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Affect regulation and well-being in the workplace: An interpersonal perspective

Niven, Karen, Totterdell, Peter and Holman, David (2009) Affect regulation and well-being in the workplace: An interpersonal perspective. In: Antoniou, Alexander-Stamatios G, Cooper, Cary L, Chrousos, George P, Spielberger , Charles D and Eysenck, Michael W, (eds.) Handbook of Managerial Behavior and Occupational Health. New Horizons in Management . Edward Elgar , pp. 218-228. ISBN 9781848440951

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During and outside of work, the ways in which people manage their own and others’ emotions and moods can impact on their own and others’ well-being. For example, in relation to managing one’s own affect, constantly having to present a happy face towards customers can result in emotional exhaustion, particularly if this expression of emotion is not consistent with one’s internal affective state. Likewise, with respect to managing others’ affect, if a team member were to joke with a colleague who was feeling anxious about an upcoming deadline, this could reduce the tension experienced by the colleague, and also make the team member feel better. Over the last 25 years, there has been a great deal of research regarding the management of one’s own affect. However, research concerning the management of other people’s affect is still in its infancy. It is important to recognise the interpersonal aspects of affect regulation, for both theoretical and practical reasons. Theoretically, researchers interested in emotions are increasingly suggesting that emotions are social in nature, with interpersonal functions such as communication (e.g., Leach & Tiedens, 2004; Manstead, 1991; Mowday & Sutton, 1993; Parkinson, Fischer & Manstead, 2005). Practically, it is evermore important to understand relationships in the workplace, owing to the changing nature of work (e.g., the rise in service jobs) and the changing structure of organisations (e.g., increases in team working). As Barsade, Brief and Spataro (2003) put it, “the workplace is comprised of many people working together, and it is very helpful to understand how the social aspects of affect influence work life” (p. 19). In this chapter we seek to integrate the available literature on the effects of both intra- and interpersonal affect regulation processes on well-being at work. We discuss evidence for links between both types of affect regulation and well-being in organisational contexts, and suggest possible mechanisms for these effects.

Item Type: Book Section
Copyright, Publisher and Additional Information: Uploaded with permission from the publisher.
Keywords: Affect regulation, Emotion management, Well-being, Interpersonal affect regulation
Institution: The University of Sheffield
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > University of Sheffield Research Centres and Institutes > Institute of Work Psychology (Sheffield)
Funding Information:
FunderGrant number
Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)RES-060-25-0044
Depositing User: Dr Karen Niven
Date Deposited: 14 Nov 2011 12:52
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2014 23:21
Status: Published
Publisher: Edward Elgar
Refereed: Yes
Related URLs:
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/43129

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