Emotions and Leadership

ISBN: 978-1-83867-202-7, eISBN: 978-1-83867-201-0

ISSN: 1746-9791

Publication date: 26 August 2019


(2019), "Prelims", Emotions and Leadership (Research on Emotion in Organizations, Vol. 15), Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. i-xxv.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019 Emerald Publishing Limited

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Series Editors: Neal M. Ashkanasy, Wilfred J. Zerbe and Charmine E. J. Härtel

Recent Volumes:

Volume 4: Emotions, Ethics and Decision-making – Edited by Wilfred J. Zerbe, Charmine E. J. Härtel and Neal M. Ashkanasy
Volume 5: Emotions in Groups, Organizations and Cultures – Edited by Charmine E. J. Härtel, Neal M. Ashkanasy and Wilfred J. Zerbe
Volume 6: Emotions and Organizational Dynamism – Edited by Wilfred J. Zerbe, Charmine E. J. Härtel and Neal M. Ashkanasy
Volume 7: What Have We Learned? Ten Years On – Edited by Charmine E. J. Härtel, Neal M. Ashkanasy and Wilfred J. Zerbe
Volume 8: Experiencing and Managing Emotions in the Workplace – Edited by Neal M. Ashkanasy, Charmine E. J. Härtel and Wilfred J. Zerbe
Volume 9: Individual Sources, Dynamics, and Expressions of Emotion – Edited by Wilfred J. Zerbe, Neal M. Ashkanasy and Charmine E. J. Härtel
Volume 10: Emotions and the Organizational Fabric – Edited by Neal M. Ashkanasy, Wilfred J. Zerbe and Charmine E. J. Härtel
Volume 11: New Ways of Studying Emotion in Organizations – Edited by Charmine E. J. Härtel, Wilfred J. Zerbe and Neal M. Ashkanasy
Volume 12: Emotions and Organizational Governance – Edited by Neal M. Ashkanasy, Charmine E. J. Härtel and Wilfred J. Zerbe
Volume 13: Emotions and Identity – Edited by Wilfred J. Zerbe, Charmine E. J. Härtel, Neal M. Ashkanasy and Laura Petitta
Volume 14: Individual, Relational, and Contextual Dynamics of Emotions – Edited by Laura Petitta, Charmine E. J. Härtel, Neal M. Ashkanasy and Wilfred J. Zerbe

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University of Queensland, Australia


Fairleigh Dickinson University, Canada


University of Queensland, Australia

United Kingdom – North America – Japan – India – Malaysia – China

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ISBN: 978-1-83867-202-7 (Print)

ISBN: 978-1-83867-201-0 (Online)

ISBN: 978-1-83867-203-4 (Epub)

ISSN: 1746-9791 (Series)


This volume is dedicated to

To Linda, who always stands by my side.


To my soulmate, my forever love, my light in the world; I am infinitely grateful we found one another. And to those I call family in life and death, I treasure our unending bond of acceptance and love.


List of Figures

Chapter 1
Fig. 1. The Conceptual Model. 6
Fig. 2. Two-way Interaction of Power and Work Stress on Emotion Recognition Accuracy. 13
Chapter 2
Fig. 1. Hypothetical Framework Tested. 28
Fig. 2. Negative Emotions, Surface-acting, and Leadership Authenticity. 37
Fig. 3. Negative Emotions, Deep-acting, and Leadership Authenticity. 38
Fig. 4. Positive Emotions, Genuine-acting, and Leadership Authenticity. 39
Chapter 3
Fig. 1. Conceptual Model: The Multilevel Model of Subordinates’ Job Satisfaction. 50
Chapter 4
Fig. 1. The Moderating Role of Follower Emotional Intelligence. 74
Fig. 2. Interaction – Positive Emotional Responses. 80
Fig. 3. Interaction – Negative Emotional Responses. 81
Fig. 4. Interaction – Positive Emotional Responses. 82
Fig. 5. Interaction – Negative Emotional Responses. 83
Chapter 5
Fig. 1. Illustration of All Hypotheses. 92
Fig. 2. Work Engagement as a Function of Weekday. 100
Fig. 3. Work Engagement as a Function of Weekday and Trait Neuroticism. 102
Chapter 6
Fig. 1. Proposed Mediation Model. 120
Fig. 2. Mediation Diagram for the Relationship of In-group Identification on the Tendency to Aggress against Out-group Member through Intergroup Schadenfreude. 126
Chapter 7
Fig. 1. The Multilevel Model of This Study. 136
Fig. 2. The Interaction between Supervisory Support (SS) and Positive Group Affective Tone (PGAT) on Individual Work Engagement. 148
Fig. 3. The Interaction between Supervisory Support (SS) and Positive Group Affective Tone (PGAT) on Team Information Exchange. 149
Fig. 4. The Interaction between Supervisory Support (SS) and Positive Group Affective Tone (PGAT) on Team Creativity. 150
Chapter 8
Fig. 1. Structural Model. 161
Fig. A1. Alternative Structural Model using Measures from Only One Peer Rater Rather Than from an Average of Two Peer Raters. 174
Chapter 9
Fig. 1. The Role of Emotions in Socially Situated Investment Opportunity Evaluation. 191
Chapter 10
Fig. 1. Theoretical Framework. 216
Chapter 11
Fig. 1. Conceptual Model of Executive Performance Differentiators: Version 1. 238

