiration. The
Journal of Positive Psychology, 4, 105–127. doi:10.1080/
17439760802650519
Algoe, S. B., Haidt, J., & Gable, S. L. (2008). Beyond reciprocity: Grati-
tude and relationships in everyday life. Emotion, 8, 425–429. doi:
10.1037/1528-3542.8.3.425
Amabile, T. M., Barsade, S. G., Mueller, J. S., & Staw, B. M. (2005).
Affect and creativity at work. Administrative Science Quarterly, 50,
367–403. doi:10.2189/asqu.2005.50.3.367
Anderson, C., John, O. P., Keltner, D., & Kring, A. M. (2001). Who attains
social status? Effects of personality and physical attractiveness in social
groups. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 81, 116–132.
doi:10.1037/0022-3514.81.1.116
Anderson, C., & Kilduff, G. J. (2009). Why do dominant personalities
attain influence in face-to-face groups? The competence-signaling ef-
fects of trait dominance. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology,
96, 491–503. doi:10.1037/a0014201
Anderson, C., Srivastava, S., Beer, J. S., Spataro, S. E., & Chatman, J. A.
(2006). Knowing your place: Self-perceptions of status in face-to-face
groups. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 91, 1094–1110.
doi:10.1037/0022-3514.91.6.1094
Bagozzi, R. P., Verbeke, W., & Gavino, J. C., Jr. (2003). Culture moderates
the self-regulation of shame and its effects on performance: The case of
salespersons in the Netherlands and the Philippines. Journal of Applied
Psychology, 88, 219–233. doi:10.1037/0021-9010.88.2.219
Bauer, D. J., Preacher, K. J., & Gil, K. M. (2006). Conceptualizing and
testing random indirect effects and moderated mediation in multilevel
models: New procedures and recommendations. Psychological Methods,
11, 142–163. doi:10.1037/1082-989X.11.2.142
Berdahl, J. L. (1996). Gender and leadership in work groups: Six alterna-
tive models [Special issue: Leadership and diversity]. The Leadership
Quarterly, 7, 21–40.
Berger, J., Cohen, B. P., & Zelditch, M. (1972). Status characteristics and
social interaction. American Sociological Review, 37, 241–255. doi:
10.2307/2093465
Berry, D. S., Pennebaker, J. W., Mueller, J. S., & Hiller, W. S. (1997).
Linguistic bases of social perception. Personality and Social Psychology
Bulletin, 23, 526–537. doi:10.1177/0146167297235008
Brunell, A. B., Gentry, W. A., Campbell, W. K., Hoffman, B. J., Kuhnert,
K. W., & DeMarree, K. G. (2008). Leader emergence: The case of the
narcissistic leader. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 34,
1663–1676. doi:10.1177/0146167208324101
Cable, D. M., & Judge, T. A. (2003). Managers’ upward influence tactic
strategies: The role of manager personality and supervisor leadership
style. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 24, 197–214. doi:10.1002/
job.183
Cantor, N., & Mischel, W. (1979). Prototypicality and personality: Effects
on free recall and personality impressions. Journal of Research in
Personality, 13, 187–205. doi:10.1016/0092-6566(79)90030-8
Carson, J. B., Tesluk, P. E., & Marrone, J. A. (2007). Shared leadership in
teams: An investigation of antecedent conditions and performance.
Academy of Management Journal, 50, 1217–1234. doi:10.2307/
20159921
Cohen-Charash, Y., & Mueller, J. S. (2007). Does perceived unfairness
exacerbate or mitigate interpersonal counterproductive work behaviors
related to envy? Journal of Applied Psychology, 92, 666680. doi:
10.1037/0021-9010.92.3.666
Conway, M., Di Fazio, R., & Mayman, S. (1999). Judging others’ emotions
as a function of the others’ status. Social Psychology Quarterly, 62,
291–305. doi:10.2307/2695865
Dansereau, F., & Yammarino, F. J. (1998). Leadership: The multiple-level
approaches (Vol. 2). Stamford, CT: JAI Press.
Darwin, C. (1965). The expression of the emotions in man and animals.
London, England: John Murray. (Original work published 1872)
Driskell, J. E., & Mullen, B. (1990). Status, expectations, and behavior: A
meta-analytic review and test of the theory. Personality and Social
Psychology Bulletin, 16, 541–553. doi:10.1177/0146167290163012
Driskell, J. E., Olmstead, B., & Salas, E. (1993). Task cues, dominance
cues, and influence in task groups. Journal of Applied Psychology, 78,
51–60. doi:10.1037/0021-9010.78.1.51
Eagly, A. H., Ashmore, R. D., Makhijani, M. G., & Longo, L. C. (1991).
What is beautiful is good, but . . . : A meta-analytic review of research
on the physical attractiveness stereotype. Psychological Bulletin, 110,
109–128. doi:10.1037/0033-2909.110.1.109
Eagly, A. H., & Karau, S. J. (2002). Role congruity theory of prejudice
toward female leaders. Psychological Review, 109, 573–598. doi:
10.1037/0033-295X.109.3.573
Eagly, A. H., Makhijani, M., & Klonsky, B. G. (1992). Gender and the
evaluation of leaders: A meta-analysis. Psychological Bulletin, 111,
3–22. doi:10.1037/0033-2909.111.1.3
Eisenberg, N., McCreath, H., & Ahn, R. (1988). Vicarious emotional
responsiveness and prosocial behavior: Their interrelations in young
children. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 14, 298–311.
doi:10.1177/0146167288142008
Ekman, P. (1993). Facial expression and emotion. American Psychologist,
48, 384–392. doi:10.1037/0003-066X.48.4.384
Ekman, P. (1994). The nature of emotion: Fundamental questions. New
York, NY: Oxford University Press.
