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Emotions play a great impact on our decision making. We have to make decisions every
day, both in our personal and professional lives and some decisions are more important
than others. According to Robbins and Judge, emotions are known as “intense feelings
that are directed at someone or something” (141) and they are brief in durations.
Emotions are key at guiding our decision making and behavior. Furthermore, we
separate between felt emotions, which are actual emotions, and displayed emotions,
which are “emotions that are organizationally required and considered appropriate in a
given job” (Stephen P. Robbins, 2017, s. 152). I think that displayed emotions can help to
protect employees to some extent because it might foster actual emotions that were not
there in the first place.
If employees have to display positive emotions such as excitement and joy, I believe
that it can help to foster these emotions so that they become the felt emotions of an
employee, considering that he/she has a positive mood at a zero input. However, if a
person is carrying around a lot of suppressed emotions such as sadness and frustration,
perhaps towards a manager, it is important that there is room for an employee to
express his/her feelings.
Displayed emotions can either be a result of surface acting or deep acting if they are not
in correlation to a person’s true emotions. This is the aspect that decides whether
displayed emotions protect or hurt employees.
If an employee has to interact with customers on a daily basis, some customers are more
dissatisfied than others. Displayed emotions can help an employee not to get offended
by negativity and to get carried away by frustrated and rude customers. Such surface
acting, “hiding one’s inner feelings and forgoing emotional expressions in response to
display rules” (Stephen P. Robbins, 2017, s. 152), can help employees to handle stressful
situations. However, as mentioned earlier, I believe that this kind of acting is only
positive and not problematic if an employee already has a positive affect. If an
employee is feeling sad, the only way to use display rules that will not hurt the
employee, is through successful deep acting.
“Deep acting is trying to modify our true inner feelings based on display rules”
(Stephen P. Robbins, 2017, s. 152). If an employee is feeling sad and tries to change
his/her felt emotions rather than suppressing it, this kind of behavior can be helpful for
the employee. It also prevents emotional dissonance. If an employee is not able to
modify his/her true inner feelings, I think that surface acting is not an alternative and
that there should be room for the employee to express his/her inner feelings. As the
case mentions, “organizations that recognize and work with emotions effectively are
more creative, satisfying, and productive.” I do not believe, however, that if employees
are feeling angry, they should outburst on one another simply because it is unhealthy to
suppress inner feelings. I believe that there should still be some rules about certain
emotions in an office. Any emotions that can create serious unpleasant consequences,
such as anger, should be restrained by rules because it can negatively affect the work
behavior of other employees in the office. Furthermore, it should be a goal for any
organization that their employees feel actual happiness, because “happy employees
demonstrate higher performance and organizational citizenship behavior (OCB), fewer
CWBs, and less turnover” (Stephen P. Robbins, 2017, s. 145).
The closest thing I have come to working in an environment where free expression of
emotion was a part of the management style was from my previous years a model. I
remember several times visiting my agencies in Milano and Paris and there were heated
discussions between the models and managers. While I am not sure if this is
comparable to a regular professional work setting, I made my impressions from a free
expression management style. The disadvantages were many more than the
advantages. Again, I turn back to the emotions of anger that can impact other
employees. When I heard managers yell, even if it was not directed towards me, I felt
an uncomfortable feeling towards the management and agency. I did not feel inspired
to work hard and I would often think about the unexpected anger outburst in the
following days. I do find any particular advantages from expressing anger emotions,
because my experience is that it often causes a situation to become more heated that
The opposite is true for expressing sad emotions. There were many times I saw
models cry due to different reasons at the agencies. I am sure that this helped to create a
better understanding between the employee and the manager. It opens room for
tolerance and it prevents emotional dissonance, which is when “employees have to
project one emotion while feeling another” (Stephen P. Robbins, 2017, s. 153). If an
employee carries around a lot of negative emotions, creating room for those emotions to
be expressed freely can increase job satisfaction. I often witnessed situations
improving after employees were able to cry and express freely that something was
bothering them at work. I never experienced that anyone was treated with disrespect
despite crying in front of the manager. Indeed, I would rather claim the opposite. Based
on my experience, I do not have find any particular disadvantages from this approach
when it comes to expressing sad emotions. My greatest experience when it comes to
disadvantages from free expressions are related to angry emotions that caused yelling
and negativity in the workplace.
At Laura’s organization in the case study “Crybabies”, fear and anger are methods used
to control employees. The employees at the organization rarely show their true
reactions to these emotions because of “fear of being branded as weak or
ineffectual”. Considering that the acts of coworkers and management cause a much
greater percentage of negative emotions for employees than the acts of customers, it is
certain that Laura’s company must change the emotional climate.
