Motivation and emotion/Book/2014/Managers' emotional responses
What are the emotional impacts of being a manager?
The perception of emotions by some managers in the workplace is often interruptedas being a soft topic (Ashforth & Humphrey, 1995). Emotions are often misunderstood by managers and workers and for some their is a belief that emotions are something to just get over, however emotions have a purpose. George (2000) states, emotions are high intensity feelings that are triggered by specific stimuli, demand attention and interrupt cognitive processes and behaviours. Therefore, emotions can have either a positive or negative affect and can be viewed as having the potential to be disruptive to an individuals rations world (Mayer, DiPaola & Salovey, 1990). This is most relevant when considering a person entering into a manager's role, especially for the first time, will have preconceived thoughts on being a manager and may find the transition overwhelming, at times experiencing a number of unexpected emotions (Hill, 2004). This chapter explores the role of a manager and the effects of emotion on a manager and the team of individuals s/he leads.
At some time within our working life we will work for a manager who creates an atmosphere of inclusivity, rewards creativity, encourages autonomy and creates a supportive teamwork environment. Additionally, there will also be a time when an individual will report to a manager who works within a tight structure, is outcome-orientated and discourages free thinking. Management and leadership are two terms which, whilst often integrated together, it does not mean that one person can successfully perform both functions(McCartney & Campbell, 2006). A manager who can successfully perform management functions and connects emotionally with their team could be described as a rare professional. Traditionally, the role of a manger has been seen to control the flow of information, design systems, create structures and make decisions (Mintzberg, 1998). A leaders behaviour, including that of a supervisor and team leader, is to influence and stimulate individuals and teams, to take action and accomplish goals (McCartney & Campbell, 2006). Ideally, a manager must be able to control process, design systems, be decisive and connect emotionally to people, the team and the organisation they lead.
Whilst each industrial era has had its own challenges, the workplace of today is continually adapting to changing environments to ensure that here is the capability and capacity to compete in local, national and global markets. To be effective, a manager requires belief in themselves which will be influenced by their self-efficacy (Wood & Bandura, 1989). Managers will define their self-efficacy based on how they perceive their abilities to be in coping with their role or the tasks to be undertaken (Wood & Bandura, 1989). Managers with low self-efficacy can become fearful, which can lead to anxiety causing a negative change in behaviour, whereas a manager with high self-efficacy can either increase or maintain a positive and productive work environment (Wood & Bandura, 1989).
The impact of a manager's behaviour to others in the workplace, will be dependent on the way in which thypresent themselves. A manager's presentation will be influenced by how they manage their emotions, interact with subordinates and other managers, distribute information and create positive and productive work environments. Leadership theory, attachment theory and the theory of emotional intelligence all provide a theoretical point of reference that can be applied to a manager . Whilst these theories are relevant, a managers emotions will impact their leadership, emotions will impact on interpersonal functioning and emotional intelligence will vary from person to person. Hence, consideration in the first instance will be given to emotions, environment, and self-efficacy. Therefore, within this book chapter three areas will be explored whereby emotions have an impact on a manager, and they are how a manager compartmentalises emotions, how emotions are impacted by a managers self-efficacy and the impact that a manager's emotions can have on their workplace environment.
History demonstrates that new managers were socialised to ensure that they behaved in a manner that was perceived to be appropriate for the position (Ashforth & Humphrey, 1995). During socialisation, Ashforth & Humphrey (1995) refer to managers masking their emotions as emotions could disrupt performance, further advising that executives were taught to appear calm, rational and keep emotional outbursts out of the workplace. This practice of modelling behaviour by socialising managers, has the potential to normalise what then becomes an acceptable and or non-acceptable practice of behaviour. In theory, this practice may seem to provide new managers with a script to follow. However, in practice a manager's behaviour may change either overtly or covertly depending on the situation. A manager may then mask and then suppress their emotions as a method of controlling feelings when interacting with others and commence using other methods and means to control their environment. However, there is a number of management, psychological and intelligence theories that can describe a manager's purpose and actions, motivations, emotions and the emotional intelligence behind their behaviour (Ashforth & Humphrey, 1995; Kraut & Pedigo, 1989).
