Emotions at Work: Theory, Research, and Applications in Management

By Roy L. Payne; Cary L. Cooper | Go to book overview

Preface

This book was prompted by a request from the publishers for an update of the books we had edited previously on stress in the workplace: Stress at Work (1978), Current Concerns in Occupational Stress (1980) and Causes, Coping and Consequences of Stress at Work (1988). Whilst that was tempting, it seemed to us that the late 1980s/1990s had brought a renewed and broader concern with emotions of all kinds. There was a growing interest in the more positive emotions such as happiness, and Michael Argyle's book The Psychology of Happiness (1987) is an exemplar of that work, as well as a burgeoning interest in the nature of emotion itself. Ekman and Davidson's book The Nature of Emotion (1994) contains works by the leading scholars in the field and it illustrates vividly the debates raging amongst them. There is, of course, a very large literature on stress at work that deals with a restricted range of the negative emotions. There is a huge literature on positive emotion, captured in the concept of job satisfaction, but many other emotions have largely been ignored in work psychology, though the influential work of Weiss and Crapanzo (1996) on affective events theory in the workplace, heralded the developing interests of both academics and managers. The interests of the latter were also strongly stimulated by Goleman's Emotional Intelligence at Work (1998). With this activity in the background, it was decided to broaden the book to deal with a comprehensive range of emotional experiences.

The title Emotions at Work is deliberately ambiguous, hence the subtitle “Theory, research and applications in management”. The title does, of course, convey the central focus of the book which is on emotions in the workplace, but the other possible meaning of “emotions at work” is a concern with the processes involved in the production of emotional experience. The first part of the book is entitled “The nature of emotion” and it introduces the reader to what is known about emotions and the processes that bring them into being. Chapter 1 is by Robb Stanley and Graham Burrows from the Department of Psychiatry at Melbourne University. They define emotions and list some of the main emotions described by workers in the field. They also describe the emotional process, strongly linking emotion to motivation and behaviour. The chapter also deals with the function of emotions in this overall process, describing the range of positive and negative

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