טכניון מכון טכנולוגי לישראל
הטכניון מכון טכנולוגי לישראל - בית הספר ללימודי מוסמכים  
M.Sc Thesis
M.Sc StudentCheshin Arik
SubjectAffect in Virtual Teams: Contagion, and Performance
DepartmentDepartment of Industrial Engineering and Management
Supervisor Professor Anat Rafaeli
Full Thesis textFull thesis text - English Version


Abstract

Emotional contagion, a phenomenon in which an emotion of one person spreads to others,

            has been found to operate in dyads and teams interacting face to face. It has been argued that the mimicking of non verbal cues, present in face to face communication, is the key

            for this phenomenon. However, computer mediated communication (where nonverbal

            cues are limited) is widespread in today’s organizations; therefore, the questions is raised

            - can emotional contagion occur without non verbal cues? Using a trained confederate, different affect conditions (angry/happy) were introduced to a web based simulation of an interdependent cooperative virtual team. Our findings demonstrated that despite the lack of non verbal cues emotional contagion can occur. We show in a number of measures that both individual and group level affect were influenced by one individual and spread

            to the rest of the group. Moreover, it has been documented that affect influences performance of individuals and groups in carrying out various tasks. The current study expands previous work by looking at how the emotion of one member influences the performance of other members of a group as well as the group as a whole. As predicated

            angry emotion of one team member was found to hinder performance of others in the team both on an individual and team level. Theoretical implications of emotional contagion in groups and its influence on performance are discussed.