What Cause Emotions to Arise in the Work Place and What Are the Effects?

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  • Topic: Emotion, Affect display, Emotional labor
  • Pages : 5 (1386 words )
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  • Published : February 2, 2013
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What cause emotions to arise in the work place and what are the effects?

Emotions are the overt reactions that express feelings about events. In an organization, emotions were traditionally seen as irrational which should be avoided to maximise overall performances. However, recent studies have shown that with the right trigger, interpretation and use, emotions can be a mechanism to improve job performances. In this essay, I am going to discuss the causes of emotions in the work place by using the affective events theory, the effects of it for the organization and factors that determine the extent to which performances are affected by emotions.

The affective events theory is a model that describes the relationship between employees' internal influences e.g. emotions and the reactions to performances and satisfactions. The triggers of emotions includes work environment, characteristics of jobs and requirement of emotional labour. These factors cause the different work events to happen, together with the dispositions, their levels of emotional intelligence and regulations, different emotional reactions arise which lead to worker's job satisfactions and performances.

If the work environment is pleasant for example the atmosphere between the coworkers, managers are supportive and joyful. The work events are likely to be daily uplifts. One example is that if workers often need to team up with another for projects, good relationships will lead to a more cooperative and less stressful experience. This causes positive emotion to arise, increasing job satisfactions.

Characteristics of the job also a factor that causes emotions. If the job nature is very inflexible, requires long hours of repetitive tasks, everyday work is likely to be a daily hassle. For example a textile factory worker who sits in front of a machine from 8 a.m to 8 p.m everyday is likely to find it hard to avoid negative emotions. This reduces job satisfactions and might lead to decrease in job effectiveness.

Another factor is the requirement for emotional labour. It is the workers who have to express organizationally desired rules, according to the display rules which are the social rules that define which emotional expressions are appropriate and which are not (Eckman 1973). There are different mechanisms to regulate emotions in the work place. One example is the neutralisation which is shown in the disneyland case when workers are required to prevent any unavoidable emotions such as anger but to express joyful, friendly affects all the time. Employees often maintain these rules through surface acting i.e. faking, forcing themselves to smile, or deep acting, when they are used to the organizational needs and actually feeling the appropriate emotions. Surface acting is more stressful than deep acting as employees have to be very concentrated to prevent the unavoidable emotions. Now that I have finished talking about the causes of emotions, I am going to discuss about the possible effects of them.

Emotions are important in organizations. The Broaden-and-Build theory suggests that positive emotions broaden people's modes of thinking and action. Pride for example, triggered from personal achievements will lead to a target of even greater achievements later on. Overtime, emotion builds enduring personal and social resources (Fredrickson 2003). As we have seen in the social capital topic with the Casciaro 2005 reading, coworkers tend to ask help and bond with the more friendly colleagues. When positive emotions are expressed, it could transfer to the others and more likely to find the individual more approachable. This builds up gradually. For the worker, he/she gains social resources and is likely to get more support when needed. For the organization, this increases group cohesiveness and operate more effectively.

Emotions can also affect decision making processes. It can be a feeling-as-decision-facilitator (Seo and Barrett 2007). This view...
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