New Ways of Studying Emotions in Organizations: Volume 11

Cover of New Ways of Studying Emotions in Organizations
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Table of contents

(25 chapters)
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About the Editors

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Section I: Novel Methodological Approaches to Studying Emotions in Organizations

Abstract

The application of physiological methods to the study of psychological phenomena has garnered considerable interest in recent years. These methods have proved especially useful to the study of emotions, since evidence suggests that validly measuring a person’s emotional state using traditional, psychometric methods such as surveys or observation is considerably more difficult than once thought. The present chapter reviews the challenges associated with measuring emotions from a purely psychological perspective, and suggests that the study of emotions in organizations can benefit from the use of physiological measurement to complement traditional assessment methods. We review more established approaches to physiological measurement, including those related to hormone secretion, cardiovascular activity, and skin conductance. We then highlight somewhat more recent attempts to use neurological scanning. A theme of this chapter is that both psychological and physiological measures are relevant to understanding and assessing emotions in organizations. Accordingly, we propose a multi-method approach involving both types of assessment. Finally, we discuss the practical and ethical implications of employing various forms of physiological measurement in the study of emotions, specifically in the context of organizations.

Abstract

This chapter outlines the potential of phenomenology to illuminate how individuals experience the emotions replete within organizations. It employs one particular type of phenomenological approach known as Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA). The chapter considers how the hermeneutic and phenomenological foundations of this approach lend themselves to the study of affect. The chapter then clarifies and develops established IPA guidelines to render them more appropriate for research on emotions. In doing so, the chapter demonstrates how IPA can produce contextualized accounts that explore the role of emotions in individuals’ experiences of organizational events and processes.

Abstract

This chapter explores how Cypriot lecturers perceive and experience fear while being at work. Drawing on the lens of interpretive inquiry, data were collected through interviews with 19 lecturers. Analysis focused on experiences of workplace fear offering rich insights into characteristics of fear, eliciting events, and coping ways. Findings help to unveil the specific events that lead to fear in the Cypriot universities, and the ways lecturers manage their fearful experiences. The study contributes to the study of discrete emotions, by empirically examining fear’s own storyline through the workers’ own perspectives, within a specific context.

Abstract

Shame is a common, yet seldom acknowledged emotion. Shame signals a threatened social bond in which the claim of as what one wants to be seen (i.e., the claim for a certain relational identity and relative status positioning) is neglected by the other party. Using a case study approach, this chapter provides insights into how shame shapes the relationship and leadership structure in organizations. The case used is based on a documentary TV show; hence this chapter also provides insight in the use of visual/TV material to gain insight in relational leadership dynamics.

Abstract

The processes that underlie ability emotional intelligence (EI) are barely understood, despite decades of management research. Furthermore, the outcomes of these processes have been narrowly and prescriptively defined. To address this deficiency, I conducted a phenomenological study (n = 26). Findings from a public sector sample suggest that the underlying emotional processes of meaningful life events are – at least for now – better defined through the construct of emotion regulation. While it is part of the ability EI model, the emotional processing that occurs prior to emotion regulation being initiated is likely to be less consistent with current EI theory. Likewise, these processes lead to outcomes considerably more nuanced than currently appreciated in the EI literature. Consequently, what started as a gap-filling approach to research eventually turned into a problematization of what scholars seem to know about EI. I outline the theoretical and practical implications of this study for management, and offer suggestions for future research.

Abstract

The multidimensional structure of boredom poses unique measurement challenges related to scale length and statistical modeling. We systematically address these concerns in two studies. In Study 1, we use item response theory to shorten the 29-item Multidimensional State Boredom Scale (MSBS) (Fahlman et al., 2013). In Study 2, we use structural equation modeling to compare two theoretically consistent multidimensional structures of boredom (superordinate and multivariate) with the most commonly used, yet theoretically inconsistent, structure in boredom research (unidimensional parallel model). Our findings provide support for modeling boredom as multidimensional and demonstrate the impact of model selection on effect sizes and significance.

Section II: Contextualization Developments in Studying Emotion in Organizations

Abstract

In this chapter, we explore the impact of socioemotional and financial wealth on the resource management of family firms. We use MoDo, a Swedish pulp and paper firm, covering three generations of owner-managers from 1873 to 1991, to grasp the shifting emphases on socioemotional and financial wealth in the management of the company. Identifying four strategic issues of decisive importance for the development of MoDo, we analyze the organizational values that guided the management of these issues. We propose that financial and socioemotional wealth stand for two different rationalities that infuse organizational values. The MoDo case illustrates how these rationalities go hand in hand for extended periods of time, safeguarding both financial success and socioemotional endowments. However, in a situation where the rationalities are no longer in line with the development of the industry context, the conflict arising between the two rationalities may have fatal consequences for the firm in question.

Abstract

Despite recognition of the centrality of emotions in entrepreneurship, little attention has been given to role of emotions in the development of entrepreneurial identity or enactment of entrepreneurial role. The contribution of the chapter is in the development of a dynamic model of the process leading to identification or dis-identification as an entrepreneur. In this chapter, we develop a dynamic model of the process leading to identification or dis-identification as an entrepreneur. We theorize that the driver behind an individual’s decision to become an entrepreneur, and their significant emotional experiences in the entrepreneurial role, influence the likelihood of following an identification or dis-identification cycle. Specifically, our framework proposes that positive emotions strengthen approach motivation and identification with the role, while negative ones foster avoidance motivation and dis-identification. We argue that contextual embeddedness can prompt transition between these two cycles. Our theorization provides new insights into methods of analyzing the role of emotions in the entrepreneurial process, more specifically in the process of entrepreneurial identity crafting. These insights also can be translated into studying the crafting of any professional identity.

