Yongmei Liu joined the Management faculty at Illinois State University in August 2010. She received her Ph.D in Business Administration from the Florida State University. Yongmei has taught courses in Organizational Behavior, Leading Organizational Change, Human Resource Management, Recruitment and Selection, and International Management.
Yongmei’s current research interests include emotion in organizations, and interpersonal dynamics at work. Yongmei’s research has appeared in journals such as Academy of Management Learning and Education, Human Performance, Human Resource Management Review, Journal of Management, Journal of Organizational Behavior, Journal of Vocational Behavior, Personality and Individual Differences, and Personnel Psychology.
Yongmei is a member of the Academy of Management, Southern Management Association, American Psychology Association, Society of Industrial and Organizational Psychology, and Emonet (Emotions Network). She reviews for numerous academic journals, and serves on the Editorial Boards of Journal of Organizational Behavior, Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, and Group and Organization Management.
Emotions are an integral part of organizational life. People do not check their emotions at the door when they come to work. Rather, the workplace is filled with human emotions, just as it is with human thoughts and ideas. These emotions serve as signals to people’s inner world, revealing to others their goals, motivations, desires, and thoughts. Given people increasingly depend on each other to complete work tasks in today’s organizations, being able to recognize these signals and react to them effectively give people the advantage to work well with others and get things done. The ability to recognize emotions of others, as a part of a wider set of abilities termed as emotional intelligence, has been found to facilitate relationship building at work and enhance certain aspects of job performance. But is this ability so influential that it could even affect how much people earn?
In our study we explored this question with a diverse sample of employees from Germany. We found that there was a significant linkage between emotion recognition ability and one’s annual income, after controlling the effects of other influential factors, such as education, work experience, and weekly working hours. Our findings indicate that the ability to recognize emotions is not only valuable socially, it can also be monetized. Companies are willing to pay a premium for this ability. Thus, it appears to be critical for educational institutes to help develop this ability among students in their preparation for the workplace. It also seems beneficial for employers to provide employee training to enhance this ability. Meanwhile, organizations should also foster an organizational culture where human emotions are embraced at the workplace, where it is safe for people to express their emotions, so that they can be better understood and reacted to.
Momm, T.S., Blickle, G., Liu, Y., Wihler, A., Kholin, M., & Menges, J.I. (2015). It pays to have an eye for emotions: Emotion recognition ability indirectly predicts annual income. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 36, 147-163. DOI: 10.1002/job.1975