Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

Feeling Good Makes Us Stronger: How Team Resilience Mediates the Effect of Positive Emotions on Team Performance

Abstract

This study investigated the relationship between collective positive emotions at work and team resilience, expanding on the Broaden and Build theory of Fredrickson (Rev Gen Psychol 2:300–319, 1998; Am Psychol 56:218–226, 2001) at the collective (i.e., work teams) level of analysis. Through the aggregate scores of 1,076 employees (61 % men), grouped into 216 teams and belonging to 40 companies, five collective positive emotions were evaluated (i.e., enthusiasm, optimism, satisfaction, comfort, and relaxation) as well as team resilience. Additionally, ratings of the 216 supervisors of the teams were used to assess team performance (i.e., in- and extra-role performance). Structural equation modeling at the team level of analysis indicated that team resilience mediates the relationship between collective positive emotions and team performance, both in- and extra-role. The results highlight the importance of developing collective positive emotions to help teams to foster team resilience and improve their performance. The article concludes with practical strategies aimed at developing collective positive emotions, together with limitations and suggestions for future research.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Fig. 1

References

  1. Algoe, S. B., & Fredrickson, B. L. (2011). Emotional fitness and the movement of affective science from lab to field. American Psychologist, 66(1), 35–42. doi:10.1037/a0021720.

  2. Arbuckle, J. L. (2010). IBM SPSS Amos 19 users’ guide. Chicago, IL: SPSS.

  3. Avey, J. B., Luthans, F., & Youssef, C. M. (2010). The additive value of positive psychological capital in predicting work attitudes and behaviors. Journal of Management, 36(2), 430–452.

  4. Barsade, S. G. (2002). The ripple effect: Emotional contagion and its influence on group behavior. Administrative Science Quarterly, 47, 644–675.

  5. Bartel, C. A., & Saavedra, R. (2000). The collective construction of work group mood. Administrative Science Quarterly, 45, 197–231.

  6. Bennett, J. B., Aden, C. A., Broome, K., Mitchell, K., & Rigdon, W. D. (2010). Team resilience for young restaurant workers: Research-to-practice adaptation and assessment. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 15(3), 223–236. doi:10.1037/a0019379.

  7. Bliese, P. D. (2000). Within-group agreement, non-independence, and reliability: Implications for data aggregation and analysis. In K. J. Klein, S. J. Kozlowski, K. J. Klein, & S. J. Kozlowski (Eds.), Multilevel theory, research, and methods in organizations: Foundations, extensions, and new directions (pp. 349–381). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

  8. Borman, W. C., & Motowidlo, S. J. (1993). Expanding the criterion domain to include elements of contextual performance. In N. Schmidt, W. C. Borman, A. Howard, A. Kraut, D. Ilgen, B. Schneider, & S. Zedeck (Eds.), Personnel selection in organizations (pp. 71–98). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

  9. Brown, T. A. (2006). Confirmatory factor analysis for applied research. New York, NY: Guilford Press.

  10. Burke, N. J., Finkelstein, L. M., & Dusig, M. S. (1999). On average deviation indices for estimating interrater agreement. Organizational Research Methods, 2, 49–68.

  11. Carmeli, A., Friedman, Y., & Tishler, A. (2013). Cultivating a resilient top management team: The importance of relational connections and strategic decision comprehensiveness. Safety Science, 51, 148–159.

  12. Chan, D. (1998). Functional relations among constructs in the same content domain at different levels of analysis: A typology of composition models. Journal of Applied Psychology, 83(2), 234–246. doi:10.1037/0021-9010.83.2.234.

  13. Cohn, M. A., Fredrickson, B. L., Brown, S. L., Mikels, J. A., & Conway, A. M. (2009). Happiness unpacked: Positive emotions increase life satisfaction by building resilience. Emotion Washington Dc, 9(3), 361–368. doi:10.1037/a0015952.

  14. Coutu, D. L. (2002). How resilience works. Harvard Business Review, 80(5), 46–51.

  15. Edmondson, A. C., Bohmer, R. M., & Pisano, G. P. (2001). Disrupted routines: Team learning and new technology implementation in hospitals. Administrative Science Quarterly, 46, 685–716.

