Term Paper: Organisational Psychology This Chapter Reviews

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[. . .] Goldman (1995, p 149) stated that 'Corporations have gone through a radical revolution within this century, and with this has come a corresponding transformation of the emotional landscape.' When exploring the current changes taking place within organizations, an important consideration may be the impact of these changes on the underlying emotional system within the organization. It can be demonstrated how crucial emotions are to the welfare of the organization when considering the impact that emotions such as anxiety and fear have on work and the individuals involved (Briner, 1999), (Lord, 2002).

Rational self at work

Organizations are usually studied from either rationalistic or normative perspectives, suggesting that they are immune to emotion (Flam, 1990).(e.g. is this a point of fact you are making that is relevant to the further discussion on rational self at work? If so then you do not need to refer to anyone, just make your point.).(ditto)this sentence is repetitious. Studies that do deal with emotions tend to focus on work satisfaction, work enthusiasm, or self-actualization. The so-called negative emotions, such as fear, guilt, anger, frustration or embarrassment, do not receive the attention they deserve although they play a key role in the shaping of the organizational order. Flam (1990) postulates that there are three distinct selves - emotional, normative and rational - which are at work within an individual, and that an emotional self - experiencing a specific induced feeling: fear - helps the rational self to suppress and/or engage in a battle with the normative self Over referencing in this first paragraph.

By definition, a rational self is cost-conscious Because it is resource constrained, a rational self always calculates whether a given course of action is such that the benefits will exceed the costs. If the costs are higher than the benefits, no action will be undertaken, unless the individual is coerced or receives cost-reducing benefits. In contrast, a normative self is norm-conscious. Because it is value-constrained, a normative self always considers a given course of action in terms of what is socially proper. If the course of action deviates from social norms, no action will be undertaken, unless the individual is resocialised to change his or her values. Finally, a 'pure' emotional self is oblivious to the cost). Always other oriented, it generates a positive, indifferent or negative relational charge for which it seeks expression. It urges the other selves to deal with the relational charge it generates. Flam (1990) believes that fear - as a warning signal and a negative relational charge - forces the individual to reconsider his or her normative preferences. A considered course of action, which as a matter of principle should not be subject to a calculus, becomes subject to a cost-benefit analysis under the influence of fear. The value-informed preferences are no longer measured by a normative yardstick, but by a rational one

Fear is a reality check in two senses (Flam, 1990). First, because it signals the (present or impending) threat to one's self stemming from a violation of the power relations. Second, because in signaling that a pursuit of a specific preference invites danger, it begs the question whether it should remain a preference (Flam, 1990). It also begs the question of whether the cost of upholding certain values is not too high (Flam, 1990). By questioning, it opens the door for a 'battle of the selves', wherein the value argument confronts the cost argument. The rational self calculates whether indeed a normative course of action will not be too costly. If it is too costly, and fear presses towards such a conclusion, the battle of the selves ends with the defeat of the normative self (Flam, 1990). Under fear's unrelenting pressure, the rational self takes charge. The subjectively normative course of action is abandoned (Flam, 1990).

Same for the referencing in this paragraph.- just discuss your points and then use maybe one reference to back it up.

Fear as a response to life and body threats, and its role in producing overt obedience to organizations, has long been recognized as existing in totalitarian regimes (Flam, 1990). What is lacking is a widespread recognition that the fear of forfeited life chances and/or of an existential void is also important (Flam, 1990). It plays a similar role in totalitarian and in non-totalitarian regimes and organizations. Even in liberal Western regimes, no matter how low their unemployment rates and how good their unemployment and social benefits, the fundamental threat of unemployment exists (Flam, 1990). In these work ethic-based societies, individuals fear both unemployment and a loss of their work identity (Flam, 1990). This fear exercises a powerful influence on the way people act. Flam (1990) believes that for fear of remaining unemployed or living in an existential void, many people play act in job interviews and, a far more serious matter, feel compelled to accept jobs they abhor. Once employed, people continue their play acting (compromising their normative selves and becoming estranged from their feelings) in the presence of their colleagues, superiors and clients, while striving to follow organizational and career path rules (Hochschild, 1983).

To analyse this section....what was your main point you wanted to make about the rational self at work as your subtitle suggests?

You have a long discussion on fear and not clear how it relates to the subtitle.

The opening sentence suggests that the section is about how emotions are not given enough attention in studies of organisations. But your section does not bring that out enough, nor what is the relevance of this discussion to your study.

Emotion-behaviour linkages

Most theories of emotions recognize the linkage between specific emotions and specific types of behaviours (Lord & Kanfer, 2002).(again.. purpose of this reference?) Negative emotions often have strong associations with specific types of behaviour, and strong negative emotions are likely to produce such behaviours with minimal guidance from concomitant cognitive processing because responses occur too fast for much processing to occur.(complicated sentence!suggested rewrite: Negative emotions often have strong associations with specific types of behaviour. These behaviours, since they occur at such a speed, are likely to be produced with minimal guidance from concomitant cognitive processingRepetition. not related here.

Positive emotions have garnered less attention than negative emotions, for several reasons: they are less differentiated, they are not associated with specific problems needing solutions, and they are not associated with specific action tendencies thought to be necessary for survival (is this her theory? Or is it general theory arrived at by many people?) Nevertheless, positive emotions may have critical functions that are necessary for the survival of species or the effective functioning of organizations, Fredrickson (1998) has developed a 'broaden-and-build' perspective on the value of positive emotions. She maintains that positive emotions are important in that they broaden attention and create situations where cognitive, physical, and social resources can be built. For example, she maintains that joy promotes play, which helps to build physical, social and intellectual skills.). She also notes that positive emotions serve as an antidote to the harmful physiological and cognitive effects of negative emotions.

Lord and Kanfer (2002) state that generalizing from Fredrickson's perspective; positive emotions should promote a number of important organizational processes, such as skill building, creativity, effective social relations, organizational commitment, collective orientations, and prosocial behaviours Similarly,(similar to what?) contentment broadens the self and worldview and creates the urge to integrate; love triggers other positive emotions and solidifies individual and social resources.

Consistent with such arguments, recent organization research has again raised the issue of whether happier workers are more productive

Keep it flowing by discussing one author at a time.

Ortony, Clore and Collins (1988) devised a matrix of adjectives to describe emotions. They include satisfaction in their matrix but as an emotion or specific short-term reaction to an event rather than a general appraisal of a job or job facet. The entire range of adjectives used in the matrix can be experienced by people at work. Some examples of the adjectives used are: pride, embarrassment, guilt, shame, admiration, appreciation, contempt, disdain, gratitude, thankfulness, annoyance, fury, outrage, smugness, self satisfaction, remorse, joy, distress, shock, misery, compassion, pity, resentment, envy, hope, fear, anxiety, apprehension, satisfaction, relief and affection (Ortony, Clore & Collins, 1988). The matrix illustrates a diverse and rich range of affective experiences compared to thinking about affect simply in terms of stress and satisfaction (Briner, 1999).

This last paragraph does not have anything to do with emotion-behaviour linkages, but more to do with your previous section on defining emotions.

Emotions and Motivation

Lord and Kanfer (2002) postulate that emotions play an integral role in motivation. Individual differences in emotional tendencies interact with organizational events and social interactions to yield emotional reactions that importantly shape an individual's goals and the persistence of effort in the face of obstacles The influence of emotional reactions to events, such as downsizing, may seriously weaken personal commitment to organizationally desired goals and, in turn, job… [END OF PREVIEW]

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