New Horizons in Management series
Edited by Neal M. Ashkanasy and Cary L. Cooper
Chapter 1: The Structure of Affect: History, Theory, and Implications for Emotion Research in Organizations
1 The structure of aﬀect: history, theory, and implications for emotion research in organizations Myeong-Gu Seo, Lisa Feldman Barrett and Sirkwoo Jin Introduction At the dawn of the 21st century, emotion has emerged as a central topic of scientiﬁc inquiry about the human condition. Fields with broadly diﬀering epistemological frameworks (e.g., cultural anthropology, philosophy, social psychology, cognitive science, and cognitive and behavioral neuroscience) all study something called ‘emotion’. This proliferation of scientiﬁc inquiry on the nature of emotion has spilled over into the ﬁeld of organizational behavior, witnessing an unprecedented and accelerated increase in interest in various aspects of emotions in organization over the past decades (e.g., Ashkanasy et al., 2000; Fineman, 2000; Fisher & Ashkanasy, 2000; Brief & Weiss, 2002). Nevertheless, the problem of how to understand the structure of human aﬀective experience has remained unresolved (see, Cropanzano et al., 2003). Questions of structure are fundamental to the question of what emotions are and how they should be deﬁned, because structure indicates the basic building blocks of emotional life that supports an inductive science of emotion. To the extent that aﬀective experiences can be reliably assessed and understood, they can be incorporated into our theorizing and research on all the topics that interest us as scholars. Since the time of Wundt (1924), researchers have relied on dimensional models of aﬀect to ground the scientiﬁc investigation of emotion. Dimensional models assume that emotions such as anger, sadness, fear and so on, share a...
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