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 38: Functions of Emotion from an Organizational Perspective

Agneta H. Fischer and Antony S.R. Manstead

Subjects: business and management, organisational behaviour


Agneta H. Fischer and Antony S.R. Manstead Emotions from an organizational perspective Emotions are part and parcel of our working life, as can be witnessed in the present volume and in many other recent publications on emotions in organizations (e.g., Ashkanasy et al., 2000; Fineman, 2000; Payne & Cooper, 2000). Whereas the presence and significance of emotions at work has been disregarded in the past, no one would argue any more that emotions are left at home when people go to work. Current research and theorizing further suggests that emotions are not only elicited as a reaction to a specific job or task, but that they are incorporated in work relations, and thus produced and managed in an organizational culture. Organizations that do not include any emotions are as lifeless as individuals or relationships without any emotions. Emotions produce energy and involvement, convey meaning, signal goals and concerns, and reflect the moral attitudes in an organization. As a consequence, unemotional organizations should not expect much motivation, commitment, or moral involvement from their employees. These observations suggest that emotions have a function in organizations. This implies that emotions have beneficial consequences not only for an individual employee, but also for the organization at large. There are different levels at which emotions in general, and emotions in organizations more specifically, can be conceptualized. First of all, emotions are experienced and expressed by individuals (individual level). There is ample evidence showing that employees experience a huge diversity of...

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