Emotion in the Workplace: A Reappraisal

Blake E. Ashforth, Ronald H. Humphrey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

904 Scopus citations


Although the experience of work is saturated with emotion, research has generally neglected the impact of everyday emotions on organizational life. Further, organizational scholars and practitioners frequently appear to assume that emotionality is the antithesis of rationality and, thus, frequently hold a pejorative view of emotion. This has led to four institutionalized mechanisms for regulating the experience and expression of emotion in the workplace: (1) neutralizing, (2) buffering, (3) prescribing, and (4) normalizing emotion. In contrast to this perspective, we argue that emotionality and rationality are interpenetrated, emotions are an integral and inseparable part of organizational life, and emotions are often functional for the organization. This argument is illustrated by applications to motivation, leadership, and group dynamics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)97-125
Number of pages29
JournalHuman Relations
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1995
Externally publishedYes


  • emotion
  • group dynamics
  • leadership
  • motivation
  • rationality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Social Sciences(all)
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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