Management theory provides insight into the way in which the behaviour of a manager can affect the productivity of their team to achieve organisational objectives, goals and outcomes. Gardner and Stough (2002) describe the transactional leader as aexchange, fulfilling the needs of the employee in exchange for meeting expectations. The opposite of transactional is the transformation leader who can be confident in their abilities and is described as being empowering with a genuine care for the needs of heir employees (Ronen & Mikulincer, 2012). Additionally, Ronen & Mikulincer (2012) advise that attachment theory suggests that a manager's attachment orientation, such as their interpersonal functioning, is a strong indicator of their abilities to interact with others. Further, the type of leader that a manager, organically, will become is dependant on their personality and psychological development (Ronen & Mikulincer, 2012). Hence, a manager who developed emotional insecurities during their personal development may have an inability to provide ongoing support to individuals and their team as a whole. Managers, with a well-developed foundation, have a higher perception of their self-worth and ability to apply affective coping abilities (Ronen & Mikulincer, 2012).
In addition to leadershipsand attachment, researchers advise that a managers emotional intelligence is viewed as being an indicator of the effectiveness of their leadership (Gardner & Stough, 2002). Emotional intelligence is regarded as the processing of, and accurate appraisal of, any given situation that requires and individual to adapt their behaviour and express emotion (Mayer, DiPaolo & Salovey, 1990). An accurate appraisal means that managers must have the ability to evaluate an event and its consequences. As the appraisal process is subjective, a manager must develop their self-awareness and insight into their own emotions to assist in accurately evaluating any given situation. This process could be emotionally distressing for the manager as they reflect and challenge their own existing belief systems, implications and consequences. Hence, a manager must be more objective in their deliberation when considering events that are occurring at that time to effectively manage change and cope during times of stress.
Historically there have been many attempts to define emotion in the most simplistic of terms (Ashforth & Humphry, 1995). Izard (2010) advises that emotion has no generally accepted definition and that researchers continue to use the term emotion. Further, researchers either provide their own operational definition or specify what they mean when using the word, emotion (Izard, 2010). Hence, emotions are complex with interrelated components that are relevant to the individual (Scherer, 2009). The Component Process Model (CPM) is a theoretical model that compartmentalises the individual difference of emotion (Scherer, 2009). According to the CPM an individual will appraise an event and the consequences of the event by processing the event on multiple levels; this is known as the appraisal component (Scherer, 2009). Results based on the individual’s appraisal have a motivational effect that will affect the individual’s autonomic nervous system and the semantic nervous system (Scherer, 2009). A person will feel cardiovascular and respiratory changes and their motor expression in the face, voice and body will also change as the individual constantly appraises the event (Scherer, 2009). Hence, a manager may begin displaying behaviours at work that can be interrupted and then appraised either correctly or incorrectly by their team resulting in either a positive or negative affect.
Component Process Model
According to Scherer (2009) the CPM has four major appraisal objectives a.relevance b. implication, c. coping potential and d. normative significance. When an individual firstly appraises the situation, they will ask themselves how relevant the event is to them, how this will directly affect me and my social group . Secondly, what are the implications or consequences of this event, how does this affect my well-being and long term goals . Third, how well can I cope and adjust to the consequences . Lastly, what is the significance of the event to my self-concept, social norms and values? The evaluation and appraisal of relevance, implication, coping potential and the normative significance of an event is based on the individual’s subjective assessment (Scherer, 2009). Hence, a subjective assessment is based on the individual’s perception of the event. Therefore, a manager may experience bias with their evaluation being unrealistic or they could become anxious, unsure of their coping abilities in unfamiliar or difficult territory. This assessment could result in a significant positive or negative impact on themselves and the people within their charge.
Our capacity to automatically and unconsciously assess events is by way of the appraisal criteria which assesses the individual’s situation at different levels (Scherer, 2009). These levels all interact with each other and include a.biological preparedness for situations that are predetermined, such as an awareness of occurrences that we may be fearful of, b. schemas which allow us to quickly interrupt the information being received, c. an association level to appraise the situation either unconsciously or automatically and d. understanding at a conceptual level that requires propositional knowledge and underlying cultural meanings. Therefore the appraisal criteria provides a pathway for the manager to quickly appraise the situation by using categories of information that are already stored. The disadvantage for the manager however, is that if they have a tendency to associate past experience with the current situation, without proper appraisal, their assessment could be incorrect resulting in a negative effect.