Ekman, P., & Friesen, W. V. (1988). Who knows what about contempt: A
reply to Izard and Haynes. Motivation and Emotion, 12, 17–22. doi:
10.1007/BF00992470
Ensari, N., & Murphy, S. E. (2003). Cross-cultural variations in leadership
perceptions and attribution of charisma to the leader. Organizational
Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 92, 52–66. doi:10.1016/
S0749-5978(03)00066-9
1182 MELWANI, MUELLER, AND OVERBECK
Epitropaki, O., & Martin, R. (2004). Implicit leadership theories in applied
settings: Factor structure, generalizability, and stability over time. Jour-
nal of Applied Psychology, 89, 293–310. doi:10.1037/0021-9010.89.2
.293
Etzion, D. (1984). Moderating effect of social support on the stress-burnout
relationship. Journal of Applied Psychology, 69, 615–622. doi:10.1037/
0021-9010.69.4.615
Fischer, A. H., & Manstead, A. R. (2008). Social functions of emotion. In
M. Lewis, J. M. Haviland-Jones, L. Barrett, M. Lewis, J. M. Haviland-
Jones, & L. Barrett (Eds.), Handbook of emotions (3rd ed., pp. 456
468). New York, NY: Guilford Press.
Fischer, A. H., & Roseman, I. J. (2007). Beat them or ban them: The
characteristics and social functions of anger and contempt. Journal of
Personality and Social Psychology, 93, 103–115. doi:10.1037/0022-
3514.93.1.103
Fiske, S. T., Cuddy, A. C., Glick, P., & Xu, J. (2002). A model of (often
mixed) stereotype content: Competence and warmth respectively follow
from perceived status and competition. Journal of Personality and
Social Psychology, 82, 878–902. doi:10.1037/0022-3514.82.6.878
Flynn, F. J., Reagans, R. E., Amanatullah, E. T., & Ames, D. R. (2006).
Helping one’s way to the top: Self-monitors achieve status by helping
others and knowing who helps whom. Journal of Personality and Social
Psychology, 91, 1123–1137. doi:10.1037/0022-3514.91.6.1123
Forgas, J. P. (1999). On feeling good and being rude: Affective influences
on language use and request formulations. Journal of Personality and
Social Psychology, 76, 928–939. doi:10.1037/0022-3514.76.6.928
Foti, R. J., & Hauenstein, N. M. A. (2007). Pattern and variable approaches
in leadership emergence and effectiveness. Journal of Applied Psychol-
ogy, 92, 347–355. doi:10.1037/0021-9010.92.2.347
Foti, R. J., & Lord, R. G. (1987). Prototypes and scripts: The effects of
alternative methods of processing information on rating accuracy. Or-
ganizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 39, 318–340.
doi:10.1016/0749-5978(87)90027-6
Fridlund, A. J. (1994). Human facial expression: An evolutionary view. San
Diego, CA: Academic Press.
Frijda, N. H. (1986). The emotions. New York, NY: Cambridge University
Press.
Geier, J. G. (1967). A trait approach to the study of leadership in small
groups. Journal of Communications, 17, 316–323. doi:10.1111/j.1460-
2466.1967.tb01189.x
Goetz, J. L., Keltner, D., & Simon-Thomas, E. (2010). Compassion: An
evolutionary analysis and empirical review. Psychological Bulletin, 136,
351–374. doi:10.1037/a0018807
Gonzaga, G. C., Keltner, D., Londahl, E. A., & Smith, M. D. (2001). Love
and the commitment problem in romantic relations and friendship.
Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 81, 247–262. doi:
10.1037/0022-3514.81.2.247
Gordon, M. E., Slade, L. A., & Schmitt, N. (1986). The “science of the
sophomore” revisited: From conjecture to empiricism. The Academy of
Management Review, 11, 191–207.
Gottman, J. M. (1993). A theory of marital dissolution and stability.
Journal of Family Psychology, 7, 57–75. doi:10.1037/0893-3200.7.1.57
Graduate Management Admissions Council. (2009). Graduate Manage-
ment Admissions Test. Reston, VA: Author.
Greenberg, J., Ashton-James, C. E., & Ashkanasy, N. M. (2007). Social
comparison processes in organizations. Organizational Behavior and
Human Decision Processes, 102, 22–41.
Harris, L. T., & Fiske, S. T. (2006). Dehumanizing the lowest of the low:
Neuroimaging responses to extreme out-groups. Psychological Science,
17, 847–853. doi:10.1111/j.1467-9280.2006.01793.x
Heine, S. J., Lehman, D. R., Markus, H. R., & Kitayama, S. (1999). Is there
a universal need for positive self-regard? Psychological Review, 106,
766–794. doi:10.1037/0033-295X.106.4.766
Hofmann, D. A., & Gavin, M. B. (1998). Centering decisions in hierar-
chical linear models: Implications for research in organizations. Journal
of Management, 24, 623–641.
