Leader emotion regulation, leader-member exchange (LMX), and followers' task performance.


Moin MF(1)(2), Wei F(1), Weng QD(2), Ahmad Bodla A(3).
Author information:
(1)School of Economics and Management, Tongji University, Shanghai, China.
(2)School of Management, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, Anhui, China.
(3)School of Management, Hainan University, Haikou City, Hainan Province, China.


Drawing on Social Exchange theory, we investigated the direct link between leaders' emotion regulation strategies (i.e., surface acting and deep acting) and follower task performance. In addition, we investigated the indirect link between leaders' emotion regulation strategies and follower task performance via leader-member exchange (LMX). Using survey data (N = 301) from the banking industry, we found that leader surface acting only has an indirect negative relationship with follower task performance via LMX, while leader deep acting has both a direct and an indirect positive relationship with follower task performance. The result showed that leader emotion regulation strategies perform a key role in enhancing/damaging LMX and that leaders need to be vigilant regarding their own emotional behaviors. That is, they can develop positive relationships with their followers by employing deep acting but that surface acting damages their relationship with followers. Implications of this study, limitations, and future research are discussed.