In addition to the appraisal criteria, the appraisal mechanism requires an interaction between cognitive functions and neural circuits to compare the features of the stimulus, stored schemata, self-concept, expectations and motivational urges (Scherer, 2009). Stimulus features are compared with schemata in memory and following appropriate appraisal will be stored as emotional schemata (Scherer, 2009). Event consequences are compared with current motivational states and particular appraisal outcomes will change motivation and produce adaptive action to be undertaken (Scherer, 2009). Hence, this means for individuals who are promoted to the level of manager including supervisor and team leader that they will have a preconceived understanding of how they as a manager should manage, behave and interact with others.
Self-Efficacy of Manager and Leader
Wood and Bandura (1989) state that a person’s perceived self-efficacy concerns beliefs in their capabilities to mobilise the motivation, cognitive resources and course of action needed to exercise control over their lives. Additionally, Wood and Bandura (1989) advise that there is a difference in possessing skills and being able to utilise them effectively in difficult circumstances. Further, in considering the position of a manager, a management role is not normally an entry level position. Caruso, Mayer & Salovey (2002) state that managers are often chosen on their functional abilities and that organisations can benefit by choosing leaders high on emotional intelligence and increasing the skills of managers who are not self-aware. This is evident when considering that persons entering the workforce typically enter in a role that performs a non-managerial function. For example, an accountant will enter the workforce after completing the study required to be an accountant, not that of a chief financial officer. A labourer will commence work doing manual tasks and does not become a supervisor or team leader until after years of performing their duties whilst on the job.
Prior to individuals becoming a manager for the first time they will have a perception of what a manager does, how they act and what they themselves want from the role (Hill, 2004). Further, Hill (2004) states that new managers struggled with four transformational tasks which included: learning what it really means to be a manager, developing interpersonal judgement, gaining self-knowledge, and coping with stress and emotion. The role of a manager is a varied position, requiring not only knowledge and skills about operational tasks but a manager requires introspection to look inward into their own emotions, behaviours and the residual effect that this will have on the employees in their charge. Emotional intelligence as stated by George (2000 cites Mayer & Solovey 1997) describes emotional intelligence isthe ability of a person to perceive emotions, access and generate emotions, so as to assist thought, to understand emotions and emotional knowledge and to reflectively regulate emotions so as to promote intelligent and intellectual growth.
Hence, when considering the words of Wood and Bandura (1989) a manager’s self-efficacy especially that of a new manager can be either realistic or distorted. A manager’s self-belief will differ from person to person, and when a manager’s perceived self-image is being threatened stress and anxiety has the potential to develop, leading to doubt and potential failure (Wood & Bandura, 1989). To assist a manager in developing their self-efficacy resilience can be achieved through observational learning (Wood & Bandura, 1989). Observational learning provides an avenue whereby managers can model the behaviour of another manager and have the opportunity to verbalise their emotions, explore their thoughts in conjunction with the actions being undertaken. To increase self-belief, a manager can identify successes and failures to gain a baseline of their current performance capability (Gist, 1987; Wood & Bandura, 1989). Once a baseline is identified the manager will then strengthen self-belief by identifying the emotions and how they felt when undertaking those tasks. In identifying the feelings associated with the task and subsequent behaviour, this will provides insight into their stress levels and emotional response. Once identified, a manager can further develop self-efficacy through continued modelling and education with the aim to create a supportive environment (Ashforth & Humphrey, 1995; Wood & Bandura, 1989).
Creating a Supportive Environment
Mayer, Salovey & Caruso (2004) state that emotions have a functional purpose of signalling relationships and changes in relationships, real or imagined, principally between people and their environment. The workplace is a social environment that can be described as a place where people gather, perform roles, develop relationships and interact with people to perform their duties. Research indicates that support received from a manager reduces the effects of job stress and burnout (Ronen & Mikulincer, 2011). Hence, a supportive manager provides an environment for growth and development whereas an anxious manager can create tension, interfering with employees’ capabilities and creativity (Gardner & Stough, 2002). Further, Cropanzano, Howes, Grandey and Toth (1997) advise that organizations that are collaborative and supporting provides to their employees with three powerful advantages. The first advantage is that an employee has a supportive setting with access to others to assist them in achieving their goals. Secondly, support creates an environment that is more predictable, providing confidence and increasing loyalty and thirdly, support makes threatening events less frequent which increases work satisfaction and reduce stress leading to goal attainment and stability.
