Rationality, Empathy and Bluntness: Emotionologies in an Information Systems Project

Mari-Klara Stein, Riitta Hekkala

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    Using Stearns and Stearns’ (1985), and Fineman’s (2008) view on emotionologies, this qualitative case study examines the attitudes that members of an inter-organizational information systems (IOIS) project hold toward emotions and their appropriate expression in this particular project. In order to understand the role of emotionologies in emotion management, we suggest the adoption of the concept of emotion structure, consisting of emotion rules and resources (Callahan, 2004), which we argue helps to understand both the attitudes a group holds towards emotions and their expression as well as the influence of these standards on emotion management. This study extends prior research on emotion rules (cf. Bolton & Boyd, 2003) and introduces the idea of personal emotion rules of IOIS project members. We show that organizational actors are indeed skilled emotion managers, but their behavior is guided not only by group emotionologies with their commercial, professional, organizational, and social emotion rules, but also by personal emotion rules. Based on earlier literature (e.g. Callahan, 2004), we suggest that emotion rules and their impact on emotion management emanate from two sources: external (authoritative) and internal (allocative). We then identify various types of emotion management that follow (prescriptive, situational, presentational, philanthropic, misanthropic), both confirming and extending prior research.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication date2015
    Number of pages40
    Publication statusPublished - 2015
    EventThe Academy of Management Annual Meeting 2015: Opening Governance - Vancouver, Canada
    Duration: 7 Aug 201511 Aug 2015
    Conference number: 75


    ConferenceThe Academy of Management Annual Meeting 2015
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