Affective mechanisms linking dysfunctional behavior to performance in work teams: a moderated mediation study.

Research paper by Michael S MS Cole, Frank F Walter, Heike H Bruch

Indexed on: 24 Sep '08Published on: 24 Sep '08Published in: The Journal of applied psychology


The present study examines the association between dysfunctional team behavior and team performance. Data included measures of teams' dysfunctional behavior and negative affective tone as well as supervisors' ratings of teams' (nonverbal) negative emotional expressivity and performance. Utilizing a field sample of 61 work teams, the authors tested the proposed relationships with robust data analytic techniques. Results were consistent with the hypothesized conceptual scheme, in that negative team affective tone mediated the relationship between dysfunctional team behavior and performance when teams' nonverbal negative expressivity was high but not when nonverbal expressivity was low. On the basis of the findings, the authors conclude that the connection between dysfunctional behavior and performance in team situations is more complex than was previously believed--thereby yielding a pattern of moderated mediation. In sum, the findings demonstrated that team members' collective emotions and emotional processing represent key mechanisms in determining how dysfunctional team behavior is associated with team performance.