  16. Egeland, B., Carlson, E., & Sroufe, L. A. (1993). Resilience as process. Development and Psychopathology, 5, 517–528.

  17. Fredrickson, B. L. (1998). What good are positive emotions? Review of General Psychology, 2, 300–319.

  18. Fredrickson, B. L. (2001). The role of positive emotions in positive psychology: The broaden-and-build theory of positive emotions. American Psychologist, 56, 218–226.

  19. Fredrickson, B. L., & Joiner, T. (2002). Positive emotions trigger upward spirals toward emotional well-being. Psychological Science, 13(2), 172.

  20. Fredrickson, B. L., & Losada, M. F. (2005). Positive affect and the complex dynamics of human flourishing. American Psychologist, 60(7), 678–686. doi:10.1037/0003-066X.60.7.678.

  21. Fredrickson, B. L., Tugade, M. M., Waugh, C. E., & Larkin, G. R. (2003). What good are positive emotions in crises? A prospective study of resilience and emotions following the terrorist attacks on the United States on September 11th, 2001. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 84(2), 365–376. doi:10.1037/0022-3514.84.2.365.

  22. Gable, S. L., & Haidt, J. (2005). What (and why) is positive psychology? Review of General Psychology, 9, 103–110. doi:10.1037/1089-2680.9.2.103.

  23. Goffee, R., & Jones, G. (1998). The character of a corporation. London: HarperCollins.

  24. Goodman, S. A., & Svyantek, D. (1999). Person-Organization fit and contextual performance: Do shared values matter. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 55, 254–275.

  25. Gully, S. M., Incalcaterra, K. A., Joshi, A., & Beaubien, J. (2002). A meta-analysis of team-efficacy, potency, and performance: Interdependence and level of analysis as moderators of observed relationships. Journal of Applied Psychology, 87(5), 819–832. doi:10.1037//0021.9010.87.5.819.

  26. Harter, J., Schmidt, F., & Keyes, C. (2003). Well-being in the workplace and its relationship to business outcomes: A review of the Gallup studies. In C. Keyes & J. Haidt (Eds.), Flourishing: Positive psychology and the life well lived (pp. 205–224). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

  27. Hatfield, E., Cacioppo, J. T., & Rapson, R. L. (1992). Primitive emotional contagion. In M. S. Clark (Ed.), Emotion and social behavior (pp. 151–177). Newbury Park, CA: Sage.

  28. Hind, P., Frost, M., & Rowley, S. (1996). The resilience audit and the psychological contract. Journal of Managerial Psychology, 11(7), 18–29.

  29. Hoffman, M. L. (1985). Interaction of affect and cognition in empathy. In C. E. Izard, J. Kagan, & R. B. Zajonc (Eds.), Emotions, cognition, and behavior (pp. 103–131). New York: Cambridge University Press.

  30. Hu, L., & Bentler, P. M. (1999). Cutoff criteria for fit indexes in covariance structure analysis: Conventional criteria versus new alternatives. Structural Equation Modeling, 6(1), 1–55. doi:10.1080/10705519909540118.

  31. Isen, A. M. (2000). Positive affect and decision making. In M. Lewis & J. M. Haviland-Jones (Eds.), Handbook of emotions (2nd ed., pp. 417–435). New York: Guilford Press.

  32. Kaplan, S., LaPort, K., & Waller, M. J. (2013). The role of positive affectivity in team effectiveness during crises. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 34(4), 473–491. doi:10.1002/job.1817.

  33. Kenny, D. A., & LaVoie, L. (1985). Separating individual and group effects. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 48(2), 339–348. doi:10.1037/0022-3514.48.2.339.

  34. Kunin, T. (1955). The construction of a new type of attitude measure. Personnel Psychology, 8, 65–67.

  35. Lindebaum, D., & Jordan, P. J. (2012). Relevant but exaggerated: The effects of emotional intelligence on project manager performance in construction. Construction Management & Economics, 30(7), 575–583. doi:10.1080/01446193.2011.593184.

  36. Loh, J. M. I., Schutte, N. S., & Thorsteinsson, E. B. (2014). Be happy: The role of resilience between characteristic affect and symptoms of depression. Journal of Happiness Studies,. doi:10.1007/s10902-013-9467-2.

