Individual and Organizational Perspectives on Emotion Management and Display: Volume 2


Table of contents

(16 chapters)

Neal Ashkanasy is professor of Management in the UQ Business School at the University of Queensland, and research director for the Faculty of Business, Economics, and Law. He has a PhD (1989) in Social and Organizational Psychology from the University of Queensland. His research in recent years has focused on emotions in organizational life. He has published in journals such as the Academy of Management Review, the Academy of Management Executive, and the Journal of Management. He is associate editor of Academy of Management Learning and Education, and the incoming editor-in-chief of the Journal of Organizational Behavior.

As reported in Volume 1 of Research on Emotions in Organizations (Ashkanasy, Zerbe, & Härtel, 2005), the chapters in this volume are drawn from the best contributions to the 2004 International Conference on Emotion and Organizational Life held at Birkbeck College, London, complemented by additional, invited chapters. (This biannual conference has come to be known as the “Emonet” conference, after the listserv of members.) Previous edited volumes (Ashkanasy, Härtel, & Zerbe, 2000; Ashkanasy, Zerbe, & Härtel, 2002; Härtel, Zerbe, & Ashkanasy, 2004) were published every two years following the Emonet conference. With the birth of this annual Elsevier series came the opportunity for greater focus in the theme of each volume, and for greater scope for invited contributions. This volume contains eight chapters selected from conference contributions for their quality, interest, and appropriateness to the theme of this volume, as well as four invited chapters. We again acknowledge in particular the assistance of the conference paper reviewers (see the appendix). In the year of publication of this volume the 2006 Emonet conference will be held in Atlanta, USA and will be followed by Volumes 3 and 4 of Research on Emotions in Organizations. Readers interested in learning more about the conferences or the Emonet list should check the Emonet website

In organizations, it is common to talk about how wisely people manage their emotions. Even so, it is often not obvious whether a particular act of emotion regulation is wise or unwise and, to date, research has provided little guidance to judge the wisdom of emotion regulation efforts. We develop a model that construes wise emotion regulation as a process that involves: (a) setting an effective emotion regulation goal, (b) choosing an appropriate strategy to achieve that goal, (c) implementing that strategy effectively, and (d) adapting emotion regulation over time. We also develop propositions linking emotional intelligence to wise emotion regulation. Finally, we discuss the implications of our model and propositions for research and practice.

The purpose of this paper is to help clarify the actions of effective emergent leaders in self-managing work teams (SMWTs). Multiple methods were used to test hypotheses that leader's behaviors consistent with the development of emotionally competent team norms (interpersonal understanding, caring behavior, creating an optimistic environment, and proactive problem solving) would be more strongly linked to team trust, open communication, personal task engagement, and team effectiveness than traditional task-focused leader's behaviors (directive statements, using questions). Most hypotheses were supported. Directive leader's behaviors were for the most part negatively associated with team trust, open communication, and personal task engagement. It is argued that in SMWTs that have a history and a future together, emergent leaders who engage in behaviors that build emotional competence in the team are more likely to create team effectiveness than emergent leaders focused on directing team members.

This article uses a social constructionist approach based on ethnography and narrative analysis to understand emotions in leadership. The empirical context of the study is leadership of a theater ensemble's rehearsal process. The study shows that a creative process, such as in a theatrical setting, involves emotional paradoxes. Specifically, the study points out how shame can be used as a leadership tool to increase organizational performance and professional development, rather than for purposes of manipulation as may be typically assumed.

Worker perceptions of their emotional response to a supervisor, during an incident identified as of critical significance, are described and analyzed in this study. We invited 14 participants, aged from 39 to 56 years to share their stories with us in semi-structured interviews. The organizations represented by the workers’ stories included private business government and educational institutions. A grounded-theory approach was adopted to allow key themes to emerge (Locke, 1996). We encouraged participants to allow “buried perspectives” (Hochschild, 1983) to surface: as they interpreted the relational effects of “what happened” in retrospective sense making. As they explored their perceptions of these interactions, participants revealed the complex and disturbing array of emotions and frustrations that lay beneath the veneer of rationality and control they chose to present during the incident. Felt emotions, whether expressed, repressed or edited, were overwhelmingly negative; and awareness of power issues emerged as a key driver in the “feeling rules” (Hochschild, 1983) workers perceived as needing to be observed. Worker tension was seen to be exacerbated by adherence to these rules because “the rules” conflicted with their own personal values and beliefs. Emotional dissonance resulted from this. The role of the organizational community within which workers coped with their experience, and subsequent emotional response, was also explored.

This paper explores and elaborates on emotions and capability in organizations through the phenomenon of care. Drawing upon multi-disciplinary theory, as well as empirical material from a case study in the hotel industry (involving four organizations), a theoretical framework is offered for understanding the multidimensional, dynamic, social relational nature and role of care in organizations. This is shown through the suggestion of a conceptual framework of four ideal types of practices in frontline work. In the practice of care, emotions are one of the vital parts in a larger whole. Regarding the role of care in organizations, it is suggested that what, and how, one cares for, are continually created, tested, negotiated and/or re-constructed. This paper suggests that the claims regarding care also provide implications for the study and understanding of emotions and capability in organizations.