List of Tables

Chapter 1
Table 1. Means, Standard Deviations, and Correlations. 12
Table 2. Results of Hierarchical Regression Analysis. 13
Chapter 2
Table 1. Reliability Estimates (Cronbach α) of the Scales across Four Times. 30
Table 2. Model Fit Indices, Convergent Validity at Different Times. 32
Table 3. Means, Standard Deviation, and Correlations at Time 1. 33
Table 4. Means, Standard Deviation, and Correlations at Time 2. 34
Table 5. Means, Standard Deviation, and Correlations at Time 3. 35
Table 6. Means, Standard Deviation, and Correlations at Time 4. 36
Chapter 3
Table 1. Descriptive Statistics and Correlation. 60
Table 2. Hierarchical Linear Modeling Results of Subordinates’ Job Satisfaction. 61
Chapter 4
Table 1. Descriptive Statistics. 78
Table 2. Moderation Regression - Attributed Intent 79
Table 3. Moderated Regression - Attributed Charisma. 81
Chapter 5
Table 1. Descriptive Statistics and Zero-order Correlations. 99
Table 2. Multilevel Models Predicting Changes in Work Engagement over the Work Week. 100
Table 3. Personality Moderators Predicting Changes in Work Engagement over the Work Week. 101
Chapter 6
Table 1. Bivariate Correlations between All Variables. 123
Table 2. Process Macro Output in Testing the Relationship between In-group Identification and Intergroup Schadenfreude. 124
Table 3. Process Macro Output in Testing the Relationship between Intergroup Schadenfreude and the Tendency to Aggress against Out-group Member. 124
Table 4. Mediation Output. The Total, Direct, and Indirect Effects of In-group Identification on the Tendency to Aggress against Out-group Member. 125
Chapter 7
Table 1. Means, Standard Deviations, Reliabilities, and Correlations among Variables. 145
Table 2. Hierarchical Linear Modeling Results for Individual Creativity. 147
Table 3. Hierarchical Regression Results for Team Creativity. 149
Chapter 8
Table 1. Means, Standard Deviations, and Correlations. 167
Table 2. Results of Regression Analysis to Investigate Relationship Leadership as a Mediator for Empathy in Predicting Influence. 169
Table 3. Results of Regression Analysis to Investigate Task Leadership as a Mediator for Empathy in Predicting Influence. 169
Table A1. Means, Standard Deviations, and Correlations, Using Measures from Only One Peer Rater Rather Than from an Average of Two Peer Raters. 174
Table A2. Results of an Alternative Regression Analysis to Investigate Relationship Leadership as a Mediator for Empathy in Predicting Influence, Using Measures from Only One Peer Rater Rather Than from an Average of Two Peer Raters. 174
Table A3. Results of an Alternative Regression Analysis to Investigate Task Leadership as a Mediator for Empathy in Predicting Influence, Using Measures from Only One Peer Rater Rather Than from an Average of Two Peer Raters. 175
Chapter 9
Table 1. Description of Sample. 186
Table 2. Selected Illustrative Evidence. 187
Table 3. Data Structure. 190
Chapter 11
Table 1. Leader Subgroup Representation by Industry. 231
Table 2. Organization Representation by Industry. 231
Table 3. Gender and Role-level Representation by Industry.
Table 4. Overall Work Experience, Role, and Organization Tenure Representation by Industry. 232
Table 5. Percentage of Outstanding and Average Leaders Demonstrating Competencies. 233
Table 6. Comparative Analysis for Effectiveness. 234
Table 7. Comparative Analysis for Effectiveness New Findings. 236