Hogan, R., Curphy, G. J., & Hogan, J. (1994). What we know about
leadership: Effectiveness and personality. American Psychologist, 49,
493–504. doi:10.1037/0003-066X.49.6.493
Hogg, M. (2001). A social identity theory of leadership. Personality and
Social Psychology Review, 5, 184–200. doi:10.1207/
S15327957PSPR0503_1
Hogg, M. A., & Terry, D. J. (2000). Social identity and self-categorization
processes in organizational contexts. The Academy of Management
Review, 25, 121–140.
Hollander, E. P. (1985). Leadership and power. In G. Lindzey & E.
Aronson (Eds.), The handbook of social psychology (3rd ed., Vol 2, pp.
485–537). New York, NY: Random House.
Hutcherson, C. A., & Gross, J. J. (2011). The moral emotions: A social–
functionalist account of anger, disgust, and contempt. Journal of Per-
sonality and Social Psychology, 100, 719–737. doi:10.1037/a0022408
Imada, A. S., & Hakel, M. D. (1977). Influence of nonverbal communi-
cation and rater proximity on impressions and decisions in simulated
employment interviews. Journal of Applied Psychology, 62, 295–300.
doi:10.1037/0021-9010.62.3.295
Izard, C. (1977). Human emotions. New York, NY: Plenum Press.
Judge, T. A., Bono, J. E., Ilies, R., & Gerhardt, M. W. (2002). Personality
and leadership: A qualitative and quantitative review. Journal of Applied
Psychology, 87, 765–780. doi:10.1037/0021-9010.87.4.765
Judge, T. A., & Cable, D. M. (2004). The effect of physical height on
workplace success and income: Preliminary test of a theoretical model.
Journal of Applied Psychology, 89, 428441. doi:10.1037/0021-9010
.89.3.428
Keltner, D., & Buswell, B. N. (1996). Evidence for the distinctness of embar-
rassment, shame, and guilt: A study of recalled antecedents and facial
expressions of emotion. Cognition & Emotion, 10, 155–172. doi:10.1080/
026999396380312
Keltner, D., Ekman, P., Gonzaga, G. C., & Beer, J. (2009). Facial expres-
sion of emotion. In R. J. Davidson, K. R. Scherer, & H. H. Goldsmith
(Eds.), Handbook of affective sciences (pp. 415–432). New York, NY:
Oxford University Press.
Keltner, D., & Haidt, J. (1999). Social functions of emotions at four levels
of analysis [Special issue: Functional accounts of emotion]. Cognition &
Emotion, 13, 505–521.
Keltner, D., & Kring, A. M. (1998). Emotion, social function, and psy-
chopathology. Review of General Psychology, 2, 320–342. doi:10.1037/
1089-2680.2.3.320
Keltner, D., Young, R. C., Heerey, E. A., Oemig, C., & Monarch, N. D.
(1998). Teasing in hierarchical and intimate relations. Journal of Per-
sonality and Social Psychology, 75, 1231–1247. doi:10.1037/0022-3514
.75.5.1231
Kent, R. L., & Moss, S. E. (1994). Effects of sex and gender role on leader
emergence. Academy of Management Journal, 37, 1335–1346. doi:
10.2307/256675
Knutson, B. (1996). Facial expressions of emotion influence interpersonal
trait inferences. Journal of Nonverbal Behavior, 20, 165–182. doi:
10.1007/BF02281954
Koopmann-Holm, B., & Matsumoto, D. (2011). Values and display rules
for specific emotions. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 42, 355–
371. doi:10.1177/0022022110362753
Lazarus, R. S. (1991). Emotion and adaptation. New York, NY: Oxford
University Press.
Lee, F. (1997). When the going gets tough, do the tough ask for help? Help
seeking and power motivation in organizations. Organizational Behav-
ior and Human Decision Processes, 72, 336–363. doi:10.1006/obhd
.1997.2746
1183
CONTEMPT, COMPASSION, AND LEADERSHIP
Lee, F. (2002). The social costs of seeking help. Journal of Applied
Behavioral Science, 38, 17–35. doi:10.1177/0021886302381002
Lord, R. G., & Alliger, G. M. (1985). A comparison of four information
processing models of leadership and social perceptions. Human Rela-
tions, 38, 47–65. doi:10.1177/001872678503800103
Lord, R. G., Brown, D. J., Harvey, J. L., & Hall, R. J. (2001). Contextual
constraints on prototype generation and their multilevel consequences
for leadership perceptions. The Leadership Quarterly, 12, 311–338.
doi:10.1016/S1048-9843(01)00081-9
Lord, R. G., Foti, R. J., & de Vader, C. L. (1984). A test of leadership
categorization theory: Internal structure, information processing, and
leadership perceptions. Organizational Behavior & Human Perfor-
mance, 34, 343–378. doi:10.1016/0030-5073(84)90043-6
Lord, R. G., & Maher, K. J. (1991). Leadership and information process-
ing: Linking perceptions and performance. Cambridge, MA: Unwin
Hyman.
