New Horizons in Management series
Edited by Neal M. Ashkanasy and Cary L. Cooper
Chapter 9: Affective Influences on Employee Satisfaction and Performance
9 Aﬀective inﬂuences on employee satisfaction and performance David T. Wagner and Remus Ilies Introduction For much of the 20th century, scientiﬁc psychology has been dominated by the behaviorist approach formulated and promoted by inﬂuential writers such as J.B. Watson, E.L. Thorndike, and B.F. Skinner. Within the behaviorist tradition, unobservable psychological terms such as those describing emotions, moods and feelings were considered unworthy of scientiﬁc scrutiny. In the cognitivist paradigm that extended and then replaced behaviorism, again, feelings and emotions were de-emphasized because they were thought to disrupt rationality. In the organizational domain, scholars have formulated cognitive models aimed at explaining job performance, motivation and attitudes. In this general context, emotions and feelings were viewed either as outcomes of a cognitive evaluation process (Muchinsky, 2000), or as undesirable phenomena that should be prevented by institutionalizing norms of rationality (Ashforth & Humphrey, 1995). Starting in the 1980s, however, scientiﬁc psychology has experienced an ‘aﬀective explosion’, with thousands of writings and reports that examined both short-term ﬂuctuation in aﬀective states and stable individual diﬀerences in emotionality (Watson, 2000). There was also a parallel trend in organizational research, manifested in an increased interest in the experience and consequences of aﬀect and emotions at work (e.g., George, 1990; Weiss & Cropanzano, 1996; Fox & Spector, 2002). Echoing Watson’s ‘aﬀective explosion’ observation, Weiss (2001), for example, notes that ‘there has been an explosion of research on the topic over the past decade’, referring to aﬀect in...
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