This study investigates the origins of discrete interpersonal emotions in team-member dyads using two independent samples from an education institute and a telecommunication services company in China. Results across both studies showed that the quality of team members’ dyadic relationships positively relates to interpersonal admiration, sympathy, and envy, and negatively relates to interpersonal contempt. Furthermore, teams’ cooperative goals moderate these dyad-level linkages. The association of relationship quality with interpersonal emotions is particularly pronounced in teams with less cooperative goals but buffered in teams with more cooperative goals. Finally, on the individual level of analysis, envy and contempt are inversely associated with team members’ work performance, objectively measured. These findings provide new insights about key antecedents and crucial moderators in the development of interpersonal emotions in Chinese work teams and reiterate the relevance of these emotions for tangible performance outcomes.
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