Markus, H. R., & Kitayama, S. (1991). Culture and the self: Implications
for cognition, emotion, and motivation. Psychological Review, 98, 224
253. doi:10.1037/0033-295X.98.2.224
McArthur, L. Z., & Baron, R. M. (1983). Toward an ecological theory of
social perception. Psychological Review, 90, 215–238. doi:10.1037/
0033-295X.90.3.215
Mehrabian, A., & Williams, M. (1969). Nonverbal concomitants of per-
ceived and intended persuasiveness. Journal of Personality and Social
Psychology, 13, 37–58. doi:10.1037/h0027993
Meindl, J. R., & Ehrlich, S. B. (1987). The romance of leadership and the
evaluation of organizational performance. The Academy of Management
Journal, 30, 91–109. doi:10.2307/255897
Meindl, J. R., Ehrlich, S. B., & Dukerich, J. M. (1985). The romance of
leadership. Administrative Science Quarterly, 30, 78–102. doi:10.2307/
2392813
Melwani, S., & Barsade, S. (2011). Held in contempt: The psychological,
interpersonal, and performance consequences of contempt in a work
setting. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 101, 503–520.
doi:10.1037/a0023492
Merten, D. E. (1997). The meaning of meanness: Popularity, competition,
and conflict among junior high school girls. Sociology of Education, 70,
175–191. doi:10.2307/2673207
Mignon, A., & Mollaret, P. (2002). Applying the affordance conception of
traits: A person perception study. Personality and Social Psychology
Bulletin, 28, 1327–1334. doi:10.1177/014616702236825
Mikulincer, M., & Shaver, P. R. (2005). Attachment security, compassion,
and altruism. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 14, 34–38.
doi:10.1111/j.0963-7214.2005.00330.x
Mikulincer, M., Shaver, P. R., Gillath, O., & Nitzberg, R. E. (2005).
Attachment, caregiving, and altruism: Boosting attachment security in-
creases compassion and helping. Journal of Personality and Social
Psychology, 89, 817–839. doi:10.1037/0022-3514.89.5.817
Miller, W. I. (1997). The anatomy of disgust. Cambridge, MA: Harvard
University Press.
Mondillon, L., Niedenthal, P. M., Brauer, M., Rohmann, A., Dalle, N., &
Uchida, Y. (2005). Beliefs about power and its relation to emotional
experience: A comparison of Japan, France, Germany, and the United
States. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 31, 1112–1122.
doi:10.1177/0146167205274900
Montepare, J. M., & Dobish, H. (2003). The contribution of emotion
perceptions and their overgeneralizations to trait impressions. Journal of
Nonverbal Behavior, 27, 237–254. doi:10.1023/A:1027332800296
Morris, M. W., & Keltner, D. (2000). How emotions work: The social
functions of emotional expressions in negotiations. Research in Orga-
nizational Behavior, 22, 1–50. doi:10.1016/S0191-3085(00)22002-9
Mueller, J. S., Goncalo, J. A., & Kamdar, D. (2011). Recognizing creative
leadership: Can creative idea expression negatively relate to perceptions
of leadership potential? Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 47,
494498. doi:10.1016/j.jesp.2010.11.010
Mueller, J. S., & Kamdar, D. (2011). Why seeking help from teammates is
a blessing and a curse: A theory of help seeking and individual creativity
in team contexts. Journal of Applied Psychology, 96, 263–276. doi:
10.1037/a0021574
Murphy, N. A., Hall, J. A., & LeBeau, L. S. (2001). Who’s smart? Beliefs
about the expression of intelligence in social behavior. Representative
Research in Social Psychology, 25, 3442.
Nezlek, J. B., & Zyzniewski, L. E. (1998). Using hierarchical linear
modeling to analyze grouped data [Special issue: Research methods].
Group Dynamics: Theory, Research, and Practice, 2, 313–320. doi:
10.1037/1089-2699.2.4.313
Nussbaum, M. C. (1996). Compassion: The basic social emotion. Social
Philosophy and Policy, 13, 27–58. doi:10.1017/S0265052500001515
Oatley, K., & Jenkins, J. M. (1992). Human emotions: Function and
dysfunction. Annual Review of Psychology, 43, 55–85. doi:10.1146/
annurev.ps.43.020192.000415
Offermann, L. R., Kennedy, J. K., & Wirtz, P. W. (1994). Implicit lead-
ership theories: Content, structure, and generalizability. The Leadership
Quarterly, 5, 43–58. doi:10.1016/1048-9843(94)90005-1
Ortony, A., Clore, G. L., & Collins, A. (1988). The cognitive structure of
emotions. doi:10.1017/CBO9780511571299
Oveis, C., Horberg, E. J., & Keltner, D. (2010). Compassion, pride, and
social intuitions of self–other similarity. Journal of Personality and
Social Psychology, 98, 618630. doi:10.1037/a0017628
Parrott, W. G., & Smith, R. H. (1993). Distinguishing the experiences of
envy and jealousy. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 64,
906–920. doi:10.1037/0022-3514.64.6.906
Paulhus, D. L., & Morgan, K. L. (1997). Perceptions of intelligence in
leaderless groups: The dynamic effects of shyness and acquaintance.
Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 72, 581–591. doi:
10.1037/0022-3514.72.3.581
Podsakoff, P. M., MacKenzie, S. B., Lee, J. Y., & Podsakoff, N. P. (2003).
