Emotions and Leadership

Leaders are quintessential agents of influence, and accordingly their emotions have a lot of sway. We seek to understand how the emotional expressions of leaders influence individual followers’ motivation and performance as well as the functioning of organizational teams. Besides effects on role-prescribed performance we also investigate the effects of leaders’ emotional expressions on “organizational citizenship behavior,” critical voluntary efforts that keep organizations running smoothly. This research helps us better understand the social effects of emotions and informs practical recommendations aimed at improving managerial practice.

Sample publications:

van Knippenberg, D., & Van Kleef, G. A. (2016). Leadership and affect: Moving the hearts and minds of followers. Academy of Management Annals, 10, 799-840.

Van Kleef, G. A., Homan, A. C., Beersma, B., van Knippenberg, D., van Knippenberg, B., & Damen, F. (2009). Searing sentiment or cold calculation? The effects of leader emotional displays on team performance depend on follower epistemic motivation. Academy of Management Journal, 52, 562-580.

Koning, L. F., & Van Kleef, G. A. (2015). How leaders’ emotional displays shape followers’ organizational citizenship behavior. The Leadership Quarterly, 26, 489-501.

Van Kleef, G. A., Homan, A. C., Beersma, B., & van Knippenberg, D. (2010). On angry leaders and agreeable followers: How leader emotion and follower personality shape motivation and team performance. Psychological Science, 21, 1827-1834.

Visser, V., van Knippenberg, D., Van Kleef, G. A., & Wisse (2013). How leader displays of happiness and sadness influence follower performance: Emotional contagion and creative versus analytical performance. The Leadership Quarterly, 24, 172-188.