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Emotions at Work

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Crying At Work: Displaying Strong Emotions in the Workplace
Tamara L. Ginter
Southern New Hampshire University

Crying At Work: Displaying Strong Emotions in the Workplace
We all feel emotions. Yet, it is a well-known “fact” that emotions do not belong in the workplace. Business literature for decades has reinforced the stereotype that emotions negatively affect the workplace (see, for examples, Taylor, 1947; Whyte 1956). Only recently has research begun to focus on the many facets of emotions on organization behavior (Huy, 2012; Kluemper, DeGroot, & Choi, 2013; Mirela & Iulia, 2013; Muchinsky, 2000; Perrone & Vickers, 2004; Zineldin, 2012). This paper will address several aspects of emotions in the workplace, including: managing emotions, displaying emotions, management styles that use emotions as a tool, and changing an organization’s emotional climate.
Managing Emotions
Of the five categories of emotions defined by Lazarus and Lazarus (1994, cited in Muchinsky 2000), only two of the three categories consist of positive emotions. Muchinsky (2000) hypothesizes that it is how we respond to emotions, our coping efforts, that “are a major contributing factor in understanding job performance” (804). Several factors can make some organizations ineffective at managing emotions. The first is due to coping efforts, which are “not just a fixed set of strategies…but a changing pattern that is responsive to what is happening” (Muchinsky, 2000, p. 804). For some organization where managing “fixed strategies” is already difficult, they may be ineffective at managing the complexity of emotional coping. Organizations experiencing radical change may also be ineffective at managing emotions. Events such as mergers, acquisitions, downsizing, and changes in organizational identity can elicit similar emotions in large groups of individuals, called…...

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