The Influence of Emotions in Making Hard Decisions in Organizational Contexts

The Influence of Emotions in Making Hard Decisions in Organizational Contexts

Cristina Casado Lumbreras (Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain), Ricardo Colomo Palacios (Universidad Carlos III, Spain) and Juan Miguel Gómez Berbís (Universidad Carlos III, Spain)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-843-7.ch055
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In the present study, we focus on the influence of emotions and the emotional consequences of decisionmaking processes. Specifically, we have analyzed the emotional consequences for managers of making hard decisions in organizations. In this work we define hard decisions as those affecting the status, professional career, and/or salary of employees in the organization. Ten managers from different multinational organizations were interviewed. Hence, this work represents a qualitative exploratory study in which the managers’ opinions and experience from different professional environments are the subject of analysis and discussion. After the application of a semistructured brief interview, the answers were analyzed by content analysis.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Mood: Mood is a predisposition or receptivity toward an emotional reaction, such as excitement.

Emotion: It is a conscious mental reaction (as anger or fear) subjectively experienced as a strong feeling usually directed toward a specific object and typically accompanied by physiological and behavioural changes in the body.

Emotional Intelligence: This is a kind of intelligence purportedly comprised of five basic qualities: the ability to recognize one’s own emotions, competency to manage these emotions, self-motivation, accurate recognition of emotions in others, and capacity to handle relationships.

Hard Decision: It is a complex and important decision that may affect the organization as a whole, including status, salary, and career of company workers.

Cognition: Cognition is the general term for all forms of knowing and awareness, such as perceiving, conceiving, reasoning, judging, planning, remembering, and imagining.

Stress Reactions: These are faulty, maladaptive, pathological behaviours resulting from external conditions of pressure or strain, as well as physiological reactions leading to a breakdown of organized functioning. They may include behavioural symptoms, such as poor motor control, disorganized speech patterns, accidents incurred; physiological symptoms, such as increase of glucose levels in the blood leading to accelerated heart rate; and/or subjective symptoms, such as feelings of loss of control.

Affect: This is an early designation of that aspect of the mind that contains emotions and feelings.

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