Do you feel what I feel? Mood contagion and leadership outcomes

Johnson, Stefanie K.
Leadership Quarterly, Vol. 20 Issue 5, pp. 814-827

This research examines the role of mood and mood contagion in a leadership situation. In phase 1 of the study participants received a positive or negative mood induction and completed a leadership speech describing how to complete a hiring task. In phase 2, participants watched one of the speeches from phase 1, completed ratings, and performed the hiring task. Followers in the positive mood condition had higher levels of positive mood and lower levels of negative mood, rated their leaders as more charismatic, and performed better than followers in the negative mood condition. Followers” mood mediated the relationship between leader mood and follower outcomes. In the third phase of the study, participants read transcripts of the speeches from phase 2 but experienced no change in mood or performance, suggesting the previous effects found in phase 2 were due to mood contagion rather than the content of the speeches.