Disruption in HR Through Inclusive Emotional Culture: Key to Sustainable Growth in Indian Businesses

Disruption in HR Through Inclusive Emotional Culture: Key to Sustainable Growth in Indian Businesses

Nitu Ghosh (REVA University, India)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-0357-7.ch005
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Diversity in workforce has demanded the need to develop inclusive culture that suffices the needs, interests, and emotions of all equally. High-performing organizations have incorporated emotions in their mission, creating an emotional culture that accentuates emotional intelligence of their talent force rather than suppression of emotions. The chapter explains how and why organizational cultures are transforming into inclusive emotional cultures. Through an analysis of cases of Indian multinationals, the antecedents and outcomes of Inclusive emotional culture is described through Inclusive Emotional Culture Framework model. Views of HR managers are expressed through content analysis qualitative technique. The chapter provides a key to sustainable development of Indian businesses amidst the doldrums of global business environment through inclusive emotional culture integrating values of long-term sustenance and development.
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Sustainability through inclusiveness, emotional intelligence capabilities and values- driven business processes are the main agendas of sustainable development in the twenty-first century. The present era has seen a revolution in the science of emotions and sustainability through emphasis on emotional culture and emotionalytics. Although there have been fast advancements in technology and digitization, yet organizations shifted focus from perfect rationality organisational culture to bounded rationality-oriented culture. Massive disruption in HR practices and composition of organisational culture has been characterising organisations under the influence of global integration over the last two decades. Building an inclusive emotional culture has been the trend in the 21st century in order to achieve the goals of sustainability. It is not just the cognitive culture (shared intellectual values, norms, artefacts, and assumptions that serve as a guide for the group to think and behave), but importantly the emotional culture (the shared affective values, norms, artefacts, and assumptions indicating which emotions people have and display at work and which ones are been suppressed) that governs how innovative, team-oriented, customer-focused, or competent the employees are supposed to be (Barsade & O’Neil, 2016). Robust transitions in structure, culture and climate of business organisations has brought about shifts in demographic and psychographic trends of the workforce including their motives, emotions, expectations and work engagement levels.

Workplace dynamics constituting diversity in terms of gender, age, culture, emotions, innovative and motivational drives have called for a re-emphasise on aspects related to human capital management practices and crafting of an inclusive emotional culture, which caters to the needs of the highly diversified workforce. Inclusive culture that recognises, addresses and appreciates the emotions of every employee on an everyday basis can be instrumental in building engagement, leadership, ownership, innovation and high performance at every level of the organisation. High performing organizations such as Google, Apple, Coca Cola, PepsiCo, Southwest Airlines, HCL Technologies, Whole Foods Market, The Container Store, Zappos, Happiest Minds, Mahindra, Sap Labs India, Intuit India, Adobe India and many others have incorporated emotions in their mission statement. Some others like Cisco Finance, Ubiquity, C&S Wholesale Grocers, Camden Property Trust, Vail Resorts and many start-ups, emphasize the importance of fun to innovate and succeed. By doing so, they create an emotional culture that not only appreciate their emotions and feelings but enhances the Emotional intelligence of their talent force rather than suppressing.

A lot of disruption in HR practices has been happening in the new millennium in most organisations. To sustain, grow and remain competitive, it is crucial to retain talent force. However, the question arises, what exactly is the sustainable solution for talent acquisition, retention, high engagement and performance? Despite the hefty investments into HR strategies for accentuating employee satisfaction, commitment and productivity, engagement levels across the United States’ workforce have remained stagnant and those worldwide considerably low. Survey reports state that the United States witnesses $450 billion to $550 billion of lost productivity and labour turnover due to low satisfaction among employees every year (Head, ACC, & Freedman, 2014). Hence the question arises- Why are employees detached from their jobs, their bosses and each other? How can organizations re-design their HR practices so as to build high performance work teams and a culture of commitment? How is it that the Indian businesses are soaring high despite the global slowdown? What is the secret behind the sustainable growth of Indian businesses?

Shaver P. et al. (1987) found that people can reliably distinguish among 135 emotions. But understanding the most basic ones like-joy, love, anger, fear, sadness is the initial step for any leader to manage his team and build a positive emotional culture. Thus, the present chapter presents a detailed literature review on the concept of emotional culture, dimensions of emotional culture and how to build positive emotional culture. The constructs of emotional intelligence and emotional labour have been thoroughly dealt. Through case based and content analysis qualitative study, practices building a sustainable emotional culture in Indian organisations have been discussed.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Emotional Intelligence: It is the ability of a person to perceive, understand, regulate and manage one’s own and others’ emotions.

Cognitive: It is a psychological process occurring in the brain that involves acquisition and understanding of knowledge, experience and senses from the stimuli received.

Performance: It includes the actual output or results of an entity as measured against its intended outputs.

Inclusive: The degree to which each different individual is considered to be one entity of a group and included within a group.

Emotional Culture: It is a set of shared affective values, feelings, emotions, artefacts, beliefs that are set as a norm and supposed to be followed by every person of a group.

Emotion: It is a mental state associated with the nervous system brought on by neuro-chemical changes, associated with thoughts, feelings, behavioural responses, and a certain level of pleasure or displeasure.

Culture: It is a set of shared values, beliefs, and behaviours that are practiced, learned, and shared by a group of people.

Retention: The process of retaining employees within the organisation and preventing them from leaving due to some or the other reasons.

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