The situation that Laura is experiencing can be explained through the affective events
theory (AET), which is a model that “proposes that employees react emotionally to
things that happen to them at work, and this reaction influences their job performance
and satisfaction” (Stephen P. Robbins, 2017, s. 153). If Laura and her coworkers are not
able to express their feelings properly, job satisfaction will decrease. While this extent
will vary whether it is a person scoring high or a person scoring low on emotional
stability, it will overall cause job satisfaction to decrease. Furthermore, if a job climate
consists mainly of negative emotions, problem-solving skills might decrease. In other
words, it is crucial that companies do not ignore emotions.
Laura’s company can implement training in emotion regulation techniques, which are
focused on helping people to restrain from anger and negativity. There are
four strategies than can be beneficial for the employees and management at Laura’s
company to learn in order to regulate their personal emotions: 1) Deep acting, which is
to modify inner, true feelings. This could be beneficial for Laura’s manager to learn, and
also for him to become aware of how job satisfaction and performance among his
employees decreases when he has his emotional outbursts. 2) Cognitive reappraisal
consists of “reframing our outlook on an emotional situation” (Stephen P. Robbins,
2017, s. 157), which could be beneficial for the employees to learn as at attempt not to
react upon the manager when he has his regular outbursts. 3) Furthermore, mindfulness
can be beneficial to learn both for the manager and the employees. Mindfulness can
help people to separate their emotions from a situation, which can cause less reaction to
a stressful situation. 4) A final suggestion is social sharing or venting, which is open
expression of emotions, for instance by asking a coworker to go for a walk and
express freely to him what you feel about different situations. In fact, “social sharing
can reduce anger reactions when people can about the facts of a bad situation, their
feelings about the situation, or any positive aspects of the situation” (Stephen P.
Robbins, 2017, s. 158).
Nevertheless, while these strategies can be beneficial for the emotional regulation of
each individual, the greatest advice would be to encourage training for
Laura’s manager. This way, he will become better at regulating his personal emotions so
that his mood does not cause the job satisfaction of Laura’s coworkers to decrease. In
the future, the company should also focus on hiring only positive minded people that
do not create a negative emotional climate in the workplace.
Stephen P. Robbins, T. A. (2017). Organizational Behavior (Vol. 17th Edition ).
Edinburgh, Essex, England : Pearson.
OB Midterm Case 2: Crybabies
1. Do you think the strategic use and display of emotions serve to protect employees,
or does covering your true emotions at work lead to more problems than it solves?
First and foremost, communication is extremely important between coworkers and
management. A lack of communication could lead to many short-term and long-term
problems such as trust issues. Therefore, managers should recognize that emotions are
part of the workplace especially those that are work related and good management does
not mean creating an emotion-free environment. According to Affective event theory
(AET), employees’ emotions at work influence their job performance and satisfaction.
Therefore, a hostile working environment where employees would feel pressured,
restrained, and even suffocated because they have been told to not express any of their
emotions can result in lower employees’ satisfaction and productivity. On the other
hand, everything should have certain level of moderation. Even though covering true
emotions is not necessarily conducive to a more positive working environment, a
manager should also emphasize on the professionalism of their jobs, so employees
should try their best to leave their personal life at home and not let their personal issues
get in the way of their professional life. Managers should make it clear to their
employees that those negative emotions that could translate into counterproductive
work behaviors and negatively affect everyone around the person including customers
should be forbidden because both ethically and corporately, “the needs of the many
outweighs the needs of the few” (45 DeGeorge). We shouldn’t should always make the
greater goods for the greater number of people affected as a company’s priority. If
someone’s emotion has not contributed to the overall goods of the company, the he/she
should control that kind of negative emotion. On the other hand, if expressing certain
emotions could lead to a better communication and understanding among employees,
and facilitate a high working efficiency, then such positive emotions should be
encouraged to express. Displayed emotions, in particular, are those managers and
organization should require workers to show and consider appropriate for a given job.
2. Have you ever worked where the free expression of emotion was part of the
management style? Describe the advantages and disadvantages of this approach from
your experience.
I’ve never worked in the past. However, I did have an internship at the end of high
school at a real estate company, Alex MacWilliam Real Estate, where free expression of
emotion was very much encouraged throughout the company. In fact, the company
holds weekly meetings at a nice restaurant where employees can socialize with each
other and give individual feedback on anything they want to express in public.
Moreover, the owner of the company actually encouraged everyone to share their
emotions either it’s personal or professional. Even though I’ve not worked anywhere
else since that internship, I definitely witnessed a very family-like, open, and united
working environment where everyone seemed to be comfortable sharing both of their
personal and professional lives with each other. I am not sure if that was an intentional
part of the management style but I am certain that the free expression of emotion was
part of the company culture that definitely contributed greatly to the success that the
company has made over the years. Most importantly, Mr. MacWilliam had always
expressed positive emotions while I was interning there and had definitely fostered
effective decision making, creativity, and motivation in employees. Such positivity has
definitely contaged not only the entire company, but also the customers. The drawback
of the free expression of emotions at the company, I would say, was the blurred line
between personal life and professional life. Even though I did not notice, or maybe I
wasn’t aware of, the damage that blurred line had caused in the company, I would
definitely say that employees there seemed a bit too friendly with each other to create a
competitive working environment. Competition leads to innovation and progress, but
at MacWilliam’s, the free expression of emotions had definitely reduced such
competition, in my opinion.