  37. Luthans, F., Vogelgesang, G. R., & Lester, P. B. (2006). Developing the psychological capital of resiliency. Human Resource Development Review, 5(1), 25–44.

  38. Mallak, L. (1998). Putting organizational resilience process to work. Industrial Management, 40, 8–14.

  39. Marsh, H. W., Balla, J. R., & Hau, K. T. (1996). An evaluation of Incremental Fit Indices: A clarification of mathematical and empirical properties. In G. A. Marcoulides & R. E. Schumacker (Eds.), Advanced structural equation modeling, issues and techniques (pp. 315–353). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

  40. Maxwell, S. E., & Cole, D. A. (2007). Bias in cross-sectional analyses of longitudinal mediation. Psychological Methods, 12(1), 23–44. doi:10.1037/1082-989x.12.1.23.

  41. McCarthy, J. P. (1992). Focus from the start—Employee orientation programs—Orientation. HR Magazine, 37, 77–83.

  42. Moss, S. A., Dowling, N., & Callanan, J. (2009). Towards an integrated model of leadership and self regulation. Leadership Quarterly, 20(2), 162–176. doi:10.1016/j.leaqua.2009.01.005.

  43. Nelson, D., Klein, C. F., & Irvin, J. E. (2003). Motivational antecedents of Empathy: Inhibiting effects of fatigue. Basic and Applied Social Psychology, 25(1), 37–50.

  44. Nunnally, J. C., & Bernstein, I. H. (1994). Psychometric theory. New York: McGraw-Hill.

  45. O’Bannon, D. P., & Pearce, C. L. (1999). An exploratory examination of gainsharing in service organizations: Implications for organizational citizenship behavior and pay satisfaction. Journal of Managerial Issues, 11(3), 363–378.

  46. Ong, A. D., Bergeman, C. S., Bisconti, T. L., & Wallace, K. A. (2006). Psychological resilience, positive emotions, and successful adaptation to stress in later life. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 91(4), 730–749.

  47. Podsakoff, P. M., MacKenzie, S. B., Jeong-Yeon, L., & Podsakoff, N. P. (2003). Common method biases in behavioral research: A critical review of the literature and recommended remedies. Journal of Applied Psychology, 88(5), 879.

  48. Podsakoff, P. M., MacKenzie, S. B., & Podsakoff, N. P. (2012). Sources of method bias in social science research and recommendations on how to control it. Annual Review of Psychology, 63(1), 539–569. doi:10.1146/annurev-psych-120710-100452.

  49. Powley, E. H. (2009). Reclaiming resilience and safety: Resilience activation in the critical period of crisis. Human Relations, 62(9), 1289–1326.

  50. Rhee, S. (2007). Chapter 4. Group emotions and group outcomes: The role of group-member interactions. Research on Managing Groups and Teams, 10, 65–95. doi:10.1016/s1534-0856(07)10004-9.

  51. Richter, A. W., West, M. A., van Dick, R., & Dawson, J. F. (2006). Boundary spanners’ identification, intergroup contact, and effective intergroup relations. The Academy of Management Journal, 49, 1252–1269. doi:10.5465/AMJ.2006.23478720.

  52. Salanova, M., Llorens, S., Cifre, E., & Martínez, I. M. (2012). We need a hero! Toward a validation of the Healthy and Resilient Organization (HERO) model. Group and Organization Management, 37(6), 785–822. doi:10.1177/1059601112470405.

  53. Salanova, M., Llorens, S., & Schaufeli, W. B. (2011). ‘Yes, I can, I feel good, and I just do it!’ On gain cycles and spirals of efficacy beliefs, affect, and engagement. Applied Psychology: An International Review, 60(2), 255–285. doi:10.1111/j.1464-0597.2010.00435.x.

  54. Sanders, K., & Emmerik, H. V. (2004). Does modern organization and governance threat solidarity? Journal of Management and Governance, 8(4), 351–372. doi:10.1007/s10997-004-4128-9.

