ERIC Number: EJ1032149
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Aug
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 46
Emotional Contagion at Work: An In-Class Experiential Activity
Schaefer, Rebecca A. Bull; Palanski, Michael E.
Journal of Management Education, v38 n4 p533-559 Aug 2014
This article describes an in-class exercise designed to demonstrate the concept of emotional contagion. Empirical research has found that leader emotional displays at work relate to various member work attitudes and performance. However, students may have a difficult time understanding how and why emotions can influence organizational outcomes. Thus, the objective of this in-class exercise is to demonstrate how quickly and easily leader emotional displays stimulate contagion among group members. In addition, this exercise allows students to reflect on the influence of emotional labor and displayed versus felt leader emotional displays in organizations. Specifically, the exercise uses exaggerated leader emotional displays, and students get the opportunity to experience and reflect on how both authentic and inauthentic emotional displays are contagious. After reviewing the literature concerning emotional contagion, emotional labor, and emotional regulation strategies, this exercise is described in detail and class discussion points are presented. Finally, the article ends with advice on how to incorporate this experiential exercise in other undergraduate and graduate management courses and how instructors might use our findings.
Descriptors: Class Activities, Psychological Patterns, Interpersonal Communication, Affective Behavior, Experiential Learning, College Students, Administrator Education
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A