Leader interpersonal emotion regulation and innovation in teams

Hector P. Madrid, Karen Niven, Cristian A. Vasquez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Interpersonal emotion regulation is an important psychological function in social behaviour. However, this construct has still been scantly explored in work psychology and organizational settings, meaning that the effects of interpersonal emotion regulation on core aspects of work performance are as yet unknown. Thus, our article seeks to provide insight into how, in the context of teamwork in organizations, leaders can enhance team effectiveness by using interpersonal emotion regulation to capitalize on the important role that affects plays in team innovation. Using a multisource field study, we tested and supported a mediation model in which leaders’ attempts to improve their team members’ emotions were positively related to team innovation via team positive affective tone. Conversely, leader affect-worsening regulation was negatively related to team innovation via team negative affective tone. As such, we contribute to the work and organizational psychology literature by applying the notion of interpersonal emotion regulation in the teamwork setting, identifying specific behaviours of leaders that influence the development of novel ideas through shared affective experiences. Practitioner points: Leader interpersonal emotion regulation increases or decreases innovation by means of team affect. Leader affect-improving interpersonal emotion regulation is positively related to team innovation, whereas leader affect-worsening interpersonal emotion regulation has the opposite effect. Interventions for leader development should include training on interpersonal emotion regulation to benefit teamwork.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)787-805
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2019


  • innovation
  • interpersonal emotion regulation
  • leaders
  • teams
  • teamwork


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