• Yi Jin

Student thesis: Doctor of Business Administration


Many scholars studied leaders' regulation of followers' emotions since emotions play an important role in leadership. However, little research has focused on how leaders regulate followers' emotions and the effects of this on followers' task performance. In my research, I therefore examined leader interpersonal emotion regulation (IER), which refers to a regulation process that people make intentional effort to impact the emotions of other people (Niven, 2017). In particular, I examined how leaders' IER strategies shape followers' objective job performance and job satisfaction through followers' perception of the quality of leader-member exchange (LMX) relationship in a multinational company (MNC) in the industry of fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) in China. I conducted a three-wave time-separated field survey collecting data from 620 sales representatives and their matched 209 sales supervisors from two operation units and used structural equation modelling and Monte Carlo simulation to test my hypotheses. Results revealed that those leaders who used a cognitive change IER strategy were able to indirectly improve followers' objective task performance and job satisfaction via improved LMX. In contrast, leaders who used a modulating emotional response IER strategy actually indirectly made followers' objective job performance and job satisfaction worse through poorer LMX. My study provides three distinctive contributions. First, my study advances the IER theory by exploring how leaders' use of different IER strategy influences one of followers' core outcomes, objective job performance, via LMX in the organisational setting. Second, my study contributes to the theory of social exchanges with leaders' behaviour of regulating followers' negative emotions as an antecedent other than a purely transactional-cognitive route. Third, my study provides a practical contribution to organisations on how leaders can effectively regulate team members' negative emotions in the workplace by utilising different IER strategies. Organisations can train their business leaders, especially the front-line managers, on how to utilise or avoid specific IER strategies when they are facing the negative emotions of team members and eventually improve followers' objective job performance and job satisfaction.
Date of Award1 Aug 2021
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorDavid Holman (Supervisor) & Karen Niven (Supervisor)


  • objective job performance
  • job satisfaction
  • interpersonal emotion regulation (IER)
  • leader-member exchange (LMX)

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