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Emotion and Communication in Organizations

Sarah J. Tracy

Subject Communication Studies » Organizational Communication

Key-Topics emotion

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405131995.2008.x


Emotional communication is central to many jobs (→  emotion ). Stockbrokers express aggression, nurses communicate care, and emotions such as shame, pride, and fear are central in organizational evaluation. Nonetheless, organization studies have traditionally written out emotion, treating it as a private issue, a barrier to effectiveness, or something that should be controlled (→  Organizational Communication ). Early research suggested that organizations were and should be rational, scientific entities (→  Bureaucracy and Communication ). In this paradigm, if emotions were examined, they were measured as variables of job satisfaction, morale, or commitment. Furthermore, emotions have traditionally been subjugated to the private, personal, feminine sphere (→  Feminist and Gender Studies ). Despite this early resistance, in the past 15 years, increasing numbers of scholars from communication, management, sociology, and psychology have examined emotion formation, expression, and control in the workplace. Researchers have explored how emergent work feelings are an integral part of organizational life ( Mumby & Putnam 1992 ) and how emotional display and “emotional intelligence” ( Goleman 1995 ) are co-opted by organizations to achieve an economic mission. As such, researchers have recognized that emotions are a core part of organizing and that emotionality is not the opposite of ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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