Don’t You Tweet me Badly: Anxiety Contagion between Leaders and Followers in Computer-Mediated Communication during COVID-19

Gruda, Dritjon and Ojo, Adegboyega and Psychogios, Alexandros (2022) Don’t You Tweet me Badly: Anxiety Contagion between Leaders and Followers in Computer-Mediated Communication during COVID-19. PLOS ONE. ISSN 1932-6203

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Abstract

Do organizational leaders’ tweets influence their employees’ anxiety? And if so, have employees become more susceptible to their leader’s social media communications during the COVID-19 pandemic? Based on emotional contagion and using machine learning algorithms to track anxiety and personality traits of 197 leaders and 958 followers across 79 organizations over 316 days, we find that during the pandemic leaders’ tweets do influence follower state anxiety. In addition, followers of trait anxious leaders seem somewhat protected by sudden spikes in leader state anxiety, while followers of less trait anxious leaders are most affected by increased leader state anxiety. Multi-day lagged regressions showcase that this effect is stronger post-onset of the COVID-19 pandemic compared to the pre-pandemic crisis context.

Item Type: Article
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0264444
Dates:
DateEvent
11 February 2022Accepted
4 March 2022Published Online
Uncontrolled Keywords: emotional contagion, anxiety, leadership, COVID-19, machine learning
Subjects: CAH04 - psychology > CAH04-01 - psychology > CAH04-01-02 - applied psychology
CAH17 - business and management > CAH17-01 - business and management > CAH17-01-04 - management studies
CAH17 - business and management > CAH17-01 - business and management > CAH17-01-05 - human resource management
Divisions: Faculty of Business, Law and Social Sciences > Birmingham City Business School > Dept. Management, HR and Enterprise
Depositing User: Alexandros Psychogios
Date Deposited: 25 Feb 2022 09:47
Last Modified: 18 Mar 2022 14:19
URI: http://www.open-access.bcu.ac.uk/id/eprint/12860

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