Abstract

Work design has largely overlooked cognitive–emotional interactions in understanding employee motivation and satisfaction. My aim in this chapter is to develop a conceptual model that integrates what we know about these interactions from research on emotions and neuroscience with traditional and emergent work design perspectives. I propose that striving for universal goals influences how a person responds to the work characteristics, such that an event that is personally relevant or “self-referential” will elicit an emotional reaction that must be regulated for optimal performance, job satisfaction, and well-being. A Self-Referential Emotion Regulatory Model (SERM) of work design is presented.

Abstract

This chapter examines EI, presents a history of EI including the various models, and a discussion of the three streams approach to classifying EI literature. The author advocates for the efficacy of the Stream One Ability Model (SOAM) of EI citing previous authors and literature. The commonly used SOAM instruments are discussed in light of recent studies. The discussion turns to alternate tests of the SOAM of EI including Situational Judgment Tests (SJTs). Recommendations include an analysis of SOAM instruments, a new approach to measurement, and increased use of SJTs to capture the four-branch ability model of EI.

Section III: Novel Areas of Empirical Investigation of Emotion in Organizations

Abstract

Although the proliferation of research in emotional intelligence (EI) in the last 25 years has largely focused on the individual level, some researchers have proposed theories and measurement models for EI at the organizational level. Drawing from earlier work which conceptualizes organizational emotional intelligence (OEI) as a climate-level construct involving shared norms and practices this chapter sets out to investigate the relationship between perceptions of organizational emotional intelligence (OEI) and turnover intentions amongst employees. Since turnover intentions are a reliable indicator of actual turnover they are deemed to be a critical indicator for organizational performance. This chapter also builds on previous research which found that the relationship between OEI as a climate-level construct and intention to leave was mediated by organizational emotional appeal (i.e., overall reputation) and trust in senior management to explore the mediating role of other employee attitudes which have been traditionally linked to climate and individual-level outcomes in organizations, namely job satisfaction and affective commitment. By surveying employees in a UK-based charity organization (n = 173), the study finds that both job satisfaction and affective commitment mediate the impact of OEI on intention to leave and explain a moderate amount of variance in the focal construct. However, the majority of the mediation occurs through job satisfaction with a reduced mediation effect for affective commitment. Potential reasons for these results in the charity context are discussed. The chapter contributes to a wider understanding of the way in which perceptions of OEI impact on employee attitudes toward the organization and the job; and, in turn, how these attitudes impact on turnover intentions.

Abstract

Emotion work benefits service organizations, but high emotion-workloads lead to negative consequences for employees. We examined differences between employees highly competent in emotion work (Experts) and those who are less competent (Novices). We found that Novices conformed to organizational level display rules, used simple strategies and felt overwhelmed by their emotion-workload. In contrast, Experts followed interaction level display rules, used proactive strategies, and found emotion work to be effortless. This suggests that emotion work competence can act as a firewall buffering employees from negative consequences. Hospitality organizations can benefit from encouraging employees to increase their emotion work competence.

Abstract

Excessive anger at work has a negative impact on the worker expressing anger and on those around them. The aim of our study is to identify anger triggers, reactions, and strategies for workers referred to an anger management intervention program. We interviewed 20 participants prior to the start of that program. Main causes of anger reported were unfair treatment, workplace incompetence, disregard by others, and concern for the bottom line. Anger reactions were aggressive acts and anger suppression. The two main strategies reported for dealing with anger were “no identifiable strategy” and distancing. Implications for theory and practice are discussed.

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Abstract

The chapter studies the flow experience among academicians and the determinants of flow initiation and development. The academicians’ studied, have both research and teaching duties. The data for the study is drawn from 12 interviews conducted with academicians in India, with science, social science, and statistics as their fields of study. The study finds that different psychological needs can lead to flow experiences. It is proposed that the relationship between flow and psychological needs is influenced by personality traits (openness to experience and conscientiousness), which are reflected in day-day behavior (spontaneity and structuring). Interaction between humans (either students or collaborators) induced and strengthened flow-like feelings and emotional well-being, subject to certain conditions. Problem solving was found to be the key determinant of flow. Overall flow was found to be higher among research-oriented people working in science.

Abstract

Action–state orientation (ASO) describes the ability to plan, initiate, and complete intended activities. Action-oriented individuals, compared to state-oriented, are better able to focus their efforts and therefore move toward goals. While Kuhl (1994) posits that affect mediates the relationship between personality traits like ASO and successful self-regulation, ASO scholarship rarely examines the role of affect, and no ASO studies have examined self-regulation over time. We address these limitations by examining students’ academic self-regulation over a semester. HLM analyses show that action- versus state-oriented people exhibit better academic self-regulation as expected. However, we found no support for affect as a mediator.

Abstract

Volunteerism underpins the sustainability of communities and a wide range of organizations. A review of the academic literature on volunteerism yields few studies considering the role of emotions, but those that do exist clearly indicate that emotions are critical factors in the recruitment, retention, and wellbeing of volunteers. The contribution of this chapter is to provide a review of the existing published academic research on emotions in the context of volunteerism, and to put out a call for emotions research in this critical aspect of sustainable communities and organizations.

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Cover of New Ways of Studying Emotions in Organizations
DOI
10.1108/S1746-9791201511
Publication date
2015-07-07
Book series
Research on Emotion in Organizations
Editors
Series copyright holder
Emerald Publishing Limited
ISBN
978-1-78560-220-7
eISBN
978-1-78560-220-7
Book series ISSN
1746-9791