Stollberger, J., Bosch, MJ., Las Heras, M., Rofcanin, Y., & Daher, P. (2020). The tone at the top: a trickle-down model of how manager anger relates to employee moral behaviour. European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, 1-15.


The question of how leaders’ expressions of anger influence employees have been the subject of considerable scholarly debate. So far, however, research on the consequences of angry leadership has predominantly focused on the effects of supervisor expressions of anger, neglecting the potential influence of higher-level managerial anger. In this study, we integrate the emotions as social information theory with the adapted elaboration likelihood model to examine how manager anger trickles down across organizational hierarchical levels (i.e., managers, supervisors, and employees) to affect employee moral behaviour. Results of a multi-source field study conducted in Chile demonstrate that perceptions of manager moral behaviour and supervisor servant leadership serially mediate a negative relationship between manager anger and employee moral behaviour. Furthermore, counter to our predictions, trait negative affectivity of supervisors did not moderate the trickle-down relation of manager anger on employee moral behaviour. Our research elucidates the process by which manager anger can “set the tone” in an organization and trickle down across hierarchical levels to predict the moral behaviour of employees.



María José Bosch

Fecha de Publicación:

20 de Agosto del 2020