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The meaning of my feelings depends on who I am: work-related identifications shape emotion effects in organizations

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Conroy, S 
Becker, W 
Menges, J 


Theory and research on affect in organizations has mostly approached emotions from a valence perspective, suggesting that positive emotions lead to positive outcomes and negative emotions to negative outcomes for organizations. We propose that cognition resulting from emotional experiences at work cannot be assumed based on emotion valence alone. Instead, building on appraisal theory and social identity theory, we propose that individual responses to discrete emotions in organizations are shaped by, and thus depend on, work-related identifications. We elaborate on this proposition specifically with respect to turnover intentions, theorizing how three discrete emotions - anger, guilt, and pride - differentially affect turnover intentions, depending on two work-related identifications - organizational and occupational identification. A longitudinal study involving 135 pilot instructors reporting emotions, work-related identifications, and turnover intentions over the course of one year provides general support for our proposition. Our theory and findings advance emotion and identity theories by explaining how the effects of emotions are dependent on the psychological context in which they are experienced.



emotions, occupational identification, organizational identification, turnover intentions

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Academy of Management Journal

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Academy of Management