  55. Sanders, K., Emmerik, H. V., & Raub, W. (2002). Nieuwe Vragen Voor Onderzoek Naar Solidair Gedrag Binnen Moderne Organisaties. [New research question concerning solidary behaviour within modern organisations]. Gedrag en Organisatie, 15, 184–201.

  56. Sanders, K., & Schyns, B. (2006). Leadership and solidarity behaviour: Consensus in perception of employees within teams. Personnel Review, 35(5), 538–556. doi:10.1108/00483480610682280.

  57. Schachter, S. (1959). The psychology of affiliation. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.

  58. Sobel, M. E. (1988). Direct and indirect effects in linear structural equation models. In J. S. Long (Ed.), Common problems/proper solutions (pp. 46–64). Beverly Hills, CA: Sage.

  59. Spector, P. E. (2006). Method variance in organizational research: Truth or urban legend? Organizational Research Methods, 9(2), 221–232. doi:10.1177/1094428105284955.

  60. Staudinger, U. M., Marsiske, M., & Baltes, P. B. (1993). Resilience and levels of reserve capacity in later adulthood: Perspectives from life-span theory. Development and Psychopathology, 5, 541–566.

  61. Stewart, G. (2010). The past twenty years: Teams research is alive and well at the Journal of Management. Journal of Management, 36(4), 801–805.

  62. Sutcliffe, K. M., & Vogus, T. J. (2003). Organizing for resilience. In K. S. Cameron, J. E. Dutton, & R. E. Quinn (Eds.), Positive organizational scholarship: Foundations of a new discipline (pp. 94–110). San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler.

  63. Tajfel, H., & Turner, J. C. (1985). The social identity theory of intergroup behavior. In S. Worchel & W. G. Austin (Eds.), Psychology of intergroup relations (2nd ed., pp. 7–24). Chicago: Nelson-Hall.

  64. Totterdell, P. (2000). Catching moods and hitting runs: Mood linkage and subjective performance in professional sport teams. Journal of Applied Psychology, 85(6), 848–859. doi:10.1037/0021-9010.85.6.848.

  65. Tugade, M. M., & Fredrickson, B. L. (2004). Resilient individuals use positive emotions to bounce back from negative emotional experiences. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 86(2), 320–333.

  66. Walter, F., & Bruch, H. (2008). The positive group affect spiral: A dynamic model of the emergence of positive affective similarity in work groups. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 29(2), 239–261.

  67. Warr, P. (1990). Decision latitude, job demands, and employee well-being. Work & Stress, 4(4), 285–294.

  68. West, B. J., Patera, J. L., & Carsten, M. K. (2009). Team level positivity: Investigating positive psychological capacities and team level outcomes. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 30, 249–267.

  69. Whitman, D. S., Van Rooy, D. L., & Viswesvaran, C. (2010). Satisfaction, citizenship behaviors, and performance in work units: A meta-analysis of collective construct relations. Personnel Psychology, 63(1), 41–81. doi:10.1111/j.1744-6570.2009.01162.x.

  70. Wright, T. A., Cropanzano, R., & Meyer, D. G. (2004). State and trait correlates of job performance: A tale of two perspectives. Journal of Business and Psychology, 18(3), 365–383.

  71. Youssef, C. M., & Luthans, F. (2005). Resiliency development of organizations, leaders and employees: Multi-level theory building for sustained performance. In W. Gardner, B. J. Avolio, & F. O. Walumbwa (Eds.), Authentic leadership theory and practice. Origins, effects, and development (pp. 303–343). Oxford: Elsevier.

  72. Youssef, C. M., & Luthans, F. (2007). Positive organizational behavior in the workplace. The impact of hope, optimism and resilience. Journal of Management, 33(5), 774–800.

Download references

Acknowledgments

This research was supported by a grant from the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness (#PSI2011-22400).

Author information

Correspondence to Isabella Meneghel.

Electronic supplementary material

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Meneghel, I., Salanova, M. & Martínez, I.M. Feeling Good Makes Us Stronger: How Team Resilience Mediates the Effect of Positive Emotions on Team Performance. J Happiness Stud 17, 239–255 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10902-014-9592-6

Download citation

Keywords

  • Collective positive emotions
  • Team resilience
  • Team performance
  • Broaden and Build theory
  • Structural equation modeling