The positive effect of expressing negative emotions on knowledge creation capability and performance of project teams

John Paul Stephens, Abraham Carmeli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

79 Scopus citations

Abstract

Organizations are built around teams as a way to better manage complex work, such as technological projects. However, complex teamwork presents challenges that can often generate positive and negative emotions, as well as demand efforts to generate new knowledge. We examine whether and how the capacity of technological product development teams to constructively express negative emotions facilitates knowledge creation capabilities and thereby enhances project outcomes. Results indicate that with greater capacity for constructively expressing negative emotions, teams enhance their capability to access crucial knowledge and exchange and integrate that knowledge in ways that enhance both project performance outcomes and project budget adherence. In so doing, we hope to open up new avenues for research on how expressing negative emotions in project teams can help in building knowledge creation capabilities and drive multiple performance outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)862-873
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Project Management
Volume34
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2016
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Elsevier Ltd and Association for Project Management and the International Project Management Association.

Keywords

  • Emotional expression
  • Knowledge creation capability
  • Negative emotions
  • Project team performance

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