At the Heart of Leadership

Kristian Axelsson

Student thesis: Master thesis


Emotions play an important role in both relationships and decision-making processes, which are integral processes within the leadership process. The heart rate is a known indicator of emotional arousal and that is why this paper explores the relation between the heart rate dynamics and leadership related processes. This is investigated through the combination of an ethnographic study and physiological measurements acquired via biometric sensors namely, ECG, optical pulse-meter and GSR. The measurements and observations covers 4 top management team members during 2 weeks. The results of this study show that, the participants strive towards similar heart rate dynamics, hence stabilising the emotional states of the participants as well as their executive decision-making. It also indicates that similar heart rate dynamics is a desired state for relationships and leadership related processes

EducationsMSc in Strategy, Organization and Leadership, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2015
Number of pages93