Title: Appreciating emotion at work: paradigm tensions

Authors: Stephen Fineman

Addresses: School of Management, University of Bath, Bath, BA2 7AY, UK

Abstract: This article sets out some of the tensions, dilemmas and possibilities for emotion research in organisations. It reviews different traditions that have informed emotion explorations, in particular the kinds of questions inspired by essentialist approaches – wedded to measurement and numbers – and interpretivist approaches, employing narrative means of knowing. Two recent developments – emotional intelligence and positive organisational psychology – illustrate some of the strengths and weaknesses of the different paradigms, as well as the pitfalls of overenthusiastic applications. The article concludes by making a case for the superiority of interpretive approaches in representing both the qualitative texture of emotion and its political contextualisation.

Keywords: emotion in organisations; emotion measurement; emotion narratives; emotion paradigms; emotional intelligence; positive organisational psychology; emotion at work; workplace emotion; political contextualisation; organisational emotion.

DOI: 10.1504/IJWOE.2005.007323

International Journal of Work Organisation and Emotion, 2005 Vol.1 No.1, pp.4 - 19

Published online: 05 Jul 2005 *

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