Common method biases in behavioral research: A critical review of the
literature and recommended remedies. Journal of Applied Psychology,
88, 879–903. doi:10.1037/0021-9010.88.5.879
Riggio, R. E. (1986). Assessment of basic social skills. Journal of Per-
sonality and Social Psychology, 51, 649660. doi:10.1037/0022-3514
.51.3.649
Rosch, E. (1978). Principles of categorization. In E. Rosch & B. B. Lloyd
(Eds.), Cognition and categorization (pp. 27–48). Hillsdale, NJ: Erl-
baum.
Rozin, P., Lowery, L., Imada, S., & Haidt, J. (1999). The CAD triad
hypothesis: A mapping between three moral emotions (contempt, anger,
disgust) and three moral codes (community, autonomy, divinity). Jour-
nal of Personality and Social Psychology, 76, 574–586. doi:10.1037/
0022-3514.76.4.574
Rudolph, U., Roesch, S. C., Greitemeyer, T., & Weiner, B. (2004). A
meta-analytic review of help giving and aggression from an attributional
perspective: Contributions to a general theory of motivation. Cognition
& Emotion, 18, 815–848. doi:10.1080/02699930341000248
Russell, J. A., & Feldman Barrett, L. (1999). Core affect, prototypical
emotional episodes, and other things called emotion: Dissecting the
elephant. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 76, 805–819.
doi:10.1037/0022-3514.76.5.805
Saavedra, R., & Kwun, S. K. (1993). Peer evaluation in self-managing
work groups. Journal of Applied Psychology, 78, 450462. doi:10.1037/
0021-9010.78.3.450
Shaver, P., Schwartz, J., Kirson, D., & O’Connor, C. (1987). Emotion
knowledge: Further exploration of a prototype approach. Journal of
Personality and Social Psychology, 52, 1061–1086. doi:10.1037/0022-
3514.52.6.1061
1184 MELWANI, MUELLER, AND OVERBECK
Singer, J. D. (1998). Using SAS PROC MIXED to fit multilevel models,
hierarchical models, and individual growth models. Journal of Educa-
tional and Behavioral Statistics, 23, 323–355.
Smith, C. A., & Ellsworth, P. C. (1985). Patterns of cognitive appraisal in
emotion. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 48, 813–838.
doi:10.1037/0022-3514.48.4.813
Sobel, M. E. (1982). Asymptotic confidence intervals for indirect effects in
structural equation models. In S. Leinhardt (Ed.), Sociological method-
ology (pp. 290–312). Washington, DC: American Sociological Associ-
ation.
Sy, T., Shore, L., Strauss, J., Shore, T., Tram, S., Whiteley, P., & Ikeda-
Muromachi, K. (2010). Leadership perceptions as a function of race–
occupation fit: The case of Asian Americans. Journal of Applied Psy-
chology, 95, 902–919. doi:10.1037/a0019501
Taggar, S., Hackett, R., & Saha, S. (1999). Leadership emergence in
autonomous work teams: Antecedents and outcomes. Personnel Psy-
chology, 52, 899–926. doi:10.1111/j.1744-6570.1999.tb00184.x
Tiedens, L. Z. (2001). Anger and advancement versus sadness and subju-
gation: The effects of negative emotion expressions on social status
conferral. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 80, 86–94.
doi:10.1037/0022-3514.80.1.86
Van Vugt, M. (2006). Evolutionary origins of leadership and followership.
Personality and Social Psychology Review, 10, 354–371. doi:10.1207/
s15327957pspr1004_5
von Dietze, E., & Orb, A. (2000). Compassionate care: A moral dimension
of nursing. Nursing Inquiry, 7, 166–174. doi:10.1046/j.1440-1800.2000
.00065.x
Watson, D., Clark, L. A., & Tellegen, A. (1988). Development and vali-
dation of brief measures of positive and negative affect: The PANAS
scales. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 54, 1063–1070.
doi:10.1037/0022-3514.54.6.1063
Westphal, J. D., & Stern, I. (2006). The other pathway to the boardroom:
Interpersonal influence behavior as a substitute for elite credentials and
majority status in obtaining board appointments. Administrative Science
Quarterly, 51, 169–204. doi:10.2189/asqu.51.2.169
Yzerbyt, V. Y., Leyens, J., & Schadron, G. (1997). Social judgeability and
the dilution of stereotypes: The impact of the nature and sequence of
information. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 23, 1312–
1322. doi:10.1177/01461672972312008
Received April 16, 2010
Revision received January 26, 2012
Accepted February 2, 2012
1185
CONTEMPT, COMPASSION, AND LEADERSHIP
... As such, this is likely to provide information about dimensions of trustworthiness, which as noted forms a cognitive precursor to trust (Mayer et al., 1995). Indeed, there is evidence that the emotions someone displays influence observers' perceptions of that person's competence (Melwani et al., 2012). Furthermore, Shao (2019) provides tentative support for leader emotional displays acting as a cue for subordinate perceptions of integrity in a similar way to the provision of verbal feedback. ...
... Taken together the variety of pathways through which affect can influence trust processes not only underscores the potential for the study of affective influences on trust, but also shows that the issue is more complex than a distinction between affect and cognition. Affect may influence trust through an affective route, but also via a cognitive route (e.g., Melwani et al., 2012). It may be more appropriate then, to think of the intertwined role of affect and cognition as influencing trust, and to abandon the goal to clearly delineate affect-based and cognition-based trust (e.g., if affect leads to competence judgments that influence trust, is this affect-based or cognition-based trust?). ...
