Culture as a source,
expression, and reinforcer of
emotions in organizations
Janice M. Beyer
Harkins and Company Centennial Chair in Business Administration, Department of Management, University of Texas at Austin
Administrative Sciences, University of Houston—Clear Lake*
The field of organizational studies has been late in including emotions as part of its purview. For example, a reader who looked in the subject indices of the two classic handbooks on organizations (March, 1965; Nystrom & Starbuck, 1981) would not find a single entry for affect, for emotions, or for feelings. Until the late 1980s, the field seemingly remained under the thrall of the rational image of organizations advanced with Weber's (1947) concepts of legal-rational authority and bureaucracy. Barley and Kunda (1992), suggested that it was the rediscovery of the importance of culture that turned some organizational scientists and managers away from rationalism and toward a more humanistic view of organizations that could take account of the emotional side of organizational life. They postulated that one of the appeals of culture was that the emotional commitment it engendered would foster financial gain (Barley & Kunda, 1992, p. 383).
* David Nino would like to acknowledge the support of the Red McCombs School of Business at the
University of Texas at Austin, where he was a doctoral student while co-authoring this chapter.