Emotion and Leadership Part 2

Why are leaders followed?


Fineman (2003) raises the question of why do we follow leaders?  The concept of emotionality and leadership is particularly relevant in addressing this question, by making emotional connections with their followers leaders can be seen as charismatic and inspire a following.


The notion of charisma is closely linked to emotion as charismatic leaders are generally those who people feel an emotional connection with. Bono and Ilies (2006) suggest that charismatic leaders express positive emotions that are transferred to followers resulting in followers experiencing positive moods.


They found that leaders who were rated high on charisma by their workmates used more positive emotion words in their vision statements and in their prepared speeches, providing support for the role of positive emotion expression in the perception of charisma.


The findings were further strengthened by ruling out other factors such as vision content, emphasizing the importance of work, or leader attractiveness as mood influencers. This study provides empirical support to prior research by Sy et al (2005) that proposed leaders’ experienced mood could be transferred to followers.


Bono and Ilies (2006) also found that a link between leaders positive emotion and follower mood to perceptions of leadership effectiveness. As follower perceptions of effectiveness are a crucial element of successful leadership this reinforces the importance of emotion in attracting and keeping followers. Indeed meta analytic work by Lowe et al (1996) supports the link between charismatic leadership and positive outcomes.


Amber Hanna is an Organisational Psychologist at DavittCorporatePartners – Corporate Psychologists

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To learn more about our  services, please contact the office: +353-1-6688891 or info@davittcorporatepartners.com

Discover how DavittCorporatePartners can help you to understand emotion and leadership

Develop Leadership in Your Organisation

Win the War for Talent

Realise Individual Potential

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Emotion and Leadership 1

Emotion and Leadership Part 1

The area of emotion in the workplace is one that is easily overlooked by top level management. Previous to the last decade emotions in the workplace have mainly been discussed as a hindrance to good management, as a distraction to rational decision making or a by-product of interpersonal conflicts.

More recently the role of emotions in the workplace has become clear through research in the organisational psychology literature. These two articles will focus on the area of emotion in the workplace as it relates to leadership. Fostering positive relationships in the workplace is an essential element of leadership. In order to do this an awareness of the importance of emotions in developing positive relationships is essential.

Brotheridge and Lee (2008) highlight that emotions serve as ‘the context, content, process, and the result of managerial work’. Emotion is inherent to the practice of leadership and all actions of an organisation are inseparable and influenced by emotions (Crawford, 2007).

Expectations of the type, strength and variety of emotions displayed by leaders differ greatly based on number of factors. The type of organisation involved, the profession, and social norms held by peers, supervisors, followers and customers of the organisation all play a role in determining the type of emotional displays expected of managers.

Humphreys et al (2008) highlight that in comparison to service workers managers are required to display a variety of emotions including friendliness, sympathy and social-control emotions, but they also must exercise a degree of judgement and control over their emotional expressions.

It becomes clear in exploring these issues that aside from regulating their own emotions managers and leaders often have to deal with and manage the emotional behaviour of others (Ostell, 1996); in this way leaders also become emotion managers.

Amber Hanna is an Organisational Psychologist at DavittCorporatePartners – Corporate Psychologists

____________________________________________________________________________________

To learn more about our  services, please contact the office: +353-1-6688891 or info@davittcorporatepartners.com

Discover how DavittCorporatePartners can help you to understand emotion and leadership

Develop Leadership in Your Organisation

Win the War for Talent

Realise Individual Potential

Align Behaviour with Corporate Values