Emotional Expression between CEO and Chairperson as a Micro-Foundation of Organizational Capabilities: An Exploratory Mixed Methods Study

John Paul Stephens, Yossef Srour, Abraham Carmeli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The work relationships between CEOs and Chairpersons are key to the functioning of the firm. This study uses survey and interview data to explore how these work relationships serve as a micro-foundation for an organization's communication climate. Survey data suggested that CEO-Chairperson relationships can be characterized by emotional carrying capacity (ECC; constructively expressing more positive and negative emotions). The survey-based model further demonstrated that CEOs and Chairpersons perceive their ECC to positively predict organizational communication climate and, in turn, knowledge creation capabilities. The latter, in turn, are positively associated with firm performance. CEO-Chairperson dyadic interview data supplemented the associations identified in our survey model. Interviewees identified specific mechanisms behind the associations in the survey model, such as the strategic sharing of positive and negative emotions. Our mixed-methods approach provides initial evidence for the importance of emotional expression and management as micro-relational foundations that underpin firm-level capabilities and performance.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Management Studies
StateAccepted/In press - 2024
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 Society for the Advancement of Management Studies and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


We wish to the General Editor, Associate Editors and three anonymous reviewers of this journal, as well as to Emanuel Gomes and Elli Mullis for their helpful comments and suggestions on earlier versions of this work. We also acknowledge constructive feedbacks from participants of strategy seminar at Tel Aviv University and the editorial comments Gerda Kesler. The third author acknowledges the financial support of Jeremy Coller Foundation, Eli Hurvitz Institute for Strategic Management, and The Henry Crown Institute of Business Research in Israel. All remaining errors are our own.

FundersFunder number
Eli Hurvitz Institute for Strategic Management
Henry Crown Institute of Business Research in Israel
Jeremy Coller Foundation


    • Chairperson and CEO relationships
    • corporate governance
    • emotional expression
    • knowledge creation capabilities
    • micro-foundations


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