To date, most research on emotion and leadership in organizations has emphasized only one dimension of emotion, valence; and only some research has mentioned the emotion dimension of arousal. An organizing framework for making sense of the effects of leader emotions vis-à-vis the direction in which those emotions are targeted, however, has yet to be developed. To address this shortcoming in the literature, we present a new theoretical framework to explore the impact of the target of leader emotion within leader–member dyads—when the emotion is targeting either the follower or the leader themselves. We theorize that leader emotions have disparate effects on followers in high- and low-quality leader–member relationships, depending on whether the emotions are directed externally toward followers or self-directed toward the leader. Together, the valence, arousal, and target of the leaders' emotional expressions are signals that shape followers' emotions and, in turn, the subsequent quality of their leader–member exchange relationships.
- emotion arousal
- emotion target
- emotion valence
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Applied Psychology
- Sociology and Political Science
- Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management