How to Better Understand The Role of Human Emotions in the Workplace
A great deal of research has analyzed the ways in which human emotions impact people’s attitudes and behaviour, as well as their interpersonal relationships in organizations. But there is little research that examines how emotions shape organizations and connect them to the society at large.
A new literature review from Schulich examines how emotions affect a wide range of aspects associated with organizational behaviour – everything from interactions and social connection to social action, power and inequality.
The views are contained in an article published in the Journal of Management Studies titled “Beyond the Feeling Individual: Insights from Sociology on Emotions and Embeddedness”. The article was co-written by Maxim Voronov, Professor of Organization Studies and Sustainability at Schulich, together with Rongrong Zhang, Madeline Toubiana, Russ Vince, and Bryant Ashley Hudson.
The researchers looked at what they termed “emotional embeddedness” through three different concepts or lenses: collective emotions and social bonds, emotional energy and moral batteries, and emotional capital.
As an example, Voronov cites the concept of “emotional energy” and notes that it is “more than a transient and fleeting emotion – it is generated through and with collective emotions, which are driven by bonds and ties to people as well as institutions.”
“We need to move beyond the idea that emotions exist in organizations as properties of their individual members and more toward a view or understanding that emotions are essentially social,” says Voronov. “They’re both socially constructed and socially authorized.”
Adds Voronov: “Our intent is to stimulate more research on emotions in domains where they have not received significant attention and to encourage new ways of thinking about emotions.”