The contagious leader: impact of the leader's mood on the mood of group members, group affective tone, and group processes

J Appl Psychol. 2005 Mar;90(2):295-305. doi: 10.1037/0021-9010.90.2.295.


The present study examined the effects of leaders' mood on (a) the mood of individual group members, (b) the affective tone of groups, and (c) 3 group processes: coordination, effort expenditure, and task strategy. On the basis of a mood contagion model, the authors found that when leaders were in a positive mood, in comparison to a negative mood, (a) individual group members experienced more positive and less negative mood, and (b) groups had a more positive and a less negative affective tone. The authors also found that groups with leaders in a positive mood exhibited more coordination and expended less effort than did groups with leaders in a negative mood. Applied implications of the results are discussed.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Affect*
  • Efficiency
  • Female
  • Group Processes*
  • Humans
  • Leadership*
  • Linear Models
  • Male
  • Models, Psychological
  • Problem Solving
  • United States