This paper looks at the current portrayal of emotion in healthcare as delivered within formal organisational settings, notably the UK National Health Service (NHS). Its purpose is to set out some examples of the problems and suggest new ways of conceptualising issues that will assist healthcare organisations in gaining a better understanding of the role of emotion and its impact, using appropriate examples. Developing understanding of the location of emotion and its differing constructions indicates that interdisciplinary and interpersonal boundaries differentiate interpretations of emotion, often for instrumental purpose as examples drawn particularly from the Public Inquiry into Paediatric Cardiology at Bristol Royal Infirmary (The Kennedy Report) demonstrate. The privileging of rationality over emotion as part of the dominant paradigm within the healthcare domain is shown to affect outcomes. However, the boundaries between organisations and individuals are changing, so are the location, access, technologies and timing of activities, and these are reconstructing healthcare organisation and the patient's experience of healthcare at both rational and emotional levels. It is suggested that in healthcare it is the patients’ journey through their lives (the macro context), as well as their individual encounters with the system at different times of need (the micro context), that iteratively constitute the construction of the emotional terrain. The conclusions drawn could have wider implications for the development of emotional understanding, across organisations that are subject to similar changes.

This study examines cross-cultural differences in the emotional labor performed by flight attendants working in a multi-cultural setting. There appears to be cultural variations in how workers perform emotional labor, notably in the extent to which they engage in deep acting and hide their feelings, but not in the extent to which they fake their emotional displays. The results generally suggest that collectivism, both vertical and horizontal, is associated with deep acting.

Emotion work can be defined as demands to display organizationally desired emotions regarding service-worker–customer interactions, as well as the psychological strategies necessary to regulate these emotional demands. This study applies a task-focused concept of emotion work and uses the Frankfurt Emotion Work Scales (FEWS) in a cross-cultural context to measure emotional work demands. The original German FEWS was translated into English and the extent to which the new English FEWS is equivalent to the original German FEWS is evaluated. Cultural effects on emotion work job demands are demonstrated by comparisons between a US (N=51) and German (N=202) travel agent sample. Cultural comparisons suggest that emotional demands in the US sales service include less emotional dissonance (i.e. the requirement to show emotions not actually felt in a situation) than in Germany. Survey results are discussed in terms of implications for further cross-cultural research.

The aim of the research reported in this article was to develop a conceptual model that links emotional labor strategies performed by service employees to a number of relevant antecedents as well as to a variety of customer outcomes. We link emotional labor directly to the customer domain by examining how customers experience and react to emotional displays of service employees. Thus, we expand current emotional labor research which has predominantly focused on employee and organizational outcomes but has offered limited theoretical guidance as to how customers may be directly affected by emotional labor in the service delivery process. Specific research propositions are developed that offer insight into the antecedents and potential impact of emotional labor strategies on customer behavior. Managerial and research implications as well as avenues for future research are discussed from the perspective of emotional labor theory.

Emotions play a significant role in the workplace, and considerable attention has been given to the study of employee emotions. Customers also play a central function in organizations, but much less is known about customer emotions. This chapter reviews the growing literature on customer emotions in employee–customer interfaces with a focus on service failure and recovery encounters, where emotions are heightened. It highlights emerging themes and key findings, addresses the measurement, modeling, and management of customer emotions, and identifies future research streams. Attention is given to emotional contagion, relationships between affective and cognitive processes, customer anger, customer rage, and individual differences.

Recent research on service interactions indicates that negative displays of emotion by service providers play an important role in customer perceptions of the quality of the service. In this study, we examined the relations between attributions of responsibility for problems and the displays of negative emotions by service providers in service interactions. We hypothesized that attributions of responsibility for problems moderate the relation between the negativity of service providers’ prior and subsequent emotion displays and the relation between the negativity of emotion display by customers and service providers. To test our hypotheses, we collected data from telephone service interactions in a large retail bank in the northeastern United States and measured the negativity of emotion displays by using the Dictionary of Affect in Language. Our results showed that (1) the negativity of service providers’ prior emotion displays predicts the negativity of their subsequent displays, and (2) this relation is moderated by the attribution of responsibility for problems.

Adopting the theoretical framework of Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT; Ellis, 1962, 1994), we examine the cognitive antecedents of functional behavior and adaptive emotions as indicators of emotional intelligence (EI) and test central assumptions of REBT. In an extension of REBT, we posit that adaptive emotions resulting from rational cognitions reflect more EI than maladaptive emotions, which result from irrational cognitions, because the former lead to functional behavior. The results of the first study using organizational scenarios in an experimental design confirm central assumptions of REBT and support our hypotheses. In a second correlational study we replicate the connection between rational cognitions and EI by measuring real person data using psychometric scales. Both studies indicate that irrational attitudes result in reduced job satisfaction.

Céleste M. Brotheridge is a professor of organizational behaviour with the Départment d'organisation et ressources humaines in the École des sciences de la gestion at the Université du Québec à Montréal. She completed her PhD in organizational behavior and research methods at the University of Manitoba. Dr. Brotheridge publishes and conducts research primarily in the areas of burnout, emotions, and bullying in the workplace. She is the chair of the Organizational Behaviour Division of the Administrative Sciences Association of Canada and a member of the editorial boards of the International Journal of Stress Management and the Journal of Managerial Psychology.

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Research on Emotion in Organizations
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Emerald Publishing Limited
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