Article
Trust plays a pivotal role in the development and maintenance of effective working relationships. In this paper we offer a critical review of the conceptualisation and operationalisation of cognition‐based and affect‐based trust. While definitions and measures of trust are abundant, the view of trust as a concept with cognitive and affective bases is well established. Nevertheless, the validity of this approach has rarely been examined. Our theoretical and empirical review (content validity study, systematic review and meta‐analysis) of the literature reveals a failure to fully capture cognition or affect in current trust theory and measurement. We find the construct of affect‐based trust to be particularly problematic in its current form. Resolving these issues is critical to advancing our understanding of the differentiating roles of these two important bases of trust. We detail areas for future research on the conceptualisation and measurement of trust to stimulate theoretical exploration and methodological advances.
... Misiolek and Heckman (2005) also argued that providing direction and guidance are standard features of group emergent leader behavioural patterns. In addition, promotive and prohibitive voice 238 (McClean et al., 2018), fulfilling the team's task and social needs (Ensari et al., 2011) and compassion (Melwani et al., 2012) are also aspects of identifying leadership emergence. ...
Chapter
People deserve credible information from responsible government units and authentic news from various sources, including online, social media and other networks, to learn and prepare for any epidemic and pandemic. Social media and online news portals are the main sources for the public to explore news on the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). This research aims to investigate the relationship between news and social media, awareness about, attitude and the action of the youths towards the spread of COVID-19 in Bangladesh. This research followed a structured survey method to investigate responses towards COVID-19 of Bangladeshi tertiary-level students of different disciplines. The study analysed students’ access to information through electronic and paper versions of Facebook and newspapers. Factor analysis was conducted for a sample of 705. A five-factor solution has been proposed. Access to information is critical in developing a diverse and effective strategy for combating COVID-19. Besides, awareness about the disease, Facebook access, attitude and reliance on local media were identified as key factors.
... Misiolek and Heckman (2005) also argued that providing direction and guidance are standard features of group emergent leader behavioural patterns. In addition, promotive and prohibitive voice (McClean et al., 2018), ful lling the team's task and social needs (Ensari et al., 2011) and compassion (Melwani et al., 2012) are also aspects of identifying leadership emergence. ...
Chapter
Full-text available
This study explores the emergent leadership behaviours in the Covid-19 pandemic and finds that emergent leaders among post-millennials value success, knowledge and freedom over conservatism and traditionalism. Turkey, considered a middle-aged country in terms of age distribution, provides an adequate context to examine and explore the post-millennial perceptions of emergent leadership. To examine emergent leadership during the Covid-19 pandemic in higher education in Turkey, we utilised a sequential explanatory mixed-methods design that included collecting, analysing and implementing quantitative and qualitative data to understand the emergent leaders’ personality and behavioural patterns among 19 distinctive groups. Turkey is a country where authoritarian and paternalistic leadership approaches are widely idealised. Counterintuitively, our findings show that Turkey’s leadership emergence gives signs of an inclusive turn. As a generational and cohort issue, the post-millennial generation appears to demand greater flexibility, security, fairness and value diversity and inclusivity as emergent leader behaviours. Our findings align with the literature, showing the significance of inclusion as a value in leadership emergence, even in a nation such as Turkey, which lacks regulations, discourses and interventions that promote equality, diversity and inclusion.
... Relevant to leadership, compassion has been associated with cues of competence, intelligence and superiority (Melwani et al., 2012) and the involvement of moral judgement in efforts to alleviate suffering and misfortune (Perkins, 2017). Therefore, it is mindful for social entrepreneurs to recognize within stresses of uncertain entrepreneurial environments, resulting lower levels of compassion require empathetic leadership practices (Banker & Bhal, 2018). ...
Article
This study examines the influence of leadership on social entrepreneurs; specifically, the impact of authentic leadership, compassion and grit on entrepreneurial processes and performance outcomes with a sample of Americans social entrepreneurs ( n = 284). Entrepreneurial process dimensions include individual innovation, opportunity recognition and social networks, and performance outcomes encompass social and financial performance, capturing dual mission characteristics of social entrepreneurship. The differing impacts of authentic leadership, compassion and grit are demonstrated, where authentic leadership influences all the dependent variables listed above, while compassion has a lesser positive influence on outcomes, except economic performance. Grit, only has a positive influence on innovation and economic performance. This research highlights that authentic leadership through its meaningful engagement is a more effective driver of multiple outcomes in social entrepreneurship, confirming that this new social business form works well with this newer social entrepreneurship leadership style.
... By conceptualizing guanxi buildingrelated behaviors as a soft, upward influence tactic and abusive supervision as a hard, downward influence tactic, respectively, our research augments the extant profile of organizational influence tactics. Moreover, the extant research has primarily focused on the effectiveness of individual influence tactics (e.g., Bourdage et al., 2015;Higgins & Judge, 2004;Kipnis et al., 1980;Melwani et al., 2012;Schriesheim & Hinkin, 1990;Yukl & Falbe, 1990), while overlooking the effectiveness of serially combining two influence tactics (for exception, see Falbe & Yukl, 1992). Our research extends the existing influence research by showcasing the "piggy backing" of a soft upward influence tactic (i.e., guanxi building-related behaviors) on direct supervisors followed by a hard downward influence tactic (i.e., abusive supervision) on subordinates in order to minimize "power threatening" behaviors, namely subordinates' voice and OCBIs. ...
