Date of Award
Master of Science (MS)
Xiaoxiao Hu (Director)
As part of their organizational role, leaders manage their emotional expressions for the purpose of maintaining influence over followers, a concept that has received far less attention than the impact of other leadership behaviors. Further, there is almost no existing research regarding an employees’ reactions to the female supervisors’ emotional expression management (EEM), or the influence of subordinates’ underlying gender stereotypes on the relationship between leaders’ EEM and subordinate outcomes. To gain a better understanding of how EEM and the followers’ perception of gender roles interactively influence affective and attitudinal outcomes, this study used multi-source data from female leaders and their followers to examine the moderation effect of subordinates’ sex-based stereotypes on the relationship between leaders’ EEM and three dyadic outcomes: trust, satisfaction with communication, and commitment to goals set by the leader.
Results from hierarchical multiple regressions found mixed support for the proposed relationships. As predicted, the relationship between genuinely felt emotional expressions and both subordinate trust and goal commitment was more positive for followers with stronger nontraditional views of women than for those with lower levels of nontraditional views. Additionally, genuinely felt expressions had a weaker positive relationship with trust for subordinates who held stronger communal stereotypes than for employees with lower levels of communal stereotypes. Unexpectedly, the associations between faked positive and suppressed negative EEM and the subordinate outcomes examined were not significantly affected by followers’ stereotypes about how women should act in general. The hypotheses for employee satisfaction with communication were also not supported. Given these results, I speculate that that female leaders may be subject to different behavioral norms than their male counterparts and that employee stereotypes may only have an impact on attitudes toward the leader when she deviates from these norms by expressing genuinely felt emotions. Theoretical and practical implications of the findings are discussed.
Garden, Rebecca C., "Fake It Until You Make It? Female Leaders’ Emotional Expression Management and Subordinates’ Gender Stereotypes" (2016). Psychology Theses & Dissertations. 26.