Combating team hopelessness: How and why leader interpersonal emotion management matters

Fenghao Wang, Wu Liu, Chu Ding Ling, Pan Fan, Yang Chen

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review


The extant team affect literature is silent on how team hopelessness may impact team functioning and, more importantly, how leaders may help to regulate it. Relying on the Appraisal-Tendency Framework of emotion, this paper examines the effect of team hopelessness on team performance, as well as its underlying mechanism, collective efficacy. It also explores how leaders’ use of two different interpersonal emotion management (IEM) strategies can moderate this relationship. Across two field studies involving 80 and 170 workplace teams, respectively, we consistently find that team hopelessness negatively impacts team performance through reduced collective efficacy. Moreover, leaders’ use of a problem-focused IEM strategy weakens the negative relationship between team hopelessness and team performance via collective efficacy, while their use of an emotion-focused IEM strategy strengthens it. Our research highlights the detrimental effect of team hopelessness on team functioning and the various consequences of different leader IEM strategies.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPersonnel Psychology
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2022


  • Appraisal-Tendency Framework
  • hopelessness
  • interpersonal emotion management
  • team emotion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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