Amir Erez: Charismatic Leadership and Emotions

Mike interviews Amir Erez of the University of Florida regarding two studies he recently performed examining how charismatic leaders influence their followers through emotional contagion. He and his colleagues found that although charismatic leaders tend to be in better moods than non-charismatic leaders, it is the leader’s expression of positive moods (through behaviors like smiling and laughing) that influences followers.

Amir Erez

Amir Erez earned his Ph.D. and M. S. at the Industrial and Labor Relations School at Cornell University. He attended the Hebrew University of Jerusalem where he earned his B. A. in Business Administration and Philosophy and an M. A. in Philosophy. His research focuses on how positive moods and positive personality, influence individuals thought processes, motivation, and work behaviors. Dr. Erez also investigates how negative work behaviors such as rudeness and disrespect affect individuals’ performance and cognition.

Recommended further readings:

  • Conger, J. A., & Kanungo, R. N. (1998). Charismatic Leadership in Organizations. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
  • Cherulnik, P. D., Donley, K. A., Wiewel, T. S. R., & Miller, S. R. (2001). Charisma is contagious: The effect of leaders’ charisma on observers’ affect. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 31, 2149-2159.
  • Erez, A., Misangyi, V.F., Johnson, D.E., LePine, M.A., & Halvorsen, K.C. (2008). Stirring the hearts of followers: Charismatic leadership as the transferral of affect. Journal of Applied Psychology, 93, 602-615.
  • Hatfield, E., Cacioppo, J. T., & Rapson, R. L. (1994). Emotional Contagion. New York: Cambridge University Press.
  • Sy, T., Côté S., & Saavedra, R. (2005). The contagious leader: Impact of the leader’s mood on the mood of group members, group affective tone, and group processes. Journal of Applied Psychology, 90, 295-305.

Michael Johnson

Michael Johnson is an Assistant Professor in Department of Management and Organization at the University of Washington. He can be reached via