UCL School of Management

What's Love Got To Do With It?


Sigal Barsade , The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania


Monday, 13 May 2013

Love is a basic human emotion that has been largely neglected within the domain of organizational behavior. In this study, we examine love at the collective level, and empirically test the relationship between a culture of companionate with outcomes for employees and the clients they serve in a long-term care setting. In a 16-month longitudinal field study, using multiple measures of culture, we found that a culture of companionate love at Time 1 positively related to employee satisfaction and teamwork, and negatively related to employee absenteeism and emotional exhaustion at Time 2.

Employee trait positive affect moderated the influence of the culture of love, amplifying its positive influence for high trait PA employees. A culture of companionate love at Time 1 was positively associated with client outcomes, specifically better patient mood, quality of life, and fewer trips to the emergency room, and there was some support for its association with family satisfaction with the long-term care facility at Time 2. In our discussion, we propose a generalized model of emotional culture in organizations and discuss the theoretical implications for both the emotions and organizational culture literatures. We also consider managerial implications for the healthcare industry, and beyond.

Open to
PhD Programme
Last updated Wednesday, 16 December 2015