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Case Incident Term Paper

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Chapter 4 Case Incident 1


I. Study/Analysis

Study Questions:

1. What factors do you think make some organizations ineffective at managing emotions?

Some factors that make some organizations ineffective at managing emotions could managers don’t understand psychology, or the organization does not offer programs such as anger management to employees. Emotions are strong feelings directed at someone or something (Organizational Behavior, page 98). Some managers do not have any experience handling employee’s emotions, or they may not know how to approach any issues dealing with emotions. Understanding emotions is important for organizations and managers to understand, because detecting emotions can lead to creating an effective environment. So I think organizations should offer employees a training session or show a video on how to manage emotions in the workplace, and to have guidelines on how to manage emotions in the organization. Handling emotions in the workplace will create a positive atmosphere, and will improve production in the organization.

2. Do you think the strategic use and display of emotions serve to protect employees, or does covering your true emotions at work lead to more problems than it solves?

I think the use of strategic use and display of emotions serve to protect employees for a reason, and that even though you cover your true emotions in certain situations it’s best for the organization. Displayed emotions are those that the organization requires workers to show and considers appropriate in a given job (Organizational Behavior, page 109). To have a job you are sacrificing your emotions, and your mental and physical abilities to fulfill your obligations to an organization. Displayed emotions are a way for employees to reflect on their organization, and having rules for emotions is one way to control employees in a positive way for the organization.

3. Have you ever worked where emotions were used as part of a management style? Describe the advantages and disadvantages of this approach in your experience.

I worked at the hospital in Nome before, and displayed emotions are important in healthcare. So I guess emotions were used as part of a management style, because you are required to dress appropriately and be courteous. The advantage of using emotions as part of a management style is important in healthcare, because you want patients to feel comfortable and welcome. I don’t see any disadvantages.

4. Research shows that acts of co-workers (37 percent) and management (22 percent) cause more negative emotions for employees than do acts of customers (7 percent). What can Laura’s company do to change its emotional climate?

I think Laura’s organization needs to recognize that displayed emotions are handled poorly, and to have managers control employees who aren’t displaying appropriate emotions in the workplace. Research suggests that in U.S workplaces it is expected that we should typically display positive emotions like happiness and excitement, and to suppress negative emotions like fear and anger (Organizational Behavior, page 110). Having rules for displayed emotions are important, and managers need to be serious when it comes to performance evaluations.

Chapter 4 Case Incident 2


II. Background

Paul Ekman is a psychologist known for his study about facial expressions, where facial expressions reveal true emotions. Researchers have distinguished real smiles (so called Duchenne smile) from fake smiles. Ekman and his associates have developed methods to detect other emotions suchas anger, disgust and distress. They call their method as Facial Action Coding System (FACS).

FACS has been used to study the facial expressions of CEOs and found that they vary dramatically not only in their Duchenne smiles but also in the degree to which they display positive versus negative facial expressions.

III. Study/Analysis

Study Questions:

1. Most research suggests we are not very good at detecting lying, and we think we’re much better than we dare. Do you believe FACS would help improve your ability to detect lying in others?

In our day to day endeavor, whether in business, at school or even at our own homes we are bound to judge other peoples intention through their actions. We carry on judgments that determine whether people around us are lying or not.

There are some jobs that require judgments whether the person is lying or not, such as Police Officers, Detectives and Lawyers (Seager, 2004). It may came to a surprise that even these professionals sometimes are not as good in detecting deceptions and lying. According to the study conducted by Feeley & Young (1998), people are not that good in detecting lies. Thus in order for us to give accurate and sound judgment sometimes we need considerable amount of time to weigh things out before coming up into a decision.

The study of Ekman, Sullivan & Frank (1999) revealed that only a very small percentage of professionals achieved accuracy of judgments in determining who was lying and the higher accuracy rate, individual abilities within those groups still varied.

Facial Action Sytem(FACS) is a system to taxonomize human facial movements based on the system developed by a Swedish anatomist Carl- Herman Hjortsjo and was later adopted by Paul Ekman and Wallace Friesen. Today FACS are being used by investigators, psychologist and behavioral scientists in their work in order to know the exact movements categorize by facial behaviors based on the muscles that produce them. FACS is the most widely used and versatile method of measuring and describing facial behaviors. Ekman and Friesen examined video tapes of facial behaviors to identify specific changes occurred with mascular contractions and how best to differentiate one from another. Ekman and Friesen published a manual with video supplements on how to used FACS which later aid investigators on their judgement to determine if the suspect is lying or not.

I do personally believe that FACS would really help in improving our ability to detect lie. FACS is not just based on human assumptions, but it’s a product of years of research and application of science and psychology in order to determine human behavior through facial expression. With proper training and education, an individual could increase its ability to determine truth from lies through the aid of FACS.

2. Do you think the information in this case could help you tell whether someone’s smile is genuine?

If we are going to apply the basic principles of FACS, and used it craftily to determine whether a person’s smile is fake or not, it’s most likely that we could come up with correct judgment. The reason why FACS was developed was in order to aid people in determining human behavior through facial expression. But for one’s to use FACS correctly, he needs extensive training to be able to apply its techniques.

3. Is your impression of the facial expressions of the eight business leaders consistent with what the researcher found? If not, why do you think your views might be at odds with his?

After searching for the pictures of the eight mentioned CEO’s and judge there facial expression based on my own assumptions without any knowledge of facial behaviors and FACS. My views are somewhat different from what the researcher found out. Maybe it is because I judge those CEO’s based on first impression, based on how they project themselves in front of the camera. We all know that being a CEO, they should appear appealing to the public. Let us take for example Apple’s CEO Steve Jobs, he has 48% positivity rating base on Hill’s analysis, yet we cannot deny the fact that he has a charming charisma and personality in front of the public, despite of his actual rude and harsh personality in front of his employees. Yet despite of his bad attitudes sometimes, still people patronizes Job’s ideas of innovations.

4. One research study found people’s ratings of the positive affect displayed in CEO’s faces have very little correlation to their company’s profits. Does that suggest to you that Hill’s analysis is immaterial?

Hill’s analysis is not immaterial, it’s just that there is no significant relationship between the degree of positivity of a CEO in relation to company’s profit. A company might be doing well in terms of business even if it had a CEO with a very low positive rating.

Just in the case of Larry Ellison, the founder of Oracle, a multinational software and Hardware Company. He got the lowest rating of 0% positivity yet the company that he founded is doing well. In fact Larry Ellison is the second richest tech billionaire next to Bill Gates according to Forbes. Most of his fortunes came from the stocks he owned at Oracle.

It doesn’t matter if the CEO does not display positive attitude as long as they could deliver the quality service they provide to their customer. What the customer wants is the value of the service they acquired. Just like what Apple Computers when Steve Jobs was the CEO, he doesn’t care if he hurts his employee due to his bad temper and sarcasms because sometimes fear could unleash the employees full potential and the end result is that it could deliver quality ideas and products that the consumers deserve to have.

5. Assuming you could become better at detecting the real emotions in facial expressions, do you think it would help your career? Why or why not?

Assuming that I become better at detecting real emotions of people around me especially at my workplace, I think it could be beneficial in my career. For this I could be able to determine what the real intentions of my colleague also my boss. I could respond to any circumstances that may arise that involves my career. Being emotionally sensitive is a good tool to rise at the corporate world and as well at different fields. In the 21st century having a high IQ is not enough, one must also posses high EQ to be able to cope up with the diverse environment at the workplace.

IV. References

Seager, P. B. (2004). Detecting Lies: Are You As Good As You Think You Are? Forensic Update, 77, 5-9.

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