List of Contributors

Usman Abdullah City Traffic Police Multan, Pakistan
Mahsa Amirzadeh UQ Business school, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia
Muhammad Ali Asadullah Human Resource Management (HRM), Emirates College of Technology, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE)
Neal M. Ashkanasy UQ Business school, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia
Gabriella Cacciotti Warwick Business School, The University of Warwick, UK
Nai-Wen Chi Graduate Institute of Human Resource Management, National Sun Yat-Sen University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan
Corene M. Crossin UQ Business school, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia
Marie T. Dasborough Department of Management, Miami Business School, University of Miami, Coral Gables, USA
Anna Faber Faculty of Economics and Business Studies, Justus-Liebig-University, Giessen, Germany
Hamidreza Harati UQ Business school, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia
Charmine E. J. Härtel UQ Business school, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia
Ronald H. Humphrey Department of Entrepreneurship and Strategy, Lancaster University Management School, University of Lancaster, UK
Janet B. Kellett (retired from) Department of Management, School of Business, Virginia Commonwealth University, USA
Yan Li School of Management and Economics, Beijing Institute of Technology, Beijing, P.R. China
Denisa Luta Department of Psychology, University of Guelph, Guelph, Canada
Khalid Mehmood School of Economics and Management, Tongji University, Shanghai, P.R. China
Chao Miao Department of Management and Marketing, Franklin P. Perdue School of Business, Salisbury University
Jennifer A. Nash Ross School of Business, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA
Deborah M. Powell Department of Psychology, University of Guelph, Guelph, Canada
Shanshan Qian Department of Management, College of Business and Economics, Towson University, USA
Raja Intan Arifah Binti Raja Reza Shah Department of Psychology, Faculty of Behavioural Sciences, HELP University, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Ahmad Siddiquei Bond Business School, Bond University, Gold Coast, Australia
Randall G. Sleeth (retired from) Department of Management, School of Business, Virginia Commonwealth University, USA
Kirsi Snellman LUT School of Business & Management, LUT-university, Finland
Jeffrey R. Spence Department of Psychology, University of Guelph, Guelph, Canada
Eugene Y. J. Tee Department of Psychology, Faculty of Behavioural Sciences, HELP University, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Frank Walter Faculty of Economics and Business Studies, Justus-Liebig-University, Giessen, Germany
Wilfred J. Zerbe Fairleigh Dickinson University, Vancouver Campus Vancouver, BC Canada
Xiaoyuan Zhang Rutgers University, New Brunswick, USA

About the Editors

Neal M. Ashkanasy OAM, PhD, is Professor of Management at the UQ Business School, The University of Queensland, Australia. He came to academe after an 18-year career in water resources engineering. He received his PhD in Social/Organizational Psychology from the same university. His research is in leadership, organizational culture, ethics, and emotions in organizations, and his work has been published in leading journals including the Academy of Management Journal and Review, the Journal of Organizational Behavior, and the Journal of Applied Psychology. He is Associate Editor of Emotion Review and Series Co-editor of Research on Emotion in Organizations. He has served as Editor-in-chief of the Journal of Organizational Behavior and Associate Editor of the Academy of Management Review and Academy of Management Learning and Education. Prof Ashkanasy is a Fellow of the Academy for the Social Sciences in the United Kingdom (AcSS) and Australia (ASSA), the Association for Psychological Science (APS), the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP), Southern Management Association (SMA), and the Queensland Academy of Arts and Sciences (QAAS). In 2017, he was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia and in 2019 and was named the Academy of Management’s Managerial and Organizational Cognition Division Distinguished Scholar.

