Essay: Organisational behaviour
This article seeks to examine organisational behaviour that results from emotional contagion experienced by members of direct selling companies in Malaysia. “Employees often share feelings of happiness, sadness and anger with their colleagues” Doherty (1997). These emotions are often contagious and important traits of human existence and they often serve to motivate approach withdrawal behaviour. Barsade (2002) explains that when there is positive emotional contagion experience among members of a group, it improves cooperation, lowers conflict and increases perceived task performance. Great achievement is also exciting experience and it creates joyous emotion. This however has the potential to directly or indirectly influence other members in the group. The purpose of this article is to identify the factors that contribute towards the occurrence of emotional contagion and to explore the various outcomes of emotional contagion on individuals, groups and organisational performance. It mainly focuses on studying emotional contagion in an organisational setting which has competitive groups. It is apparent that the adoption of achiever’s recognition to influence others to join the business and work hard is proven a successful organisational strategy and if the influencing of others emotions and feelings can be studied and adopted into organisational settings, then if would beneficial to both the organisation itself and also its member. The finding of this study seeks to add insights and add value into understanding emotional contagion in organisational contexts and among groups. However the study of this context is non-western. “Emotional contagion is the tendency to experience or express another person’s emotions” Hatfield et al. (1992, 1993, 1994). They have argued that emotional contagion is primitive and it’s “process is too automatic, fast and fleeting, and too ubiquitous to be accounted for cognitive, associative and self-perceptive processes” Hatfield et al. (1992, 1993, 1994). “The theory of emotional contagion states that people who are highly emotionally reactive, sensitive to variations in their own emotions, and able to decode and mimic others nonverbal behaviour and are attentive to and interrelated with others should be more susceptible to emotional contagion” (Doherty, 1997; Hatfield et al., 1992, 1993, 1994; Lundqvist, 2006). Doherty (1997) has also further explained that genetics, gender, early experience and personality characteristics contribute to individual differences in susceptibility to emotional contagion. “Emotional contagion also occurs when people tend to attend to others as they continuously and unconsciously mimic the others fleeting emotional expression n and synchronise their facial, vocal, postural, and instrumental expressions with those whom they are attending” (Hatfield et al., 1992, 1993, 1994; Doherty 1997; Merges 2003). Although there have been some interesting findings of how emotional contagion can occur, the result still remain inconsistent. “Emotional contagion can occur to someone who shares a similar experience with another and are close to one another” (Van et al) while Howard and Gengler (2001) say that emotional contagion should only occur if there is a strong bond or close relationship between two individuals. On the other hand, Segrin (2006) contradicts the two explanations and states that evidence does not reveal uniform effects for emotional contagion in close relationships. Moreover, “similarity in experience and personality are also assumed to be related to emotional contagion and individual differences are found to be negatively related to emotional contagion” Lundqvist (2008). “found that character dimension influences susceptibility to positive emotions such as love and happiness while cooperativeness and self-transcendence have negative influence on anger and love” Lundqvist (2008). However Gountas and Gountas (2007) say that there is a...
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