Fired Up (and Nervous): How Pre-Performance Emotion and Political Skill Influence Team Performance

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date





Team affect research is dominated by the bifurcation of affect into positive and negative team states. Yet, little is known about the influence of discrete member emotions on team functioning and performance. Likewise, self-presentation is known to influence emotional displays and reactions, with political skill being cited as the key to individual self-presentation. However, the effects of political skill are not widely understood in a team context, particularly as this capability influences team member functioning. Consequently, we integrate the cognitive-motivational-relational (CMR) theory of emotion and self-presentation theory to examine how pre-performance emotions (team level) and political skill (team level) influence team process quality and team effectiveness. Incorporating and observing a sample of 75 teams working on a complex task and controlling for team cognitive ability, we find that pre-performance emotions influence team effectiveness through team process quality at low levels of political skill, but not when team political skill is high. Thus, pre-performance emotions influence team process quality primarily for less politically skilled teams. These results offer new insights into the operation of emotion and political skill on teams, with important implications for team composition and functioning.

Publication Title

Academy of Management Annual Meeting Proceedings



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