Carroll and Teo (1996) state that the interactions and contacts of a manager on the job constitute a workplace-based social network and the work of a manager is interactive. Further research indicates that supportive and positive working relationships assist employees to cope with workloads, change and stressful life events (Nikolaou, 2005). Managers with high levels of emotional intelligence are able to manage their own emotions and adapt their behaviour to suit or change the environment (George, 2000). Further this type of manager engages with employees by appraising their responses to situations, events and changes within the workplace (George, 2000). Transformational leaders are considered managers who are able to create positive work environments (Ashforth & Humphrey, 1995).
Transformational leaders are seen to be inclusive managers thatengage with the people around them. Transformational leaders encourage organisational development by inspiring individuals to contribute ideas and become part of the solution that delivers outcomes to achieve organisational goals. Ashforth & Humphrey (1995) advise that transformational leaders tend to de-emphasize narrow self-interest and rationality by engaging in several practices which include increasing the intrinsic value of effort, increase the intrinsic value of accomplishment by representing organizational goals in terms of the values they represent and articulating a vision and thirdly appearing to in still faith by emphasizing utopian goals. Hence, transformational leaders have the potential to model appropriate behaviour including the management of their own emotions.
Transactional leadership is viewed as being conventional and dependent on the cognition of the employee (Ashforth & Humphrey, 1995). Transactional leaders are process driven managers thatare risk aversive, and take on a leader-member exchange relationship (Gardner & Stough, 2001). This type of manager demonstrates to their employees that their effort is the determining factor to attain extrinsic rewards such as pay and security (Ashforth & Humphrey, 1995). Often within the workplace, transactional managers will feel uncomfortable with emotion and their interaction with others often leading to situations that can create anxiety . An anxious, insecure manager may display overt behaviours that include verbal abuse and intentional isolation of employees . Additionally, a manager may participate in covert behaviours of avoiding interactions with their employees by withholding information and commence micromanaging their subordinates to provide a feeling of accomplishment (Ronen & Mikulincer, 2011).
Slaski and Cartwright (2003) state that emotions are adaptive, protect the individual from physical harm, facilitate maintenance of self-identity and guide the individual towards achievement of tasks and goals. At times a manager may find themselvesunder pressure and during this time their ability to interact with others will be based on their coping abilities and current stress levels. Distress is a manifestation of negative emotions to prepare the body for defense and protection or flight or fight (Slaski & Cartwright, 2003). A manager may find themselves in a position whereby they do not have the ability to undertake the duties of the role. The constant pressure to perform together with the manager’s inability and perceived insecurities can have an accumulative emotional effect. A manager can reach a point where they may or may not be aware of their own behavioural changes.
As a result of negative emotions and stress, dysfunctional relationships can develop between the manager and others within their work environment (Slaski & Cartwright, 2003). An example of a non-supportive workplace could be demonstrated by a manager who is focused on process only. Interaction with staff is by way of exchanging dialogue based on those processes. The manager may find that the team is not meeting those objectives, this in turn can change the manager’s behaviour whereby the manager can create an environment where staff are now micromanaged on a daily basis. This change in the manager’s behaviour can become overbearing for the staff, which results in every aspect of the person’s work being questioned. This process of micromanagement then has a flow on affect, whereby the manager becomes more process driven and staff are now unable to make decisions without prior approval. Tension is now created within the work environment individuals within the team have become withdrawn, preferring to work autonomously, are less creative and withhold information due the pressures of a micro-managed environment.