Wilfred J. Zerbe is a Vancouver Campus Executive at Fairleigh Dickinson University. Prior to joining Fairleigh Dickinson University, he was Professor of Organizational Behavior and Dean in the Faculty of Business Administration at Memorial University of Newfoundland. His research interests focus on emotions in organizations, organizational research methods, service sector management, business ethics, and leadership. His teaching specialties include leadership, managerial skill development, business negotiations, cross-cultural leadership, and organizational behavior. He currently teaches on an adjunct basis in Simon Fraser University’s Executive MBA program. He is Co-chair of the bi-annual Conference on Emotions in Organizational Life and Series Co-editor of Research on Emotion in Organizations.

Charmine E. J. Härtel is Full Professor and Chair of Inclusive Organizational Leadership and Employment for The University of Queensland Business School in Brisbane Australia. Her basic and applied research programs integrate strengths-oriented HRM, positive organizational scholarship, and occupational health psychology to uncover new knowledge about how context (such as organizational culture, workgroup climate, traditional employment practices, societal norms, national culture, labor regulatory frameworks) constrains or enables sustainable employment opportunities and inclusion of un(der)employed subpopulations (such as autistic individuals, migrants, individuals from low socioeconomic backgrounds) and, in turn, sustainable organizations. She has extensive experience in senior management roles and management consulting and is recognized internationally as one of the originators of the study of emotion in organizations, positive leadership, and the strategies, systems, and practices underpinning positive organizations. She is Fellow of the Australian Academy of Social Sciences (ASSA), the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology, the Australian and New Zealand Academy of Management (also past President), and the Australian Human Resources Institute (AHRI), Queensland Academy of Arts and Sciences (QAAS), and the Society for Organizational Behavior in Australia (SOBA). Her awards include the Australian Psychological Society’s Elton Mayo Award for scholarly excellence, the Martin E. P. Seligman Applied Research Award, 13 best paper awards, and five awards for innovation in organizational practice. Her work appears in over 200 publications including leading journals such as Academy of Management Review, Journal of Applied Psychology, Leadership Quarterly, Human Relations, and Journal of Management. Her textbook Human Resource Management (Pearson) emphasizes HRM as a process and viewing the employment relationship from a well-being perspective.

Introduction: Emotions in Leadership

In this volume, we present a set of 11 chapters that deal with different aspects of emotions in organizational leadership. While this is somewhat of a “hot topic” at present and recently featured in a special issue of The Leadership Quarterly (Connelly & Gooty, 2015), the field continues to remain open to a gamut of research possibilities. Interestingly, however, serious study of how emotions figure in our contemporary understanding of leadership is relatively recent. Indeed, it was not until Ashforth and Humphrey (1995) posed the question as to why organizational behavior and leadership scholars continued to neglect the role of emotions that scholars began to pay serious attention to this issue. This issue was subsequently taken forward by Yukl (1999), who was also the leading textbook author in the field, as well as other leadership scholars at the time (e.g., see Ashkanasy & Tse, 2000; George, 2000; Shamir & Howell, 1999). The first journal special issue on the topic was guest-edited by Humphrey (2002). Since then, and in concert with the affective revolution in organizational behavior (Barsade, Brief, & Spataro, 2003), we have seen a virtual explosion of interest in studying emotion and organizational leadership.

The chapters in the present volume are arranged in three parts, corresponding to different level of analysis, roughly consistent with Ashkanasy’s (2003) “five-level” model of emotion in organizations (see also Ashkanasy & Dorris, 2017; Ashkanasy & Humphrey, 2011). In this model, Ashkanasy proposed that emotion in organizations manifests at five levels of analysis: (1) within-person temporal variations in emotion, (2) between-persons individual differences (e.g., emotional intelligence, trait affectivity), (3) interpersonal emotional exchanges (e.g., emotional labor), (4) team-level emotion (e.g., team affective tone, leadership), and (5) emotion as it affects the organization as a while (e.g., affective climate and culture). While leadership is ostensibly positioned at Level 4 in the model, Ashkanasy and Humphrey (2014) subsequently argued that, because of the ubiquitous nature of leadership, its relationship with emotions appears in fact across all five levels of analysis.

