Title: Whither psychological research into emotion at work? Feeling for the future

Authors: Rob B. Briner, Tina Kiefer

Addresses: Department of Organizational Psychology, Birkbeck College, University of London, Malet Street, WC1E 7HX, London, UK. ' Institute of Governance and Public Management, Warwick Business School, University of Warwick, Coventry, CV4 7AL, UK

Abstract: The aim of this paper is to consider some of the desirable and likely future directions of organisational psychology research into emotion at work. We do so by identifying and discussing some current limitations of the field. Along with other observers we argue that although the field has grown quickly this expansion has not always led to an increased understanding of emotion at work. There are numerous reasons for this but we focus on four limitations of existing research: 1) poor quantification; 2) exaggerated claims about the importance of emotion and Emotional Intelligence (EI); 3) methods that are incongruent with psychological theory about emotion; 4) research too focused on commercial and managerial needs. The actions required to deal with these limitations are mostly self-evident, though apparently not easy to accomplish.

Keywords: emotion at work; affect; feelings; psychological research; methodology; organisational psychology; emotional intelligence.

DOI: 10.1504/IJWOE.2009.030933

International Journal of Work Organisation and Emotion, 2009 Vol.3 No.2, pp.161 - 173

Published online: 13 Jan 2010 *

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