Individual differences in emotional contagion of salespersons: Its effect on performance and burnout
View PDF Version
Redirect to publisher's version
(publisher's version.url.txt, 78 bytes)
This article explores the emotional contagion hypothesis, proposed by Hatfield, Cacioppo, and Rapson (1994), in a sales context. Specifically, the emotional contagion hypothesis explains how the emotions of two people (e.g., salesperson and customer) during a conversation are transmitted from one to the other via facial cues, and that these emotions affect the outcome of that interaction. The emotional contagion hypothesis implies that there are definitive individual differences concerning whether someone is either sensitive to emotions from others or able to transmit his or her emotions onto others. This study explores whether these individual differences are assets or liabilities over the long term for salespersons in a sales organization. The data in this study show that a salesperson's ability to infect others with his or her emotions is an asset (because it can lead to higher performance). In addition, being sensitive to the emotions of others is an asset (it can also lead to better performance); at the same time it is a liability (because of the higher risk of burnout). This study further explores how emotionally sensitive salespersons develop burnout as a consequence of role stress, which then affects their performance.
- contagion hypothesis
- role stress