The initial impact that emotions can have on the functioning of a manager is varied and dependent on a number of components which can include an individual’s interpersonal functioning, self-efficacy and environment. The residual effect is essentially the emotional impact that the result of a manager’s emotional state will have on themselves and their staff which in turn will impact on the overall productivity of the team. When person is promoted or moves into a management role this does not mean that they are competent to manage or lead a team. To manage a team means that a manager needs further skills in not only the management of people buton how to lead and empower the team. Hence, a new manager has to have an awareness into their own emotions as their self-efficacy surrounding their skills as a manager may not be developed and they may see others in their team as a threat. The perceived threat then can create a physiological reaction, which in turn creates anxiety for the manager, leading the manager to react and behave in a manner that can have a detrimental effect t on the functioning of the team .
For the new manager to overcome theiranxiety and increase their self-efficacy, there is a need in the first instance for the manager to have an understanding of their own emotions. Managers either have a natural ability to lead, such as those skills and abilities found in transformational leaders or they have to learn and develop skills to become more self-aware of their emotions and the emotions of others . Our emotions are adaptive, and act as a warning system to advise of potential harm or a safe environment. Emotions are complex and, using the Component Process Model, we can understand that emotions are compartmentalised . That is an individual will appraise an event and the consequences at multiple levels . A person will feel cardiovascular and repertory changes and their motor expression will change as well. However, supportive managers who are emotionally secure, confident in their abilities and able to engage with employees create a safe, open and supportive work environment . An example of an inclusive workplace is a supportive environment whereby a manager understands the uniqueness of their employee’s background, skills, abilities and strengths . A supportive manager will develop a culture that will provide opportunities for employees to grow and develop, increasing self-efficacy. By a manager engaging with employees to assist in their professional growth they are not only ensuring that organisational and business goals can be achieved but developing their own emotional self-efficacy in their abilities to perform their role.
Carroll, G.R. & Teo, A.C. (1996). On the social network of managers. Academy of Management Journal 39(2) 421-440
Cropanzano, R., Howes, J.C., Grandey, A.A. & Toth, P. (1997). The relationship of organizational politics and support to work behaviours, attitudes, and stress. Journal of Organizational Behaviour 18, 159-180
Gardner, L. & Stough, C. (2002). Examining the relationship between leadership and emotional intelligence in senior level managers. Leadership & Organisation Development Journal 23(2) 68-78 doi: 10.1108/01437730210419198
George, J.M. (2000). Emotions and leadership: the role of emotional intelligence. Human Relations 53(8), 1027-1055 doi: 10.1177/0018726700538001
Gist, M.E. (1987). Self-efficacy: implications for organizational behaviour and human resource management. Acadamy of Management Review 12(3), 472-485
Izard, C. (2012). The many meanings/aspects of emotion definitions, functions, activations and regulations. The International Society for Research on Emotion 2(4), 363-370
Kraut, A.I., Pedigo, P.R., McKenna, D.D. & Dunnette, M.D. (1989). The role of the manager: what’s really important in different management jobs. The Academy of Management Executive 111(4), 286-293
Mayer, J.D., DiPaolo, M. & Salovey, P. (1990). Perceiving affective content in ambiguous visual stimuli: a component of emotional intelligence. Journal of Personality Assessment, 5(3&4), 772-781
Mayer, J.D., Salovey, P. & Caruso, D.R. (2004). A further consideration of the issues of emotional intelligence. Psychology Inquiry, 15(3), 249-255
McCartney, W.W & Campbell, C.R. (2006). Leadership, management, and derailment. A model of individual success and failure. Leadership & Organization Development Journal 27(3), 190-202
Mintzberg, H. (1998). Covert leadership: notes on managing professionals. Harvard Business Review
Nikolaou, M.V.I. (2005). Attitudes towards organizational change. Employee Relations 27(2), 160-174
Ronen,S. & Mikulincer,M. (2012). Predicting employees’ satisfaction and burnout from managers’ attachment and caregiving orientations. European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology 21(6), 828-849, doi:10.1080/1359432X.2011.595561
Scherer, K.R. (2005). What are emotions? And how can they be measured? Social Science Information, 44 doi: 10.1177/0539018405058216
Scherer, K.R. (2009). The dynamic architecture of emotion: evidence for the component process model. Cognition and Emotion, 23(7), 1307-1351, doi: 10.1080/02699930902928969
Slaski, M. & Cartwright, S. (2003). Emotional intelligence training and its implications for stress, health and performance. Stress and Health 19, 233-239 doi: 10.1002/smi.979