Edited by Neal M. Ashkanasy and Cary L. Cooper
Chapter 36: How to Build a Healthy Emotional Culture and Avoid a Toxic Culture
Charmine E.J. Härtel Introduction The recognition of organizational cultures as shadow systems that nurture and buttress all other organizational systems has urged the need for a more humanistic approach to management. As organizations ultimately consist of individuals, it is futile to contemplate management of organizations without giving due consideration to their human aspects such as emotions, moods, relationships and well-being. Nevertheless, it remains the underlying purpose of managing the human side of organizations to engender emotional commitment which eventuates in ﬁnancial gain (Barley & Kunda, 1992). The increasing recognition of problems associated with negative work environments and toxic emotions is leading organizations to rethink and refocus their organizational culture in order to obtain the beneﬁts associated with a highly engaged workforce and a positive work environment. The proliferation of literature on emotions and emotional processes at work attests to the surge of interest on individuals’ experiences, moods, and expression of emotions at work (Ashkanasy et al., 2000; Fredrickson, 2001; Herkenhoﬀ, 2004). Similarly, within the area of social psychology, there is a growing body of literature that discusses how culture inﬂuences the way in which individuals experience, express and respond to emotions at work (Triandis, 1994; Tiedens, 2000). However, such discussions are largely limited to analysing national cultures, and have thus overlooked the impact that organizational culture has on emotions at work. To this end, this chapter aims to evaluate organizational culture in relation to emotions experienced at work, and further elaborates on how a healthy emotional culture can...
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