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Yang, I. (2014). Social Sharing of Private Emotions within a Group: The Case of Positive and Negative Emotions. Organ. Soc. Dyn., 14(2):285-321.

(2014). Organizational and Social Dynamics, 14(2):285-321

Social Sharing of Private Emotions within a Group: The Case of Positive and Negative Emotions

Inju Yang

The goal of this conceptual paper is to investigate how the social sharing of emotions within a group effects individuals' perceptions of the group. We argue that social sharing of both positive and negative emotions positively contributes to group climate and group cohesion. In particular, we examine the role of trust during emotion sharing. We assert that by facilitating the creation of trust, social sharing of negative emotions has a more direct influence on group climate and group cohesion than social sharing of positive emotions. However, the positive relationship between social sharing of positive emotions and subsequent positive group attitudes may only be realised at the pre-existing trust. We believe that this paper challenges conventional wisdom on private emotions. We conclude with a discussion of theoretical and managerial implications.

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