Why Is Emotional Contagion Important In The Workplace

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It is a common misconception that emotions have no place in the workplace. Many researchers have expressed concerns regarding overemphasizing the importance of emotions on workplace outcomes, and instead have encouraged future researchers to focus on the rational cognition of individuals to predict workplace behaviors, outcomes, and decisions. However, it is critical to study the practical implications of emotions in the workplace as research has shown that emotions are related to job satisfaction, burnout, negotiation skills, and other important workplace factors (Bauer & Erdogan, 2012; Daus, 2016; Mayer, Roberts, & Barsade, 2008). Some concepts that contribute to the belief that rational cognition alone does not predict workplace behaviors and outcomes are …show more content…
Research has demonstrated that both positive and negative emotions can affect, or contaminate, employees in the same organizational environment, with negative emotions having the most significant impact. Negative emotions have been suggested to have a more significant impact due to biological fight-or-flight responses that typically accompany negative emotions like fear and anger. An example of emotional contagion would be a situation in which an employee attended a performance appraisal meeting with his/her supervisor, and during the meeting, the employee received highly critical feedback. This employee would then experience negative emotions, and throughout the day, could let these emotions spill over into their social interactions with coworkers. The employee may be argumentative or cold to coworkers, causing offensive or confusion, thus affecting their moods as well. It is important to note that some individuals are more susceptible to the emotions of others, therefore negative and positive emotions will affect each employee

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