10 .A Bounded Emotionality Perspective on Interpersonal Behavior in Organizations
Neal M. Ashkanasy
Wilfred J. Zerbe
The experience and expression of emotion is an essentially individual phenomenon; however it is tightly bound within a social context. For example, the effects of emotion often become much more pointed when people are in groups. Interactions with others are a primary source of emotions; our relations with others serve to provoke, to help transfer, and to constrain emotions. These kinds of effects are reflected in the intragroup and intergroup situations that are the subject of the chapters in this section. Indeed, De Dreu, West, Fischer, and MacCURTAIN (2001) argued that ...view middle of the document...
Although yet to be tested, the model that these authors propose is the first to provide a comprehensive explanation of the nexus between affect and problem-solving in groups.
In chapter8, Stefan Meisidk and Xin Yao address te manner in which emotions are promulgated in groups, through an original theory of social sharing of emotion (SSE) based on humor. In this model, humor is not something light and easily dismissable-as it so often is, outside the model. Instead, it is an essential tool that people at work use to deal with everyday affective issues, and to share experiences. In this model, humor is not just related to positive affect-it also provides a powerful medium for employees to deal with the negative thing that happen to them, including strongly negative issues such as the death of a friend or colleague. Meisiek and Yao provide a thoughtful set of propisitions concerning oth the antecedents and the consequences of humor, including identifying the special roles of” canned”, “practical”, and “situational” humor, and the role of gender.
In the final chapter in this section, Mona White, Charmine Hartel, and Debra Paipucci consider intergroup issues, with a focus on what they refer to as “boundar crossing.” Dealing specifically with cross-cultural communication in the context of strategic business negotiation, they identify in particular miscommunications in this context as “boundary-crossing mishaps.” They argue that these mishaps are affected by numerous factors, including negotiatiors’ understanding of the respective cultures of the parties, negotiation skill. Affective cultural background of the parties, cultural differences, emotional awareness and regulation, negative affect, and discrepancy in convergence-divergence between the parties. Based on Weiss and Croanzano’s(1996) affective events theory, they propose that negotiation ultimately breaks down because of an accumulation of these mishaps. The theory is applied in the specific context of Chinese-Australian negotiation.
The three chapters in this section provide but a glimpse, however, of the topic og emotion in groups and teams. Indeed, we believe that this is perhaps the most underdeveloped arena for future research in the role of emotions in organizational behavior. From the perspective of bounded emotionality, the three chapters are especially convincing. It is clear from these authors’ writing that emotion plays a central role in the way teams function, both endogenously and exogenously. Perhaps the most intriguing of the contributions, however, is Meisidk and Yao’s. Here we see that humor, so often dismissed as unimportant, may be an important component of social cohesion in groups. In their model, the emotional relief of humor serves as the quintessential...