Article
Full-text available
The extant literature has largely conceptualized abusive supervision as a hot and impulsive form of aggression. In this paper, we offer a cold and strategic perspective on how abusive supervision might be used strategically to achieve goals. Drawing on the Machiavellian literature and social interaction theory of aggression, we develop a moderated serial mediation model, in which leader Machiavellianism predicts their strategic use of abusive supervision on subordinates via the mediating role of leaders’ guanxi with direct supervisor. We further theorize that this mediation effect is more pronounced when guanxi among team members (team member guanxi, TMG) is stronger, because Mach leaders are more likely to perceive high TMG as a threat to their power. Finally, we propose that Mach leaders’ strategic use of abusive supervision has negative implications for team outcomes, manifested in low levels of team voice and team organizational citizenship behaviors toward fellow team members (OCBI). Analyses of two studies—Study 1 using multi-wave data (355 leaders) from a US sample and Study 2 using a multi-wave, multi-source, and multilevel data (1252 subordinates and 273 leaders) from a Chinese sample—corroborated our model. This study provides a comprehensive examination of who, how, and when strategic abuse unfolds in the workplace and its negative implication for team outcomes.
... In the current paper, we draw inspiration from Kanov et al.'s call and build on their suggestion that the likelihood of compassion may be, in part, a function of the broader organizational collective within which individuals work. The few studies that have examined compassion in organizations have focused on individual compassion given (Figley, 1995;Grant et al., 2008;Melwani et al., 2012;Stamm, 2002) or received (Lilius et al., 2008;Grant et al., 2008;Dutton et al., 2006;2014;Frost et al., 2000), with no quantitative research on the presence or impact of perceived compassion norms or psychological compassion climate. The primary contribution of the current paper is that we elaborate on the theoretical concept of psychological "compassion climate," which we define as the individual perception of shared norms around compassion within one's work group/unit, and develop and validate a brief measure to assess this construct. ...
Article
Organizational scholars have begun to focus on the pervasiveness of human suffering at work and the capacity of compassion to ease such suffering. Recent conceptual work has shifted from the individual to the group by positing compassion as a collective capacity that involves noticing others' suffering, feeling empathic concern, and attempting to alleviate that suffering. Drawing upon this foundation, the current paper elaborates on the theoretical concept of psychological compassion climate, defining it as the individual perception of shared norms around compassion within one's work group/unit, and develops and validates a brief measure to assess this construct. Specifically, in Study 1, we developed a new measure of psychological compassion climate and examined its nomological network, including theoretical antecedents, correlates, and consequences. In Study 2, we cross-validated the compassion climate measure using a time-separated design. In this study, psychological compassion climate assessed at Time 1 predicted improvements from Time 1 to Time 2 in three well-being indicators (i.e., anxiety, depressed mood, psychological flourishing) over a month-long span during the summer of 2020 at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic (when suffering of a variety of types was widespread). In addition, we also found that psychological compassion climate predicted compassion experiences at work over the one month interval, including compassion received from others as well as compassion given by the focal employees to others and to oneself.
... 38 It is a typical emotional reaction after downward social comparison. 39 As team members with less empowerment have less authority, such as decisionmaking or work autonomy, they are considered the outsiders of the team managers. Drawing on the dynamic social model of contempt, team members who have more empowerment may experience a sense of superiority, leading them to despise team members who have less empowerment. ...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose: Given the popularity of empowerment practices among scholars and practitioners, this research examines whether a manager's differentiated empowering leadership negatively affects team members' helping behaviors and, if so, how. Methods: The authors conducted one multi-source and time-lagged survey (with 44 managers and 212 team members) and two scenario-based experiments (with 120 participants in Study 2 and 121 participants in Study 3) to test the research model. Results: Team managers' differentiated empowering leadership decreases team members' helping behaviors. In particular, for team members who receive less empowerment, differentiated empowering leadership may decrease their helping behaviors by eliciting their envy. For team members who receive more empowerment, differentiated empowering leadership may decrease their helping behaviors by inducing their contempt. Conclusion: This research introduces the concept of differentiated empowering leadership in response to calls to investigate the dark side of empowering leadership. It reveals that unequal distribution of authority among team members by managers can undermine employee relations and elicit negative emotions of envy and contempt, thereby decreasing employees' helping behaviors.
Article
Purpose This study investigates how leaders react when they perceive a threat to their hierarchical position, such as by engaging in abusive supervision in ways that diminish followers’ organizational citizenship behavior. It also tests for a dual harmful role of leaders’ dispositional contempt in this process. Design/methodology/approach Three-wave survey data were collected among 231 leader–follower dyads across different industry sectors. Findings Leaders’ beliefs that their authority is being threatened by high-performing followers can lead followers to halt their voluntary work behaviors, because leaders engage in verbal abuse. The harmful role of leaders’ dispositional contempt in this process is twofold: It enhances abusive supervision directly, and it operates as an indirect catalyst of the mediating role of abusive supervision. Practical implications Organizations would be better placed to decrease the risk that disruptions of the hierarchical order, as perceived by leaders, escalate into diminished work-related voluntarism among employee bases by promoting leadership approaches that consider employees deserving of respect instead of disdain. Originality/value This study details how and when leaders who fear they may lose authority, evoked by the strong performance of their followers, actually discourage followers from doing anything more than their formal job duties.
