In our investigation of emotion management in organizations, we shift the focus from leadership to followership. To maintain their leadership identity in leader–member relationships, leaders have to elicit emotions that are contingent on the identity of the member. As such, members play a key role in defining leadership. We apply the symbolic interactionist approach of affect control theory and its operationalization in computer simulations to investigate the emotion management of leaders. To do so, we determine which emotions are most normative for leaders to show during their interactions with members that assume identities as passive followers versus active colleagues. The results reveal that the identity of a passive follower elicits emotions that are relatively negative (e.g. defiant, mad, shocked, alarmed, anxious) from leaders, whereas the active colleague identity generates comparatively positive emotions (e.g. pleased, delighted, glad, amused, thankful, relaxed, serene).
- affect control theory
- social influence