Respectful or Rude? How Small Differences in Negative Emotional Expression Affect Individuals in Teams and Team Viability

39 Pages Posted: 27 Jun 2011

See all articles by Jennifer Carson Marr

Jennifer Carson Marr

Georgia Tech; London Business School

Celia Moore

Imperial College Business School; Harvard University - Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics

Date Written: 2011

Abstract

Teamwork has advantages (e.g., coordination), but also presents challenges of interdependence (e.g., social loafing), which can make teamwork frustrating. Expressing frustration (a negative emotion) with another team member can motivate better performance, but can also backfire, triggering outcomes with serious implications for the team’s viability, such as withdrawal and reduced cooperation. We argue that how negative emotions are expressed in these contexts can mitigate the potential negative consequences for the team’s viability. In two studies (one vignette and one interactive group experiment) we investigate how expressing one’s frustration respectfully (versus rudely) triggers affective and inferential processes that differentially influence team member reactions (withdrawal, evaluations, willingness to work together) to the expresser as well as to other team members uninvolved in the dyadic emotional interaction. Our findings suggest that expressing negative emotions respectfully can convey both frustration and dissatisfaction while mitigating the potential negative consequences for team viability.

Suggested Citation

Marr, Jennifer Carson and Moore, Celia, Respectful or Rude? How Small Differences in Negative Emotional Expression Affect Individuals in Teams and Team Viability (2011). IACM 24th Annual Conference Paper. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1872924 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1872924

Jennifer Carson Marr (Contact Author)

Georgia Tech ( email )

800 West Peachtree St.
Atlanta, GA 30308
United States

London Business School ( email )

Sussex Place
Regent's Park
London, NW1 4SA
United Kingdom

Celia Moore

Imperial College Business School ( email )

South Kensington Campus
Exhibition Road
London, Greater London SW7 2AZ
United Kingdom

Harvard University - Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics ( email )

124 Mount Auburn Street
Suite 520N
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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