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autonomic measure, leadership, neuroscience, rating



  1. Balconi, Michela PhD
  2. Venturella, Irene MSc
  3. Fronda, Giulia PhD
  4. de Filippis, Daniela MSc
  5. Salati, Emanuela MSc
  6. Vanutelli, Maria Elide PhD


Organizational research started including neurosciences exploring pivotal phenomena and promoting organizational well-being. Leadership was investigated by assessing psychophysiological responses during performance review characterized by narrative or quantitative assessments and their effects on employees' well-being. As is known, rating could be perceived as threatening for employees' ranking and status perception, leading to avoidant behaviors. Design and Methodology: Here, manager-employee dyads were assigned to 2 conditions: in the nonrate scenario, managers were asked to describe the employee's performance; in the rate one, they had to provide a quantitative rating. Skin conductance level and response and heart rate indices were continuously recorded. Findings: Dyads in nonrate condition showed higher arousal-related responses (skin conductance level and skin conductance response), perhaps highlighting an increased engagement triggered by a rewarding exchange. Conversely, in rate condition, employees showed higher heart rate, usually related to negative and stressful conditions, and avoidant behaviors. Originality/value: Results are discussed for their possible applications to employees' well-being.