On the Hazards of the Technology Age: How Using Emojis Affects Perceptions of Leaders

Monica A. Riordan, Ella Glikson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Work-from-home and remote work arrangements are increasingly common. As a result, much business communication is taking place via computer-mediated means. In two experiments, the effect of emojis in business email is explored: their effect on perceptions of the leader who sends the email, perceptions of the email itself, and the email within the communication context. Study 1 found that emails with emojis led to positive perceptions of a leader’s likability and effectiveness, but only on the part of male recipients; female recipients rated a leader using emojis as less effective, with no difference in likability. In study 2, females perceived emails with emojis as more positive but also less appropriate for the workplace, although those who worked in informal workplaces showed a less pronounced effect of appropriateness. It is clear that leaders should consider both the audience and the workplace communication climate before using emojis in emails.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Business Communication
Early online date2020
StateE-pub ahead of print - 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2020.


  • effectiveness
  • email
  • emoji
  • leadership
  • likability


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