What goes around comes around: How meso-level negative emotional contagion can ultimately determine organizational attitudes toward leaders

Marie Dasborough, Neal M. Ashkanasy, Eugene Y J Tee, Herman H M Tse

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

98 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We present a follower-centric model of leadership that integrates multiple levels of analysis, and includes emotional contagion as a key meso-level process. In our model, leadership at the individual level is manifested in terms of the leader's favoritism toward members and affective displays. Drawing upon affective events theory, we argue that member perceptions of a leader's behaviors and member attributions of insincerity result in negative emotions. Through a process of emotional contagion, the negative emotions then spread to other individuals in the group. These are in turn reflected in the group's affective climate and trust climate, and also in the quality of leader-member and team-member relationships. In the end, this results in organizational-level disapproval of the leader and cynicism towards the leader. Included as moderators in the model are task interdependence, the temporal context, reward systems, emotional labor requirements, organizational culture, and power distance. We conclude with a discussion of boundary conditions, and implications of our model for research, theory, and practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)571-585
Number of pages15
JournalLeadership Quarterly
Volume20
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2009

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meso level
Climate
Emotions
leader
Organizational Culture
Reward
emotion
climate
leadership
Research
organizational culture
follower
moderator
interdependence
attribution
reward
Group
Emotional contagion
labor
event

Keywords

  • Emotional contagion
  • Follower-centric leadership
  • Meso-level processes
  • Negative emotions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Applied Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science

Cite this

What goes around comes around : How meso-level negative emotional contagion can ultimately determine organizational attitudes toward leaders. / Dasborough, Marie; Ashkanasy, Neal M.; Tee, Eugene Y J; Tse, Herman H M.

In: Leadership Quarterly, Vol. 20, No. 4, 08.2009, p. 571-585.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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