Leadership and Emotion Management for Complex tasks: Different emotions, different strategies

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Department or Administrative Unit


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Emotions in the workplace influence a number of critical cognitive tasks including information processing and decision-making. Moreover, the effect of emotion on these operations is often emotion-specific. Given these unique effects, leaders may need to learn how to manage subordinates' discrete emotions, and not just general affect. This laboratory experiment examined the effects of leaders suggesting different regulation strategies after subordinates experienced anger or pessimism. Effects of these emotions under different leader-facilitated regulation strategies were evaluated with respect to planning, a critical organizational task, and perceptions of leader effectiveness. Results demonstrated that the type of leader-facilitated regulation strategy moderates the relationships of anger and pessimism to planning. The findings imply that leaders should understand the differential effects of discrete emotions, and be prepared to help subordinates manage emotions accordingly.


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The Leadership Quarterly