New Horizons in Management series
Edited by Neal M. Ashkanasy and Cary L. Cooper
Chapter 38: Functions of Emotion from an Organizational Perspective
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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