3. Research shows that acts of coworkers (37 percent) and management (22 percent)
cause more negative emotions for employees than do acts of customers (7 percent).
What can Laura’s company do to change its emotional climate?
Most importantly, Laura’s company from the management team to its lower-level
employees should be informed that the company is not an emotion-free environment,
but there are certain rules to be followed as expressing emotions. As individuals, Laura
and other employees should deal with their felt emotions with deep acting and freely
express their displayed emotions. In response to displayed emotions, people tend to
deal with it with surface acting, which can increase stress and decrease job satisfaction.
Therefore, Laura’s company and manager should make it clear that certain displayed
emotions that are positive and conducive to the overall satisfaction and working
efficiency should be freely expressed. On the other hand, those negative emotions, or
felt emotions, that do not contribute to a positive working environment should never be
brought into workplace. Instead, employees should deal with it with deep acting, which
has a positive relationship with job satisfaction and job performance. Managers, as the
role models for the rest of the company, should always express positive emotions and
moods to foster effective decision making, creativity, and motivation in employees.
Managers should encourage employees to provide positive feedback to increase the
positivity of employees. Moreover, it would also help to hire people who are
predisposed to positive moods. As managers, they should always express positive
emotions as much as possible and such positivity is contagious. Therefore, employees
would feel the positivity and have a more positive attitudes toward their jobs.
Work Cited
Robbins, P. Stephen and Judge, A. Timothy. “The Encore.” Organizational Behavior.
Pearson Education Inc., 2015.
DeGeorge, T. Richard. Business Ethics. Pearson Education Inc., 2010.
1.) I believe that covering your true emotions to an extent in fact does lead to more
problems than it solves. Covering your emotions can lead directly to deviant work place
behavior. For example, if during the day you have an overwhelming amount of emotion
that you feel you cannot express at the office, you may feel the need to leave early in
order to truly experience your emotions. Covering your true emotions also may lead to
efficient work but this may compromise the effectiveness of the work. For example, if
you work on an assembly line and are angry you may work extremely fast, but fast in
this instance may not necessarily be a good thing because, if the effectiveness of your
work is being compromised the speed at which you completed the task is meaningless.
By controlling employees actions managers are contradicting the self-determination
theory, which states that people prefer to have control their own actions. As an
employee who feels as though they must cover up their emotions, one might be
emotionally distracted, which in turn will directly impact their work performance. With
this being said companies and managers have a tricky task of allowing an employee to
feel and control emotions, while not allowing ones emotions to become a distraction to
another employee.
2.) While working for an executive recruiting firm, there was a policy that enabled
workers to step away from the office for a reasonable amount of time in order to gather
themselves and or deal with anything that was impeding on our objectives. I found this
to be extremely productive in the workplace. Personally, I was reading over resumes
and I know that if I weren’t emotionally there, I would have been carelessly reading
over them. In this specific job, which required a lot of reading and attention to detail, it
would be counter beneficial to be working under emotional stress. I found this
approach also instilled a lot of trust in employee and I appreciated that. Employees
want to feel as if they are not being looked over 24/7 and appreciate the freedom and
trust to get the job done. The company did not specify how long you had to gather
yourselves which, I believe is important as well, because humans are very complex and
each person will react to a situation differently. Personally, I believe every job requires
different skills and abilities and how emotions are dealt with are case to case. For
example, as a professional athlete there may not be time during a game or event to step
away from the field and gather yourself.
3.) I believe the emotional climate at Laura’s work is negatively affecting work.
Working with fear, and using emotions to manipulate workers can be very crippling. I
believe, the work place needs a major culture shift, as do many companies and
professions. It is stated that workers who show their emotions are tagged as “weak” or
“ineffectual,” where it may in fact be the very opposite. As I’ve stated emotional
distractions can lead to decreased production and can have “high negative affects” on
the job. I believe Laura’s managers need to do a better job of leading and conveying a
message that emotions are not necessarily a bad thing. With the managers conveying
this message hopefully there will be a trickle down effect in which employees begin to
feel more comfortable handling their emotions. According to the affective events theory,
employees react emotionally to things that happen to them at work, and this in turn
influences their performance and job satisfaction. With this being said Laura’s employer
needs to do a better job of allowing workers to experience there “felt emotions” rather
than encouraging them to “surface act.” Surface acting is hiding your inner emotions
and feelings. In essence, the company should focus on reworking the emotions that are
considered to be appropriate at work.

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