The roller coaster of leader affect: an investigation of observed leader affect variability and engagement

Jiaqing Sun, Sandy J. Wayne, Yan Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Recognizing the dynamic nature of affect, we consider observed leader affect and its variability as important social signals that jointly impact employees’ daily affective reactions and work engagement. Integrating the emotion as social information model and adaptation-level theory, we hypothesized that the impact of daily observed leader affect on employees’ affect and subsequent work engagement is moderated by observed leader affect variability. To test the model, an experience sampling method (ESM) involving two surveys per day over 10 days was employed with a sample of 75 employees. Results indicated that observed leader affect variability weakened the positive relationship between observed leader positive affect and employee work engagement via employee positive affect. Also, observed leader negative affect was negatively related to employee work engagement via employee negative affect, but this indirect effect was not moderated by observed leader affect variability. Our results highlight the critical role of observed leader affect variability in understanding leaders’ affective influence on employee affect and engagement.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Management
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2021

Keywords

  • adaptation-level theory
  • affect variability
  • emotion as social information model
  • observed leader affect
  • work engagement

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