Year of Publication

2013

Degree Name

Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

College

Business and Economics

Department

Management

First Advisor

Dr. Dan Brass

Abstract

To better understand the effect of emotions on formal and informal interactions in the workplace, I focus on emotional dynamics, the exchange and experience of emotions occurring within repeated interpersonal interactions. Emotional Ability (EA; how individuals perceive, use, understand, and manage their own or others’ emotions) is a key component in emotional dynamics. Specifically, I focus on the role of EA on individuals’ choices of coworkers for gaining emotional support (the receipt of empathy, caring, trust, and concern), and in turn, their occupational well-being and task performance. In addition, I investigate the “ripple effects” of EA, how the EA of focal actors may benefit others in the network. The value of Emotional Ability is thus in reaching beyond the individual’s(ego’s) benefit to extend to others (alters) who are tied to ego, in turn benefiting the entire social network (group of actors) and ultimately contributing to the organization’s emotional health. I further investigate possible moderators of the EA-benefits relationship: relationship perceived emotional competence (as assessed by others), emotional self-efficacy (individuals’ beliefs in their own EA) and empathic concern (propensity to experience feelings of warmth, compassion and concern for others). This study is part of a larger research agenda to develop an affective relational theory (ART) to examine how emotional dynamics affect relational dynamics in organizations.

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