The 2018 Emonet Conference

Similar to the previous volume in this series, the chapters in this volume are drawn from the best contributions to the 2018 International Conference on Emotion and Organizational Life, which was held at the University of Illinois in Chicago, IL. (This biannual conference has come to be known as the “Emonet” conference, after the listserv of members.) The peer-refereed conference papers were complemented by additional invited chapters. This volume contains eight chapters selected from the conference program on the basis of their quality, interest, and appropriateness to the theme of this volume; as well as three invited chapters. As usual, we acknowledge the assistance received from our Emonet conference paper reviewers as well as the “friendly reviewers” who looked at the invited submissions (see the Appendix).

In 2020, the Emonet conference will be held in Lancaster, UK, immediately prior to the 2020 European Group on Organization Studies (EGOS), which is scheduled to be held in Hamburg, Germany. Readers interested in learning more about the conferences or the Emonet list should check the Emonet website, where they will find the conference program and paper abstracts.

The Chapters

The chapters in this volume are arranged in three parts. In Part I, authors address the role of emotions in leadership at the individual level of analysis, including within-person temporal effects (Level 1 in the Ashkanasy, 2003, model), between-persons effects (Level 2), and interpersonal effects (Level 3). In Part II, attention turns to the group level of analysis (Level 4). Finally, in Part III, authors focus on leadership and emotions at the organization-wide level (Level 5). Following are summaries of the 11 chapters included in this volume.

Part I: Leaders and Members

The authors of the five chapters in Part I outline empirical studies conducted in four different countries (Australia, Germany, Pakistan, and the USA), where they examined different aspects of the way leaders interact and affect individual employees.

In the first chapter of this volume, authors Anna Faber and Frank Walter outline the findings of a survey-based study they conducted in a large transportation company in Germany to understand the way power affects employees’ “emotion recognition accuracy” (ERA), the ability to recognize accurately what emotion others are displaying though their facial expression. The authors argue that research results to data have been mixed and suggest that more attention needs to be given to the likely effect of contingency variables. Drawing on Guinote’s (2007) situated focus theory of power, the authors argue that ERA is negatively associated with individuals’ power (level in the company hierarchy) and hypothesize that the level of stress they are experience exacerbates this (negative) relationship. To test their model, Faber and Walker surveyed 117 company workers. Their results supported their hypotheses, in that only employees reporting high stress exhibited a negative relationship between position power and ERA. They conclude that their findings highlight an unexplored effect of stress whereby senior leaders struggle to recognize the emotions being manifested by their employees.

In the following chapter (Chapter 2), Muhammad Ali Asadullah, Usman Abdullah, and Ahmad Siddiquei report on the findings of a daily diary study they conducted in the context of a Pakistani police department. In their research, the authors sought to investigate the effects of positive and negative emotion on three dimensions of emotional labor (surface-acting, deep-acting, and genuine emotions) and their subsequent impact on both leader and follower perceptions of authenticity. In this study, 69 police officers completed diary entries twice daily – at the beginning and end of their shifts – over two working days, where they reported their emotions (using the PANAS, Watson, Clark, & Tellegan, 1988) and emotional labor (using scales developed by Grandey, 2003, and Kruml & Geddes, 2000). Both the participants and their superior officers then rated their leadership authenticity (using the scale developed by Walumbwa, Avolio, Gardner, Wernsing, & Peterson, 2008). The results were that, while negative emotions were found to link to deep-acting and surface-acting to self-perceptions of authenticity, both deep-acting and genuine emotion were found to relate to self-perceptions of authenticity.

The following chapter (Chapter 3) also deals with leadership and emotional labor. In it, authors Yan Li, Khalid Mehmood, Xiaoyuan Zhang, and Corene M. Crossin outline a multilevel field study where they examined the moderating effects of three types of emotional labor (surface-acting, deep-acting, and genuine emotion) on the link between servant leadership and followers’ job satisfaction. The study involved 180 employees and their leaders working in 16 forms in Pakistan. The authors predicted that the positive relationship between leaders’ attentiveness to the needs of their subordinates and the community (via servant leadership) and subordinate job satisfaction would increase if the leaders practice deep-acting or express genuine emotion, but decrease if they practice surface-acting. Employing a multilevel and multisource design, where the leaders rated their emotional labor and employees rated their own job satisfaction and their leaders’ servant leadership, Li and her team found support for the relationships they expected. The authors conclude that the effectiveness of leadership practice of servant leadership depends on the type of emotional labor that the leader engages in.

