Table of Contents

Research Companion to Emotion in Organizations

Research Companion to Emotion in Organizations

New Horizons in Management series

Edited by Neal M. Ashkanasy and Cary L. Cooper

This Companion brings together many leading scholars to address a wide range of topics in 38 chapters, across five levels of organizational analysis – including within-person, between-person (individual differences), relationships, groups, and the organization as a whole. Chapters tackle structure and measurement of emotion, antecedents and consequences of positive and negative emotions, including effects on work satisfaction and performance. The expression, recognition, and regulation of emotion and the propagation of mood and emotion in groups are also dealt with. The Companion explores contemporary issues including leadership, organizational climate and culture, as well as organizational change.

Chapter 5: Disappointment and Regret

Wilco W. van Dijk and Frenk van Harreveld

Subjects: business and management, organisational behaviour


Wilco W. van Dijk and Frenk van Harreveld Introduction Emotions do not simply occur; they signal events that are relevant to the individual’s wellbeing and can be considered as a mechanism for signaling to the individual’s cognitive and action systems that events are favorable or harmful (Frijda, 1994). Emotions serve as feedback about the nature and urgency of the situation and this information serves as input for judgment and decision-making processes as well as for reordering processing priorities (Carver & Scheier, 1990; Schwarz, 1990). Not only do emotions have a signaling function, they are also motivators for behavior aimed at dealing with emotion-evoking events. Or to put it in Frijda’s (1998, p. 354) words: ‘Emotions exist for the sake of signaling states of the world that have to be responded to, or that no longer need response or action’. Negative emotions result from a threat or harm to some goal or from the realization that the rate of progress toward a goal is less than expected (Carver & Scheier, 1990). They inform the individual that the current situation is problematic and alert him/her to the fact that some action should be undertaken in order to set things right or prevent unpleasant things from actually occurring. In the present chapter we focus on two specific negative emotions, disappointment and regret. We shall first define both disappointment and regret and address their differences in experiential content. Subsequently we shall discuss the comparative nature of these emotions, addressing both disappointment and regret...

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