Organization Management Journal


This article investigates emotional contagion in workplaces by proposing an expanded approach that simultaneously considers contagion both absorbed by (i.e., contagion absorbed) and issued toward (i.e., contagion infected) others, namely, within-individual bidirectional contagion. Furthermore, it explores the differential association of contagion to leaders, colleagues, and clients, namely, a holistic mapping. Participants (N = 694) from six organizations were asked how frequently they both absorbed and transmitted four basic emotions from or to others, and whether the emotional experience occurred with regard to their leaders, colleagues, and clients. The findings reveal that positive and negative emotions considered for within-individual bidirectional contagion were more frequently experienced with colleagues followed by clients, whereas leaders were the least associated with emotional contagion. The relevance of a holistic mapping of emotional contagion in work settings and its implications for leadership are discussed.