The Affective Revolution
in Organizational Behavior:
of a Paradigm
Sigal G. Barsade
Arthur P. Brief
Sandra E. Spataro
"Our task, you might say, is to discover the reason that underlies unreason."
—Herbert A. Simon (1989, p. 23)
A new research paradigm is emerging within organizational behavior (OB), in both theory and empiricism, based on the increasing recognition of the importance of affect to organizational life. In his classic book, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, Kuhn (1970) described a paradigm as a scientific achievement that involves the creation of a constellation of research values, techniques, and beliefs, which offer a model for the type of investigation people within the scientific community should be following.
A paradigm must be sufficiently compelling to draw scientists from other, competing types of research activity and open-ended enough to leave many new problems for these researchers, and those following them, to