Miguel Sousa Lobo
Associate Professor of Decision Sciences
The authors explore how relational affect - defined as the relatively stable dyadic affective states that a person experiences from social interactions with a specific individual - emerges from and influences the collective performance of joint tasks in organizations. To this end, the authors use longitudinal archival and survey data on surgeons working in dyads to execute visceral surgeries, with a sample including 1,315 surgeries before the relational survey was administered, and 475 surgeries conducted afterwards.The authors measure the relational affect in each surgeon-dyad along the circumplex of the affective experience, where affective responses to a person can range from positive low activation (e.g., relaxed) to positive high activation (e.g., excited and alert), negative high activation (e.g., tense and nervous) and negative low activation (e.g., lethargic).The results of this exploration reveal what it is about the historical surgical performance of a surgeon-dyad that predicts the specific form of relational affect that develops between them, and how this relational affect in turn predicts subsequent surgical performance. These findings chart new territory on the affect-performance link, with implications for management theory and practice.