Emotion is often used by organizations to manipulate and repress workers. However, this repression can have adverse psychological and social consequences for them. This book articulates the pathways through which this repression occurs, and offers emotion regulation as a tool for workers to emancipate themselves from this repression and social control.
Bringing together the largely unconnected literatures on critical theory and emotion regulation, this book articulates two pathways to social control currently underexplored in management: one where the social functions of emotion are exploited, and one where discussions about emotion override its social function. The author illustrates the processes through which workers can start to 'see through' the repression, and enlist emotion regulation strategies to emancipate themselves from it. These strategies may work in the short to medium term but, in the long term, workers may eventually change jobs. If staff turnover becomes unsustainable, the organization can seek to change the social structures causing the repression of workers in the first place.
Combining fresh theoretical insights with practically informed vignettes, this book will appeal to academics and students across many social science disciplines, including business studies, organization studies, cognitive change, sociology and psychology. Both practising managers and disenchanted workers will also find this an enlightening read.
'In the current surge of organizational theory research on emotions in organizations, Dirk Lindebaum's book makes a unique and important contribution. He identifies and explores how workers' emotions are being abused as a tool of social repression by our bosses. In bringing together critical theory and theory on emotion regulation, he stimulates us to see through the workings of managerial power and, in the same go, offers ways to resist repressive emotional conditions in the workplace. A remarkable accomplishment that deserves to be read for both its theoretical insights and practical relevance!'
– Frank den Hond, Hanken School of Economics, Finland
'Whose business is emotions? Your own? Your workplace's? Your culture's? In this erudite book Dirk Lindebaum steers through this fascinating territory to pinpoint the emotional traps that workers face and, importantly, how they may escape from them. This well-researched book helps us look at emotion with fresh eyes and offers important insights for scholars and students of emotion.'
– Stephen Fineman, University of Bath, UK
'In today's Western industrialized world, emotional regulation is usually taken to be a sine qua non. In this book, however, Lindebaum challenges this assumption, asserting that our emotions are critical for individual achievement and wellbeing and that, rather than seeking to control our emotions, we need to "act with creativity, spontaneity, and autonomy". Arguing from a critical management perspective, he makes a convincing case. This is a book that will be of interest not only to researchers, but also to management practitioners and consultants.'
– Neal M. Ashkanasy, UQ Business School, The University of Queensland, Australia
'This is a passionate book which has grown out of the author's different experiences of organizational injustices and oppressions in which emotions play a major part ... Emotional labour now stands on par with intellectual and manual labour as an arena of workplace politics, a politics that frequently leaves workers exploited, oppressed and depressed. This book takes the discourse a stage further. Lindebaum not only seeks to redeem emotions from the stifling controls to which they are put, but he also argues that emotional regulation by the workers themselves can act as a defence against organizational injustice and, more ambitiously, as an emancipatory force.'
Dirk Lindebaum, Cardiff Business School, Cardiff University, UK.