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Journal cover: Journal of Managerial Psychology

Journal of Managerial Psychology

ISSN: 0268-3946

Online from: 1986

Subject Area: Human Resource Management

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Differential effects of male and female managers' non-verbal emotional skills on employees' ratings

Document Information:
Title:Differential effects of male and female managers' non-verbal emotional skills on employees' ratings
Author(s):Kristin Byron, (Whitman School of Management, Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York, USA)
Citation:Kristin Byron, (2008) "Differential effects of male and female managers' non-verbal emotional skills on employees' ratings", Journal of Managerial Psychology, Vol. 23 Iss: 2, pp.118 - 134
Keywords:Emotional intelligence, Gender, Job satisfaction, Management skills, Managers, Non-verbal communications
Article type:Research paper
DOI:10.1108/02683940810850772 (Permanent URL)
Publisher:Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Purpose – The purpose of this article is to examine whether employees are more satisfied with female, as compared to male, managers who accurately perceive non-verbal emotion expressions, and how male and female managers' non-verbal emotional skill differentially affects their employees' ratings.

Design/methodology/approach – Students, nearly all of whom had work experience, were randomly assigned a vignette and asked to respond to the situation in the role of the employee. The situation described male or female managers either perceiving or not attending to the employees' emotional expression, and using or not using emotional information to be supportive or persuasive. Differences between the various situations were examined.

Findings – Participants indicated that they were more satisfied with female, but not male, managers, who accurately perceived their emotion. Similarly, failing to attend to emotion resulted in lower satisfaction ratings for female, but not male, managers. In ways consistent with gender stereotypes, male and female managers' non-verbal emotion perception had differential effects on their perceived persuasiveness and supportiveness.

Research limitations/implications – The use of vignettes with a student sample may limit generalizability. However, satisfactory manipulation checks, strong theoretical support, the work experience of the students, and the established use of vignettes in psychological research together argue for the validity of the findings.

Practical implications – Working managers may increase their employees' satisfaction by increasing their accuracy in “reading” emotions and using emotional information in gender-congruent ways.

Originality/value – This paper increases knowledge about the role of emotion perception for working managers and, specifically, how the use of emotional information may have differential value for male and female managers.

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