Extending the growing interest in affect in work groups, we propose that groups with distributed information make higher quality decisions when they are in a negative rather than a positive mood, but that these effects are moderated by group members' trait negative affect. In support of this hypothesis, an experiment (N = 175 groups) showed that positive mood led to lower quality decisions than did negative or neutral moods when group members were low in trait negative affect, whereas such mood effects were not observed in groups higher in trait negative affect. Mediational analysis based on behavioral observations of group process confirmed that group information elaboration mediated this effect. These results provide an important caveat on the benefits of positive moods in work groups, and suggest that the study of trait × state affect interactions is an important avenue for future research.

Additional Metadata
Keywords distributed information, elaboration, group decision making, group dynamics, group performance, group processes, mood, negative affectivity, team performance
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1287/orsc.1090.0461, hdl.handle.net/1765/20879
Series ERIM Top-Core Articles
Journal Organization Science
van Knippenberg, D.L, Kooij-de Bode, J.M, & van Ginkel, W.P. (2010). The Interactive Effects of Mood and Trait Negative Affect in Group Decision Making. Organization Science, 21(3), 731–744. doi:10.1287/orsc.1090.0461