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Anger and happiness in virtual teams: Emotional influences of text and behavior on others' affect in the absence of non-verbal cues

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  • Cheshin, Arik
  • Rafaeli, Anat
  • Bos, Nathan

Abstract

Emotions carry social influence, as evident by emotion contagion - an unconscious process attributed to mimicking of non-verbal cues. We investigate whether emotion contagion can occur in virtual teams; specifically, the emotional influence of text-based and behavior-based cues on participants' emotion in 4-person virtual teams. In a 2 x 2 design a confederate textually communicated anger or happiness, while behaving in a resolute or flexible pattern. The team task required negotiation offering a performance based reward. We demonstrate that emotion contagion occurs in teams even when communication is only text-based. We show that behaviors are perceived as emotionally charged, resolute behavior interpreted as a display of anger, and flexibility as a display of happiness. Moreover, we demonstrate that incongruence between text-based communication of emotion and emotionally charged behaviors elicits negative emotion in fellow teammates. Our findings extend the boundaries of emotion contagion and carry implications for understanding emotion dynamics in virtual teams.

Suggested Citation

  • Cheshin, Arik & Rafaeli, Anat & Bos, Nathan, 2011. "Anger and happiness in virtual teams: Emotional influences of text and behavior on others' affect in the absence of non-verbal cues," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 116(1), pages 2-16, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jobhdp:v:116:y:2011:i:1:p:2-16
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Kiesler, Sara & Sproull, Lee, 1992. "Group decision making and communication technology," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 96-123, June.
    2. Daniel Kahneman & Jack L. Knetsch & Richard H. Thaler, 1991. "Anomalies: The Endowment Effect, Loss Aversion, and Status Quo Bias," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 5(1), pages 193-206, Winter.
    3. Kopelman, Shirli & Rosette, Ashleigh Shelby & Thompson, Leigh, 2006. "The three faces of Eve: Strategic displays of positive, negative, and neutral emotions in negotiations," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 99(1), pages 81-101, January.
    4. Richard L. Daft & Robert H. Lengel, 1986. "Organizational Information Requirements, Media Richness and Structural Design," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 32(5), pages 554-571, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Barasch, Alixandra & Levine, Emma E. & Schweitzer, Maurice E., 2016. "Bliss is ignorance: How the magnitude of expressed happiness influences perceived naiveté and interpersonal exploitation," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 137(C), pages 184-206.
    2. repec:eee:jobhdp:v:144:y:2018:i:c:p:97-111 is not listed on IDEAS

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