The chapters in this volume are organized into three sections. Authors of the first group of chapters in Section I, showcase methodological approaches that offer innovative ways of studying and understanding emotions and worklife. In Section II, the authors highlight contextualization developments in studying emotions in organizations. The final set of chapters in Section III, introduce novel areas for empirical investigation exemplifying the role and underlying phenomena of emotions in organizational contexts.


The six chapters in this section utilize a diverse range of methodological approaches previously underused or not applied to understanding and assessing the role that emotion plays in organizational contexts. These methodological approaches encompass a multi-method approach utilizing psychological and physiological measures (Chapter 1), a phenomenological methodology known as Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) (Chapter 2), a qualitative interpretive study drawing upon in-depth interviews (Chapter 3), a TV documentary case study providing insight in the use of visual/TV material (Chapter 4), and a qualitative phenomenological study based on an inductive research approach (Chapter 5). The final chapter in Section I (Chapter 6) utilizes an integrated analytical framework to test the multidimensional constructs of boredom, which poses unique measurement challenges, and results in support for a multidimensional model that incorporates five dimensions.

In Chapter 1, Suzanne J. Peterson, Christopher S. Reina, David A. Waldman, and William J. Becker propose a multi-method approach that utilizes both psychological and physiological measures for understanding and assessing emotions and affect in organizations. In so doing, they tackle measurement issues commonly raised in assessing emotions. Moreover, they review and discuss the ethical and practical implications associated with various measurement forms, providing an important guide for practitioners and academics considering the measurement of emotion in organizational settings.

Chapter 2, by Michael J. Gill, reveals new and valuable insights demonstrated through a novel phenomenological approach called Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA). The aim of IPA is to capture contextualized and rich accounts of how individuals make sense of their experiences. In the case of emotions research, IPA can be used to explore individuals’ emotional experiences of organizational events and processes. The chapter outlines the foundations of IPA which make it particularly suited to emotions research, provides examples of how such research is conducted, and gives due consideration to the criticisms and limitations of the approach.

In Chapter 3, the authors Marilena Antoniadou, Peter John Sandiford, Gillian Wright, and Linda Patricia Alker describe an innovative interpretive study of how university lecturers experience and manage fear. Drawing upon in-depth interviews with nineteen lecturers in Cypriot universities, Antoniadou and her colleagues found that fear is a major factor in the working environment of Cypriot universities. Foci included fear of job loss, fear of failure, fear of loss of status and reputation, and even fear of exposing weaknesses in the classroom. On the more positive side, respondents were more able to adapt to these threats if they were able to adopt mechanisms that gave them a sense of autonomy and confidence at work. To enable this, however, the lecturers’ managers needed to ensure a supportive working environment, positive mentoring, and to encourage them to speak up whenever they encountered threatening situations.

In Chapter 4 Markus Plate applies a novel methodology to examine shame, a powerful but under-studied emotion in organizational settings. When an individual experiences shame, it means that face has been lost. Using a case study approach involving a TV show, this chapter reveals how shame can lead to the derailing of a leader through the negative feedback loop put into motion by the shame experience of a leader.

Motivated by an effort to understand the dynamics and processes that underlie emotional intelligence (EI), Dirk Lindebaum presents in Chapter 5 the results of a qualitative study that examines the lived experiences of individuals. As a result of this investigation, Lindebaum problematizes our understanding of EI. For example, he concludes that courage and honesty are necessary precursors to the ability to process emotional information. This challenges the argument that EI unequivocally leads to emotional growth. Lindebaum also concludes that the sequential and hierarchical logic underlying conceptions of EI may not be supported by the thought processes of individuals. Similarly, Lindebaum concludes that the way that emotional challenges were processed was better described by the emotion regulation literature than that of EI, and also that the dynamic of emotional information processing may be curvilinear rather than linear as assumed by models of EI. He relates these discrepancies to methodological critiques of the MSCEIT and concludes that efforts to rethink the construct of EI and in particular its underlying processes would advance theory and practice.

Chapter 6 is the last chapter in this section. In it, Patricia L. Baratta and Jeffrey R. Spence outline a study where they sought to understand the nature and the structure of boredom; and conclude that boredom is best modeled as a multidimensional construct. In two studies involving undergraduate psychology students, the authors compared different configurations of boredom, including superordinate and multivariate multidimensional models and a unidimensional parallel model. Their results support a multidimensional model based on five dimensions: disengagement, low arousal, high arousal, inattention, and time perception. They conclude however that, while the multivariate conceptualization of boredom is the best fit to their data, it is nonetheless acceptable to view boredom as an overarching construct that incorporates the five dimensions — which they refer to as a “superordinate construct.”

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