Essays on Understanding of Emotions in the Workplace Coursework

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The paper 'Understanding of Emotions in the Workplace" is a good example of business coursework.   During the past two decades, substantial progress has been made regarding human emotions and the effect that it has on organizational behaviour. Researchers at all levels have understood the relevance of understanding human emotions and the implications that it has on organizational behaviour and have gained substantially from it. The research carried out has helped in gaining an insight into traditional topics, such as leadership (Finess, 2000; Glomb & Hullin, 1997; Lewis, 2000) or group process (George, 1990).

Also, the research has helped in gaining an insight into the current relevant issues of employee violence and employee reaction to organizational justice (Cropanzano, Weiss, Suckow, & Grandey, 2000). No study of organizational behaviour would be complete without an understanding of emotions at the workplace. But, it is pertinent to first study the definition of emotions in order to comprehensively to be able to understand its implications on organizational behaviour. Emotions should not be confused with moods. Izard (1993) notes that defining emotions is a complex issue. He goes on lay stress on the fact that the experiential component of emotions – the experience of pain, anger, and joy- is central and manifests itself as an action tendency, a biasing of perceptions, or a feeling state.

Emotions are generally for a short period of time and are related to the specific stimuli. Emotions differ from moods as moods are more enduring and more diffuse and are less related to specific stimuli (Frijda, 1993). Emotions can influence organizational behaviours in numerous ways. The influence is both direct as well as indirect. In direct ways, it could be by triggering of behaviour by emotions and indirectly it could affect organizational behaviour in terms of motivation, cognition, etc. Scherer (1994) gives us a strong reason for concern with emotions.

He states that emotions often act as an interface that arbitrates between environmental input and organizational output. This interface has a strong role to play in motivational- implementation system and seeing that the basic needs of a person are met. Human beings are generally able to adapt to a wide variety of environments owing to their emotional interface, as, it decouples stimuli and responses.

Scherer argues that flexibility grows from the combination of two processes. First is the latency period, which occurs while emotions ready the action tendencies in which alternate responses are considered. Second, this latency period depends upon the intensity of the emotions. For stronger emotions the latency period is much shorter, therefore implying that in situations requiring immediate attention the pre-programmed responses could be used. On the other hand for situations that are not critical one could evaluate responses for a longer duration of time and come out with the best possible solution.

Scherer’ s argument shows us the relation between emotional intensity and its effect on the emotions and related responses. Figure 1.1 shows this relationship graphically. The changing of emotional responses to potentially threatening situations by social processes is an important issue if unrecognized may cause difficulty in many organizational processes.

References

Clore, G. L. (1994). Why emotions require cognition. In P. Ekman &

R. J. Davidson (Eds.). The nature of emotion: Fundamental questions (pp. 181–191). New York: Oxford University Press.

Cropanzano, R., Weiss, H. M., Suckow, K. J., & Grandey, A. A. (2000). Doing justice to workplace emotion. In N. M. Ashkanasy, C.E.J. Har¬tel, & W. J. Zerbe (Eds.), Emotions in the workplace: Research, theory, and practice. Westport, CT: Quorum Books.

Fitness, J. (2000). Anger in the workplace: An emotion script approach to anger episodes between workers and their superiors, co-workers and subordinates. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 21, 147–162.

Fredrickson, B. L. (1998). What good are positive emotions? Review of General Psychology, 2, 173–186.

Frijda, N. H. (1993). Moods, emotion episodes, and emotions. In M. Lewis & I. M. Haviland (Eds.), Handbook of emotions (pp. 381–403). New York: Guilford Press.

Glomb, T. M., & Hulin, C. L. (1997). Anger and gender effects in ob¬served supervisor-subordinate dyadic interactions. Organizational Be¬havior and Human Decision Processes, 72, 281–307.

Isen, A. M. (2000). Positive affect and decision making. In M. Lewis and

J. M. Haviland-Jones (Eds.), Handbook of emotions (2nd ed., pp. 417– 435). New York: Guilford Press.

Isen, A. M., & Baron, R. A. (1991). Positive affect as a factor in organiza¬tional behavior. In B. M. Staw & L. L. Cummings (Eds.), Research in organizational behavior (Vol. 13, pp. 1–53). Greenwich, CT: JAI Press.

Izard, C. E. (1993). Four systems for emotion activation: Cognitive and noncognitive processes. Psychological Review, 100, 68–90.

Keltner, D., & Kring, A. M. (1998). Emotion, social function, and psycho¬pathology. Review of General Psychology, 2, 320–342.

Levenson, R. W. (1994). Human emotions: A functional view. In P. Ekman & R. J. Davidson (Eds.), The nature of emotion: Fundamental questions (pp. 123–126). New York: Oxford University Press.

Scherer, K. R. (1994). Emotion serves to decouple stimulus and response. In P. Ekman & R. J. Davidson (Eds.), The nature of emotion: Funda¬mental questions (pp. 127–130). New York: Oxford University Press.

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