Based on the notion that leadership involves affective exchange (Dasborough Ashkanasy Tee & Tse 2009) we hypothesize that a leader's mood and task performance can be determined in part by follower mood displays. In two laboratory experiments leaders supervised teams where the team members were confederates instructed to display positive or negative moods. Results were that followers' mood influenced leader mood and task performance. Moreover leaders of positive mood followers were judged to have performed more effectively and expediently than leaders of followers who expressed negative mood states. We replicated these findings in Study 2 and found further that leaders high on neuroticism performed less effectively than their low neuroticism counterparts when interacting with negative-mood followers. Collectively by demonstrating that follower moods influence leader affect and behaviors our studies provide support for a core element of the Dasborough et al. (2009) reciprocal affect theory of leadership.
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