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Influence of Entrepreneur’s Emotions:: How do you handle your boss' emotions?
Jönköping University, Jönköping International Business School, JIBS, EMM (Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Management).
Jönköping University, Jönköping International Business School, JIBS, ESOL (Entrepreneurship, Strategy, Organization, Leadership).
2012 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This thesis illustrates the complexity of emotions in the entrepreneurial context. By using vignettes and in-depth interviews conducted among nine employees from entrepreneurial firms in Lithuania and nine employees from entrepreneurial firms in the Netherlands, this study offers a perspective on how emotional display of the entrepreneur influence employee’s behavior.

The display of two negative (anger and fear), two positive (joy and confidence) emotions, and entrepreneurial passion are studied and the findings show that there is (a) a significant relationship between entrepreneur’s display of positive and negative emotions and employee’s behavior (e.g., motivation and decision-making); (b) the entrepreneur’s emotions have potentially positive and negative effect on the employee’s behavior and this is largely influenced by the relationship and dynamics between the employee and entrepreneur defined by the duration and intensity of the relationship, the formal/informal distance between the entrepreneur and employee, past experiences with the entrepreneur, the degree of honesty and sincerity expressed, and the level of mutual trust; (c) the reaction of the employees is partly based on the characteristics above as well as on sensitivity towards the emotions to whom they are displayed. In terms of reactions, the employees have a certain emotional balance based on the past situation, current situation, and the personal preference towards the degree and frequency of positive versus negative emotions. Each emotional display is weighed on this balance and inflicts a feeling, which results in a certain behavior. Finally, studying (d) the patterns between Dutch and Lithuanian employees in their perception of the entrepreneurs’ emotions, the results show that Dutch employees, in general, are more direct and assertive. They indicate that they greatly enjoy displays of positive emotions, passion and a degree of informalities when the relationship with the entrepreneur develops, but in negative situations they have the tendency to direct their irritation-adjusting behavior directly towards the entrepreneur. Lithuanian employees are more focused on finding solutions to negative situations together with colleagues rather than confronting the entrepreneur, and to balance on so called “blinding” effect they greatly value rationality and reason from the entrepreneur.

To interpret and fully understand the specifics of the findings we use valence, appraisal, and expectancy theories. Based on this analytical approach, we provide two tentative models that, we think, both well summarize the results of this research and call for a need for a further research suggesting that there might be much more hidden behind the curtains of the emotional scene introduced by this thesis.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. , 68 p.
Keyword [en]
entrepreneurship, emotions, employee, organization, management, business, leadership, valance, appraisal
National Category
Business Administration
URN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-18611OAI: diva2:536517
Subject / course
IHH, Business Administration
Social and Behavioural Science, Law
Available from: 2012-08-09 Created: 2012-06-21 Last updated: 2012-08-09Bibliographically approved

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Macijauskaite, AidaVerstraeten, Frank
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