Leadership and the contagion of affective phenomena: a systematic review and mini meta‐analysis

Beth G. Clarkson, Christopher R. D. Wagstaff, Calum A. Arthur, Richard C. Thelwell

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We present a systematic review of literature examining leadership and the contagion of affective phenomena, namely emotion, mood and affect. Specifically, an inductive thematic analysis approach was adopted to synthesize the findings from published studies. In addition, a mini meta‐analysis was conducted to quantify reported effects. A rigorous search identified 25 studies that fulfilled the inclusion criteria for further review. Results highlighted important relationships between leadership and contagion aligned with six themes: charismatic and transformational leadership are conducive to contagion of leader and follower positive affective phenomena; greater contagion effects exists when there is congruence between leader and follower affective states; contagion of leader and follower affective phenomena is directly linked to leader effectiveness and performance; and, individual susceptibility to the contagion of affective phenomena can moderate these relationships. These findings have salient implications for conceptualization and measurement across multiple lines of inquiry and within numerous domains of application.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Social Psychology
Early online date13 Jul 2019
Publication statusEarly online - 13 Jul 2019


  • affective tone
  • charismatic leadership
  • emotional contagion
  • leader affect
  • mood convergence
  • transformational leaders


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  • BASES Student Conference

    Beth Clarkson (Presented paper)

    22 Mar 201623 Mar 2016

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference

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