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 5: Shaping benign and malicious envy in organizations

Rosanna K. Smith, Tanja S. H. Wingenbach and Richard H. Smith


In this chapter we review the key features of envy, with special focus on the distinction between two types of envy, benign or malicious. We examine how organizations can shape the type of envy most likely to emerge, largely by influencing perceptions of deservingness and control, so that the resulting emotion has more salutary, benign features. We also emphasize the challenges associating with this shaping process, given how threatening it can be for people to admit to their envy, malicious envy especially, and therefore how envy can so often go misreported, repressed, or transmuted. Our analysis is in keeping with appraisal theories of emotion and also with the general notion that emotions can have positive or negative effects separate from their valence.

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