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Experienced affects in leader-subordinate relationships


  • Glasø, Lars
  • Einarsen, Ståle


This study explores the affects that leaders and subordinates experience during interaction. Two hundred and seventy leaders and five hundred and forty two subordinates recruited from the private and public sectors participated in the study. The data reveals that leader-subordinate relationships are strongly coloured by positive and negative moods, emotions and emotion-laden judgments, with four basic affective factors for both leaders and subordinates: recognition, frustration, violation and uncertainty. These factors correlate strongly with subordinates' job satisfaction and the quality that they experienced in interaction with their immediate superiors. Correlations between these factors and subordinates' life satisfaction were weak, suggesting that the affects are specific to the leader-subordinate relationship. Leaders' affective experiences during interaction with subordinates seem to be less important. Correlations between the quality experienced by leaders in relationships with their subordinates, their job- and life satisfaction and their reported affects were weak or almost non-existent. The results underline the importance of focusing on both parties involved in leader-subordinate relationships, and suggest the need for a social interactionistic perspective in order to understand the leadership process. Experienced affects constitute prominent and complex facets of leader-subordinate relationships and should be studied in greater detail than has hitherto.

Suggested Citation

  • Glasø, Lars & Einarsen, Ståle, 2006. "Experienced affects in leader-subordinate relationships," Scandinavian Journal of Management, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 49-73, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:scaman:v:22:y:2006:i:1:p:49-73

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    Cited by:

    1. Gro Mathisen & Ståle Einarsen & Reidar Mykletun, 2011. "The Relationship Between Supervisor Personality, Supervisors’ Perceived Stress and Workplace Bullying," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 99(4), pages 637-651, April.


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