Social Functions of Emotion and Talking About Emotion at Work
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Social Functions of Emotion and Talking About Emotion at Work

Edited by Dirk Lindebaum, Deanna Geddes and Peter J. Jordan

What novel theoretical insights can be gleaned by comparing our theoretical understanding of emotion in relation to how we 'talk about’ emotion at work? Drawing from psychological and sociological thinking, leading emotion researchers respond to this question for ten common and powerful emotions at work. The chapters detail various conditions under which our study of emotions and our talk about them can be at odds or reinforce each other in organizations, and how these differences impact subsequent consequences for organizations and their members.
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Chapter 2: Inside out: a receiver’s experience of anger in the workplace

Kathryn E. Moura, Peter J. Jordan and Ashlea C. Troth


Anger is a common emotion at work. Although the major focus of research on anger has been on individuals expressing anger, a new stream of research is emerging which examines the reactions of individuals targeted by anger. The aim of our study is to identify the attributions and emotion regulation strategies of receivers (targets and observers) of anger expressions in the workplace. A total of thirty participants from the medical, mining, banking, legal and manufacturing sectors in Australia were interviewed about their experiences of encountering anger expressed at work. The main attributions given for sender anger were associated with sender anger frequency and its appropriateness. The principal emotion regulation strategies reported for dealing with anger expressions by receivers were four: situation selection, cognitive reappraisal, suppression, and expression strategies. Implications for theory and practice are discussed.

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