Online Program
Session Type: Paper Session
Program Session: 1679 | Submission: 20427 | Sponsor(s): (OMT)
Scheduled: Tuesday, Aug 13 2019 8:00AM - 9:30AM at Boston Hynes Convention Center in 309
Emotions and (De-)Institutionalization
Emotions and (De-)Institutionalization

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Chair: Hovig Tchalian, Drucker School of Management
OMT: Heated Atmosphere: Organizational Emotions and Field Structuring in Online Climate Change Debates
Author: Lianne Lefsrud, U. of Alberta
Author: Achim Oberg, WU Vienna U. of Economics and Business
We use an organizational issue field to conceptualize how organizations partake in the signification of amorphous, yet intransigent issues – such as climate change. Following a network conception, field structure is captured as the linkages between organizations. Besides meaning systems and values, emotional expressions can affect the positioning of organizations within the field and, hence, how they define, debate, and address the core issue. Thus, we ask: How do framings, values, and emotion affect the structure of an organizational issue field? We answer our research question by synthesizing theories of fields, structuring, and emotion. By completing a network analysis of the online climate change debate, we find that organizations are most likely to link to other organizations expressing similar emotions – resembling organizational emotional entrainment. Expressed emotionality influences organizations’ positions in an organizational issue field even beyond cognitive framings like issue stance, values like moral worldviews, and typical in-group clusterings like organizational type or political orientation.
Paper is No Longer Available Online: Please contact the author(s).
OMT: Fear and Deinstitutionalization: The Case of Identity Threat by Mass Immigration
Author: Christian Stutz, U. of Jyväskylä; HWZ U. of Appl. Sci. Zurich
  Finalist for the Louis R. Pondy Best Paper Based on a Dissertation Award  
This article theorizes on the dynamics of collective fear in deinstitutionalization processes by which an established organizational practice weakens and erodes. I extend current theorizing through an in-depth historical study of the emergence and decline of the so-called Swiss “guest worker” regime between 1946 and 1973. This institutional arrangement governed the contracting of labor from abroad in the context of an economic boom and severe labor short-age after the Second World War. The study focuses on the disruption period in the 1960s, in which public opinion withdrew approval for the practice of recruiting guest workers on a large scale. The disapproval was motivated by the perceived danger to the Swiss national identity from mass immigration, which manifested itself in a collective experience of fear, namely the fear of alienation (“Überfremdungsangst”). Drawing from the structural theory of emotions and the analogy of disease progression through a population, my findings show how the construction and constant resurfacing of collective fear at the society level shapes conditions and dynamics at the field level, in which field members cannot stop but only delay a deinstitutionalization project. In all, while the institutional literature emphasizes both the function of fear in processes of institutional stability and the power of institutional actors to control collective fear, this study suggests that the eliciting of fear is a potent discursive means to weaken and disrupt established institutional pillars.
Paper is No Longer Available Online: Please contact the author(s).
OMT: Emotional Competence and Post-Crisis Behavior within Organizations
Author: Kartikeya Bajpai, Northwestern Kellogg School of Management
Author: Brian Uzzi, Northwestern U.
In the aftermath of a crisis, organizational actors face environments of high uncertainty which challenge rational models of decision making. As a consequence, emotional processes can meaningfully shape social interactions in crisis contexts. In this study, we adopt an interactionist perspective to theorize and test how interaction-generated affective impressions guide social action in the post-crisis period. Following cultural-normative organizational scholarship, we suggest that interactions within organizations are structured by norms relating to the display of emotions. Consequently, interactions utilizing appropriate emotional displays generate emotional uplift, and inappropriate emotional displays cause negative affect. We theorize that over the course of repeated interactions, such interpersonal emotional exchanges can lead to the formation of affective impressions of interaction partners. In times of crisis, actors facing high uncertainty and cognitive constraints utilize these affective impressions in determining the target and volume of their interactions. Overall, we make a case that emotional competence—responsiveness to the emotional displays of others in the organization over time—shapes post-crisis interactional outcomes for individuals by moderating the relationship between proximity to the crisis event and their social distancing and withdrawal outcomes. Through an analysis of 0.8 million instant messages exchanged by 119 employees of a hedge fund raided due to allegations of insider trading, we show that actors with low emotional competence experience greater post-raid distancing from peers and are more likely to exhibit withdrawal behaviors, as compared to those with high emotional competence.
Paper is No Longer Available Online: Please contact the author(s).
OMT: To Hate or to Love? Changing the Emotion Rules of Institutions
Author: Mia Raynard, WU Vienna U. of Economics and Business
Author: Madeline Toubiana, U. of Alberta
Author: Giuseppe Delmestri, WU Vienna U. of Economics and Business
Author: Thomas B. Lawrence, -
This study examines how emotion rules, that are core to an institution, change. We do so through an inductive longitudinal analysis of China’s transition away from a Soviet-style planned economy. Not only did the transition entail the dismantling and replacement of political and regulatory institutions, it necessitated fundamental changes to the value systems underpinning economic activity. By tracing how emotion rules were altered as the Chinese government rolled out its economic reforms, this study seeks to advance research on emotions and institutions by elaborating discursive emotion work strategies. Our findings suggest that discursive emotion work at the societal level is likely to differ from those operating at other levels of analysis – not just because of the scale, but because the discursive strategies need to have appeal to or ‘persuade’ a very diverse and heterogeneous audience. Moreover, the top-down approach adopted by the Chinese Communist Party stands in stark contrast to the more bottom-up strategies that have been advanced in the literature to date.
Paper is No Longer Available Online: Please contact the author(s).
KEY TO SYMBOLS Teaching-oriented Teaching-oriented   Practice-oriented Practice-oriented   International-oriented International-oriented   Theme-oriented Theme-oriented   Research-oriented Research-oriented   Teaching-oriented Diversity-oriented
Selected as a Best Paper Selected as a Best Paper