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Chapter 4

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COMM 251
Erica Carleton

COMM251 Week 4 Readings Chapter 4 – Workplace Emotions,Attitudes, and Stress Emotions in the workplace - Emotions: physiological, behavioural, and psychological episodes experienced toward an object, person, or event that create a state of readiness o “episodes” are brief from milliseconds to few minutes - EMOTIONSARE: o Directed toward someone/something [difference from moods which are not directed toward anything in particular and tend to be longer-term emotional states] o Experiences o Represent changes in our physiological and psychological state and behaviour o Most emotional reactions = subtle and occur without awareness [most emotions occur fleetingly, non- consciously, and with low intensity] o Strong emotions also trigger conscious awareness of a threat/opportunity in external environment Types of Emotions - Two common features of emotions: o 1) emotions generate a global evaluation that something is good or bad, helpful or harmful, to be approached or avoided [core affect] o 2) all emotions produce some level of activation or energy within us  Some strong enough to motivate conscious response, most subtle but still energize us to become aware of environment Emotions,Attitudes, and Behaviour - Attitudes: the cluster of beliefs, assessed feelings, and behavioural intentions toward a person, object, or event [called an attitude object] o Attitudes are JUDGMENTS whereas emotions are EXPERIENCES  Attitude involves logical reasoning + more stable over time; emotions operate as events usually without our awareness + more brief - TRADITIONAL COGNITIVE PERSPECTIVES OFATTITUDES o Beliefs:  Your established perceptions about the attitude object – what you believe to bet rue o Feelings:  Feelings represent your conscious positive or negative valuations of the attitude object. Feelings are calculated from your beliefs about the attitude object o Behavioural Intentions:  Intentions represent your motivation to engage in a particular behaviour regarding the attitude object  Whether your intentions translate into behaviour depends on the situation and possibly other elements of the MARS model  Attitudes are also more likely to influence behaviour when they are anchored by strong emotions How Emotions InfluenceAttitudes and Behaviour - 1) Begins with perceptions of the world around us: o Incoming sensory information is tagged with emotional markers based on quick and imprecise evaluation of whether the information supports or threatens or innate drives o Markers = automatic, non-conscious emotional responses based on little information - 2) Emotions are transmitted to the reasoning process and logically analyzed along with other information about the attitude object o Sometimes cognitive reasoning and emotions on attitudes conflict -> means the person can’t identify reasons to support the automatic emotional reaction o Which side to be trusted?  Some studies indicate best decisions tend to occur when we spend the most time logically evaluating the situation Generating Positive Emotions at Work - Some companies seem to be well aware of the dual cognitive-emotional attitude process as they try to inject more positive experienced in the workplace o E.g. Suntech Optics’impromptu fun activities and scheduled events or Razer’s scooters and fun competitive gaming - Deliberate “fun” activities can improve employee attitudes in many situations but main focus should be on ensuring employees experience positive emotions through the job itself o Deliberate “fun” can backfire:  May produce negative emotions from employees resenting having fun forced on them or because the activity evokes negative emotions in some people - Regardless -> most people perform work that produces some negative emotions and research shows that humour and fun (natural l or contrived) can potentially offset some of the negative experiences - Emotions can also directly (without conscious thinking) influence a person’s behaviour: o E.g. if someone sneaks up on us o Even low-intensity emotions automatically change our facial expressions Cognitive Dissonance - Cognitive Dissonance: a condition that occurs when we perceive an inconsistency between our beliefs, feelings, and behaviour o The inconsistency generates emotions that motivate us to create more consistency by changing one or more of these elements o Internal tension occurs because people want to see themselves as rational creatures which requires some alignment between their thoughts and actions - REDUCING COGNITIVE DISSONANCE: o 1) Changing behaviour (but difficult) o 2) Changing beliefs and findings  Research shows people indirectly rebalance their self-concept  E.g. Green Environment advocate working at oil company which is accused of environmental damage -> instead of denying the company’s environmental record, you might reduce the inconsistency by emphasizing your personal environmental behaviours Emotions