Title: What Beer's theory of viability can offer to the field of workforce emotions

Authors: Iffat Sabir Chaudhry; Angela Espinosa; Richard Vidgen

Addresses: Department of Management, College of Business Administration, A'Sharqiyah University, Oman ' Centre for System Studies, Hull Business School, University of Hull, UK ' Centre for System Studies, Hull Business School, University of Hull, UK

Abstract: The study of emotions is the most densely populated field of organisational behaviour academic research. However, the application of systemic approaches to the field of workforce emotions is marginal. The current theoretical study intends to reveal the suitability of a systemic approach - the theory of viability (i.e., viable system model - VSM) for comprehending, diagnosing and managing employees' emotions. The study illustrates how the realm of emotions management research can be enriched by the using VSM criteria and principles for managing complexity, to guide and organise existing research on emotions management. This conceptual review of existing theories is useful then for inspiring a more structured survey into investigating emotional management at the workplace. In this paper, we present the conceptual framework developed to conduct a recent PhD project based on this approach, as well as the design of the related survey and analysis.

Keywords: viable system model; VSM; workforce emotions; multi-level emotions; affective work environment; positive work-climate.

DOI: 10.1504/IJWOE.2017.10009291

International Journal of Work Organisation and Emotion, 2017 Vol.8 No.3, pp.169 - 184

Received: 13 Jul 2016
Accepted: 23 May 2017

Published online: 22 Nov 2017 *

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