The Role of Leader Emotion Management in Leader-Member Exchange and Follower Outcomes
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Little, Laura M.; Gooty, Janaki; Williams, Michele
Drawing upon social exchange and emotion regulation theories, we develop and test a model of four specific leader behaviors directed at managing followers’ negative emotions. These leader interpersonal emotion management (IEM) strategies are posited to affect followers’ organizational citizenship behaviors performed within interpersonal relationships (OCBIs) and job satisfaction via follower perceptions of the quality of the leader-follower exchange relationship. In contrast to most current cognitive-transactional views of social exchange, here we posit that some, but not all, leader emotion management behaviors promote and strengthen the leader-member exchange (LMX) relationship. Specifically, we contend that followers’ perception of problem-focused leader emotion-management strategies such as cognitive change and situation modification is positively associated with LMX. This will have overall positive consequences for OCBIs and job satisfaction. In contrast, we suggest that when followers perceive that leaders use strategies that are not problem-focused, such as attentional deployment and modulating the emotional response, their perceptions of the LMX relationship will be undermined, which will have negative consequences for OCBI and job satisfaction. Results from multisource data in a sample of 163 leader-follower dyads confirmed the majority of the hypothesized direct effects of the leader emotion management strategies and mediating effects of leader-member exchange.
interpersonal emotion management; leader-member exchange; social exchange theory; emotion regulation
Required Publisher Statement: © Elsevier. Final version published as: Little, L. M., Gooty, J., & Williams, M. (2016). The role of leader emotion management in leader-member exchange and follower outcomes. The Leadership Quarterly, 27(1), 85-97. doi:10.1016/j.leaqua.2015.08.007Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.