Article
Full-text available
Organizational researchers are increasingly interested in model ing the multilevel nature of organizational data. Although most organi zational researchers have chosen to investigate these models using traditional Ordinary Least Squares approaches, hierarchical linear models (i.e., random coefficient models) recently have been receiving increased attention. One of the key questions in using hierarchical linear models is how a researcher chooses to scale the Level-1 indepen dent variables (e.g., raw metric, grand mean centering, group mean centering), because it directly influences the interpretation of both the level-1 and level-2 parameters. Several scaling options are reviewed and discussed in light of four paradigms of multilevellcross-level research in organizational science: incremental (i.e., group variables add incremental prediction to individual level outcomes over and above individual level predictors), mediational (i.e., the influence of group level variables on individual outcomes are mediated by individual perceptions), moderational (i.e., the relationship between two individ ual level variables is moderated by a group level variable), and sepa rate (i.e., separate within group and between group models). The paper concludes with modeling recommendations for each of these paradigms and discusses the importance of matching the paradigm under which one is operating to the appropriate modeling strategy.
Article
A role congruity theory of prejudice toward female leaders proposes that perceived incongruity between the female gender role and leadership roles leads to 2 forms of prejudice: (a) perceiving women less favorably than men as potential occupants of leadership roles and (b) evaluating behavior that fulfills the prescriptions of a leader role less favorably when it is enacted by a woman. One consequence is that attitudes are less positive toward female than male leaders and potential leaders. Other consequences are that it is more difficult for women to become leaders and to achieve success in leadership roles. Evidence from varied research paradigms substantiates that these consequences occur, especially in situations that heighten perceptions of incongruity between the female gender role and leadership roles.
Article
On the basis of the proposition that love promotes commitment, the authors predicted that love would motivate approach, have a distinct signal, and correlate with commitment-enhancing processes when relationships are threatened. The authors studied romantic partners and adolescent opposite-sex friends during interactions that elicited love and threatened the bond. As expected, the experience of love correlated with approach-related states (desire, sympathy). Providing evidence for a nonverbal display of love, four affiliation cues (head nods, Duchenne smiles, gesticulation, forward leans) correlated with self-reports and partner estimates of love. Finally, the experience and display of love correlated with commitment-enhancing processes (e.g.. constructive conflict resolution, perceived trust) when the relationship was threatened. Discussion focused on love, positive emotion, and relationships.
Article
Stereotype research emphasizes systematic processes over seemingly arbitrary contents, but content also may prove systematic. On the basis of stereotypes' intergroup functions, the stereotype content model hypothesizes that (a) 2 primary dimensions are competence and warmth, (b) frequent mixed clusters combine high warmth with low competence (paternalistic) or high competence with low warmth (envious), and (c) distinct emotions (pity, envy, admiration, contempt) differentiate the 4 competence-warmth combinations. Stereotypically, (d) status predicts high competence, and competition predicts low warmth. Nine varied samples rated gender, ethnicity, race, class, age, and disability out-groups. Contrary to antipathy models, 2 dimensions mattered, and many stereotypes were mixed, either pitying (low competence, high warmth subordinates) or envying (high competence, low warmth competitors). Stereotypically, status predicted competence, and competition predicted low warmth.
Article
This article describes the nature and significance of the distinction between the emotions of envy and jealousy and reports 2 experiments that empirically investigated it. In Experiment 1, Ss recalled a personal experience of either envy or jealousy. In Experiment 2, Ss read 1 of a set of stories in which circumstances producing envy and jealousy were manipulated independently in a factorial design. Both experiments introduced new methodologies to enhance their sensitivity, and both revealed qualitative differences between the 2 emotions. Envy was characterized by feelings of inferiority, longing, resentment, and disapproval of the emotion. Jealousy was characterized by fear of loss, distrust, anxiety, and anger. The practical importance of this distinction, the reasons for its confusion, and general issues regarding the empirical differentiation of emotions are discussed.
Article
List of Tables. List of Figures. Acknowledgements. Series Editor's Introduction. Part I: Leadership and Information Processing. Part II: Perceptual and Social Processes. Part III: Leadership and Organizational Performance. Part IV: Satbility, Change, and Information Processing. Bibliography. About the Authors. Index.
Chapter
The GMAT has been used by many Schools of Business Studies since it was developed at Princeton University (originally as the ATGSB). This is the case in the City University Business School, London. A careful test of the performance of the then ATGSB was apparently carried out around 1970; since then the results achieved by candidates for the MBA programme offered by the Business School have been used as a discriminator, and candidates who do not reach predetermined scores in the test are generally rejected. When an MSc programme in Business Systems Analysis and Design was set up in 1973, the same test was applied to all candidates in order to build up a base of experience, rather than to select students. After four years, it was found that the results of the GMAT showed negative correlation with those achieved by students in the MSc examinations in two of these years; as a result, it was dropped as a pre-condition for the course. That result cast some doubt on the GMAT as a selection tool, and this paper describes the results of an investigation into the effectiveness of the GMAT in predicting the likely success of candidates on the MBA programme in their final examinations.