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

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

Conclusion

The title of this book Emotions at Work was chosen to suggest two of the main aims of the book. They are to describe current research on the processes that are at work in the production of emotions, and to do the same for research on emotional/affective occurrences in work organizations. With hindsight, it is obvious that the title is not accurate enough. It should have read “Emotions, moods, and temperament at work”, for many of the chapters illustrate the difficulty of maintaining the conceptual distinctions that differentiate them, and the need to consider them all in any serious attempt to understand emotional processes, or the outcomes of them in work organizations.

Alongside this observation there is a regular reference to the complexity of understanding emotional life and its relationship to cognitive experience and behaviour. Another consistent theme is the importance of achieving better understanding, both for improving people's physical and emotional health, and for improving the management of people in work organizations. The chapters also contain many references to the need to acknowledge that the health of the workforce and the health of the organization are intimately connected. The final common strand is the call for more and better research.

Despite the self-criticism that pervades the book it contains many suggestions about ways forward to achieve both the scientific aims and the practical aims of authors, whose main concerns are improving the way organizations manage emotions, moods, and temperaments. All the authors advocate another aim of the book, which was to extend consideration of emotions outside the narrowness of stress or job satisfaction which dominated much organizational research in the last half of the 20th century. We believe the book has succeeded in meeting these aims, though it is obvious from the conclusions of most of these chapters that the content of similar books will be rapidly expanded during the decades to come. One gap in the contents is a chapter on qualitative studies of emotions in organizations, but this arose because we failed to get

Emotions at Work. Edited by Roy Payne and Cary Cooper. © 2001 by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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