- How leaders' emotional displays shape followers' organizational citizenship behavior
- The Leadership Quarterly
- Volume | Issue number
- 26 | 4
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Psychology Research Institute (PsyRes)
We examined the effects of happy and angry expressions of leaders on followers' organizational citizenship behavior (OCB). OCB involves behaviors that benefit an organization, but fall outside of formal job requirements and reward structures (Bateman & Organ, 1983). We show that leaders' emotional displays play a role in encouraging or discouraging OCB. In contrast to previous evidence that anger displays can increase follower motivation and in-role performance, Study 1 (a scenario study among employees of various companies) revealed a decrease in willingness to perform OCB after a leader expressed anger rather than happiness. In Study 2 (a lab experiment involving university students), participants expended less effort working overtime after being confronted with an angry rather than a happy leader. In both studies, the detrimental effects of anger were stronger when the anger was perceived as inappropriate. We conclude that anger may decrease OCB, especially when the target considers it inappropriate.
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