Anger and Gender Effects in Observed Supervisor-Subordinate Dyadic Interactions

Theresa M. Glomb, Charles L. Hulin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

87 Scopus citations


This study investigates the effects of a supervisor's anger and supervisor's and subordinate's gender on evaluations made by observers of interacting supervisor-subordinate dyads. In a laboratory experiment, 370 undergraduates viewed one of eight video-tapes representing the conditions of the 2 (gender of supervisor) × 2 (gender of subordinate) × 2 (presence or absence of anger) design and then completed evaluations of the supervisor and the subordinate. A field study using 265 employees from three organizations replicated the laboratory results. In spite of constant dialogue in the interactions across all eight conditions, supervisors expressing anger were rated lower and female supervisors were rated higher by observers. Subordinates were rated higher when interacting with an angry supervisor and when interacting with a male supervisor. Main effects of supervisor's gender may reflect over-evaluation of unexpected, albeit average, performance. The joint supervisor and subordinate effects are interpreted as reflecting a dyadic rating effect in which high ratings assigned to one member of the dyad are accompanied by lower ratings assigned to the other member.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)281-307
Number of pages27
JournalOrganizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 1997

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The field study portion of this research was funded by a grant from the Center for Human Resource Management at the University of Illinois. This article is based on work supported under a National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship. We express our appreciation to Kathy Hanisch, Jeanne Brett, and Gerald Ferris for reviewing earlier drafts of this article and providing suggestions for revisions. We also thank the managers of the three organizations involved in the field portion of the research for their patience and cooperation. Their dedication to basic research on human resource issues in organizations is outstanding and is deeply appreciated.

Copyright 2004 Elsevier Science B.V., Amsterdam. All rights reserved.


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