and Personality - Emotions are also partly determined by a person’s personality, not just workplace experiences o E.g. people high in emotional stability and extroversion -> more positive emotions  Positive and negative emotional traits affect a person’s attendance, turnover, and long-term work attitudes  However, while these traits have some effect, research concludes the actual situation in which people work has a noticeably stronger influence on their attitudes and behaviour Managing Emotions at Work - Emotional labour: the effort, planning, and control needed to express organizationally desired emotions during interpersonal transactions o Almost everyone is expected to abide by display rules [norms requiring us to display specific emotions and to hide other emotions] o EL demands higher in jobs requiring a variety of emotions and more intense emotions as well as in jobs where interaction with clients is frequent and longer o EL also increases when employees must precisely rather than causally abide by display rules Emotional Display Norms Across Cultures - CULTURAL DIFFERENCES REGARDING EMOTIONAL DISPLAY NORMS: o Kuwait, Egypt, Spain, and Russia:  Cultural norms allow or encourage open display of one’s true emotions  Expectation to be transparent in revealing thoughts and feelings, dramatic in conversational tones and animated in use of nonverbal behaviours to get message across o Ethiopia, Japan, andAustria  Expectation to follow emotional display norms more precisely  Emotional expression tends to be more subdued and physical contact with others is minimal in professional settings  Voice intonation tends to be more monotonic Emotional Dissonance - Emotional dissonance: the conflict between required and true emotions o The larger the gap, the more employees tend to experience stress, job burnout, and psychological separation from self. [problem can be minimized through deep acting]  Surface acting: pretending to show the required emotions but continue to hold different internal feelings  Deep acting: changing true emotions to match the required emotions • Train yourself to feel required emotion – required considerable EQ Emotional Intelligence - Emotional Intelligence: Aset of abilities to perceive and express emotion, assimilate emotion in thought, understand and reason with emotion, and regulate emotion in oneself and others. - FOUR QUADRANT MODEL: o Self-awareness of emotions  Ability to perceive and understand the meaning of your own emotions  Greater sensitivity to subtle emotional responses to events and understand their message o Self-management of emotions  Management of emotions goes beyond displaying behaviours that represent desired emotions; it includes generating or suppressing emotions -> deep acting requires high levels of self- management of emotions o Awareness of others’emotions  The ability to perceive and understand the emotions of other people  Empathy: having an understanding of and sensitivity to the feelings, thoughts, and situations of others; empathy is vital for awareness of others’emotions o Management of others’emotions  Refers to managing other people’s emotions  Relationship management is restricted to managing other people’s emotions, whereas working effectively with other people extends to other competencies - The four dimensions of emotional intelligence form a hierarchy o Lowest level: Self-awareness = prerequisite for other three o Self-management and social awareness are necessarily above self-awareness -> can’t manage own emotions if you aren’t good at knowing your own emotions o Highest level: management of other’s emotions -> requires all three other dimensions  This set of competencies requires sufficiently high skills on the other three - Research indicates people with high EI: o Better at interpersonal relations o Perform better in jobs requiring emotional labour o Superior leaders o Make better decisions involving social exchanges o More successful in many aspects of job interview Improving Emotional Intelligence - Emotional intelligence is associated with some personality traits, as well as with the EI of one’s parents, but can also be learned in adulthood to some extent - Methods to improve EI: o Company Executive EI training o Courses on interpersonal skills o Personal coaching and frequent feedback on interpersonal behaviour o Practicing interpersonal skills JOB SATISFACTION - Job satisfaction: a person’s evaluation of his or her job and work context o Appraisal of the perceived job characteristics, work environment, and emotional experiences at work o Best viewed as a collection of attitudes about different aspects of the job and work context [e.g. might like co-workers but be less satisfied with the workload] - How satisfied are Canadians at work? o 80-90% moderately-very satisfied overall with jobs o Canadians rate their job and workplace higher than do employees in most other countries o However only 18 out of 28 countries in terms of job satisfaction
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