In the next chapter (Chapter 4), author Marie T. Dasborough found that followers’ emotional intelligence (EI) moderates their emotional reactions to attributions of leadership intentions and charisma. While scholars have studied EI in relation to work performance, they know less about its effects in work interactions. In her study, Dasborough assessed the EI of 157 undergraduates using the Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test V2.0 (MSCEIT; Mayer, Salovey, & Caruso, 2002), which is an ability measure of the construct. She then showed participants video and sent them an email requesting them to work overtime. The letter was sent purportedly from either a self-focused (i.e. manipulative) or an organization-focused leader. The participants then completed measures for the leader’s charisma and attributed manipulative intention and emotional reactions (negative/positive) toward the leader. Moderated regression analyses showed that low-EI participants had stronger positive emotions to a charismatic leader and stronger negative emotions to attributed manipulative intention. The finding bolsters the growing theoretical case for the relevance of EI and leadership. Dasborough concludes in the discussion of the practical implications of her findings, which include EI development in employees as a means to facilitate smoother work relations.

In the final chapter of Part I (Chapter 5), authors Denisa Luta, Deborah M. Powell, and Jeffrey R. Spence describe a study where they investigated an important outcome of good organizational leadership, namely work engagement. In their study, they looked in particular at employees’ pattern of engagement over a workweek and predicted that they would find an inverted-U pattern, with high engagement midweek, and lower engagement at the beginning and end of the week. They also predicted that personality (extraversion, conscientiousness, and neuroticism) would affect this pattern, with neuroticism accentuating the effect, and extraversion and conscientiousness attenuating it. In a 10-day daily diary study involving 131 North American employees, they found support for the inverted-U effect and also that the effect was more pronounced for more neurotic employees. It appears that employees with high neuroticism are particularly vulnerable at the beginning and end of the week, something that organizational leaders need to take account of if they keep their employees maximally engaged.

Part II: Leaders and Teams

In Part II, the focus shifts from relationships between leaders and individual employees to the effect leaders have on their teams as a whole. Topics include team identification, team creativity, and leader empathy.

In the first chapter of this section (Chapter 6), authors Raja Intan Arifah Binti Raja Reza Shah and Eugene Y. J. Tee describe a correlational study where they found that intergroup schadenfreude significantly and fully mediates the relationship between in-group identification and aggressive intentions toward out-group members. In this study, the authors conducted an online survey of 123 adult employees in Taiwan where they measured the three focal variables of the study. They also measured participants’ gender and the level of interest in politics as control variables. Using regression analysis and applying the Hayes PROCESS macro for analysis of mediation, the authors found support for all theory hypotheses. The study findings increase the understanding of the impact of schadenfreude, which has previously been viewed as a form of passive opportunism. However, this study shows that the phenomenon has a darker side and can be linked to intention of harm toward out-group members. Although the design of the study did not allow causality to be investigated, practical implications include political leaders being more aware of how they express and communicate schadenfreude to their followers.

In the next chapter (Chapter 7), author Nai-Wen Chi proposes a multilevel framework to capture the mechanisms and boundary conditions of the relationships between positive group affective tone (PGAT) and individual/team creativity. Testing the framework involved collecting data from 122 R&D team leaders and 305 team members. Chi found that PGAT facilitates individual creativity through better work engagement and increases team creativity via team information exchange. Moreover, the results showed that high supervisory support can displace the relationship between PGAT and individual/team creativity, leading to less positive effects of PGAT. This study sheds light on competing theories over how supervisory support moderates the PGAT-creativity link. Practical application of the findings includes promoting PGAT through careful selection of leaders and members and provision of team social events. When PGAT is high, supervisors should step back. Nonetheless, findings also reveal that, when PGAT is low, supervisory support is needed to boost team creativity.

In the final chapter of Part II (Chapter 8), authors Ronald H. Humphrey, Janet B. Kellett, Randall G. Sleeth, Chao Miao, and Shanshan Qian found that empathy predicts relation and task leadership, which, in turn, predicts influence over group task choice and decisions. In contrast, cognitive ability only relates to task leadership. In their study, the authors used a validated assessment center exercise to determine 174 US undergraduate and graduate students’ level of empathy, leadership (task and relation), and influence. Participants worked in groups and measurements were based on peer reports to reduce response biases. Humphrey and his associates analyzed the data using structural modeling and regression and found that empathy as a trait is an indirect but major influence of leader behaviors and eventual outcomes. This finding adds to the new authentic leadership theories, shedding light on the role of the empathy as a distal (trait-like) attribute in leadership. As for practical implications, the authors argue that their results suggest a need for more leaders to receive more empathy training via personal coaching. This would be more suitable than situation-training classes used to develop proximal (state-like) leadership attributes.

Part III: Leaders, Organizations, and Culture

The Chapters in Part III show the interplay of emotions, personal and social contexts, the first among investors in entrepreneurial ventures, the second among different cultures, and the third among organizational leaders.

In Chapter 9, authors Kirsi Snellman and Gabriella Cacciotti describe their phenomenological study of how angel investors evaluate opportunities facing them. They sought to explore how emotions unfold in the investment opportunity evaluation process as investors interact with their social environments. Through interviews with eight angel investors, Snellman and Cacciotti illuminate how emotional arousal of discrete emotions (feelings of excitement, passion, fear of missing out, and trust) acts as a necessary condition for continuation of the investment screening process. That is, while the most important feature of an opportunity for investors was how it scored on multiple rational criteria (idea, team, market, and potential), what was essential is what feeling the opportunity aroused. Moreover, even if both of these criteria are satisfied, a favorable investment decision is not necessarily made. Social validation is also required. This third-party, peer and network consultation appears to validate both the rational criteria and the investors’ emotional arousal. Snellman and Cacciotti show how emotion and cognition are inseparable and how their interplay helps integrate cues from personal validation and social validation. The authors expand on their findings through four rich propositions about emotions and investment decision-making. In this, they create fertile ground for further research and policy design.

In Chapter 10, authors Hamidreza Harati, Neal M. Ashkanasy, and Mahsa Amirzadeh, propose a model to understand the dynamics underlying the relationship between emotional well-being and culture. Harati and his colleagues propose that feelings of self-uncertainty are a source of emotion but that the valence of the emotions that results is determined by the direction of the social comparisons people make. Self-uncertainty is a sense of ambiguity about self, a weakened self-concept, and leads individuals to reduce ambiguity by comparing themselves to others. Social comparison, then, is the natural response to self-uncertainty. They argue further that members of different cultures tend to differ in the direction of their comparisons. Members of “honor” cultures, such as in non-Western countries, tend to compare themselves upward, because they are personal-aspiration oriented and are prone to self-criticism. In contrast, members of “dignity” cultures, such as in Western cultures, compare themselves with downward counterparts because of self-enhancement attitudes. As a result, self-uncertainty is likely to be associated with positive emotional well-being in members of dignity cultures and with negative emotional well-being in members of honor cultures. Moreover, in dignity cultures, this represents a self-enhancement mechanism (downward evaluation and upward affiliation), whereas in honor cultures, this represents a self-criticism mechanism (upward evaluation and downward affiliation). This model is significant in that it proposes a state by situation interaction and, in fact, a culture by state by situation framework. This promises to inform studies of emotions across a broader range of cultures and to provide a more holistic approach to employee’s emotional well-being.

In the final chapter of Part III (Chapter 11), author Jennifer A. Nash outlines how she interviewed 31 executive leaders in four organizations to understand the experiences that contributed to effective leadership over their lifetime. Using semi-structured, critical incident interviews, Nash examined which competencies differentiate the outstanding from average leaders. Three themes emerged: (1) a priority and extended focus on learning and education, (2) an “environmental esthetic” that focuses on creating a positive, caring culture for subordinates, and (3) awareness of others and self, which includes emotional and social intelligence. Nash reports that the extent to which leaders understand the impact their emotions have on others and on the wider organization is a significant differentiator between average and outstanding leaders. She concludes by describing the implications of this for leadership development.


Neal M. Ashkanasy is the corresponding author and can be contacted at:


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We gratefully acknowledge Ms Asmita Manchha, who provided editorial assistance in the preparation of this volume.

Neal M. Ashkanasy 1

Wilfred J. Zerbe

Charmine E. J. Härtel