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Emotion regulation and scripts5

  1. 1. EMOTION SCRIPTS IN ORGANIZATIONS: A MULTI-LEVEL MODELDONALD E. GIBSONDolan School of BusinessFairfield UniversityNorth Benson RoadFairfield, CT 06611(203) 254-4000, x2841dgibson@mail.fairfield.edu
  2. 2. Emotion Scripts Organizations: A Multi-Level ModelA paradox of emotions is that they are simultaneously in our control and out of ourcontrol. “In our control” implies that emotions tend to follow particular patterns and are thusamenable to prediction and regulation; “out of our control” suggests that they are idiosyncratic,difficult-to-predict states. Experientially, this paradox is seen in the fact that strong feelings ofanger may elude our control, but even in a fury we rarely break our most precious objects(Frijda, 1988). Our theorizing about emotion also illustrates this paradox. Emotions have beenconceived as interruptions (Mandler, 1985), as ineffable bodily states (James, 1884), and aslargely automatic responses out of our conscious control (Bargh & Chartrand, 1999; Damasio,1994), yet emotions also follow predictable patterns, even “laws” (Frijda, 1988), and currenttheories now focus on emotion regulation, emphasizing how commonplace emotion control is indaily life (see Gross, 1998). It is my contention that this in-control / out-of-control paradox canbe fruitfully examined by conceiving of emotions as scripted responses. Emotions exhibit ascript-like structure. They are seen, experientially (by laypeople) and conceptually (byresearchers) as sequences of events based on an if-then goal-directed logic. At the same time,social norms, individual differences, and differing contexts produce infinite variations in thesescripts. Thus, the existence of scripts suggests that control is possible, but variation sets limits onthat control.This article examines emotional experience and expression from the perspective of scripttheory. I present a model integrating a variety of script approaches as a multi-level model (seeFigure 1). The purpose of the model is to integrate various viewpoints, to accentuate connectionsbetween disparate strands of literature rather than to add new strands. Script theory is useful inthis purpose because scripts reveal both the descriptive content of what “typically” happens2
  3. 3. when emotions are felt and expressed, and they also offer clues into what ought to happen, thenormative content of what we expect to occur and what we regard as appropriate.I will assert here that examination of emotion scripts is especially helpful inunderstanding the nature of emotion in organizations. Organizations are boundedly rationalstructures that constrain individuals’ experience and expression of emotion (Mumby & Putnam,1992). In this context, many interactions have a scripted quality; for example, researchers haveanalyzed performance appraisals (Gioia, Donnellon & Sims, 1989), selection interviews (Poole,Gray & Gioia, 1990), and sales calls (Leigh & McGraw, 1989) as representing cognitive andbehavioral scripts. At the same time, the complexity of the variables involved—phenomena atthe individual, group, and organizational level—adds to the variation in scripts. Anger may notbe (and typically is not) expressed in the same way in two different organizations, in twodifferent groups, even with two different target individuals. However, as researchers begin torefine their work in emotions and seek to demonstrate the utility of their theories to practicingmanagers, they are drawn to identifying antecedents and outcomes of emotions. Script theoryoffers a template against which to compare and contrast this complexity and variety. It appliesthe logic of sequences of events to discovering how emotions might play out in organizationalsituations.As this Research Companion will attest, there are myriad ways of viewing andresearching emotion. Often, these varied approaches are set up as opposing dichotomies. The“biological” and “cognitivist” perspectives are said to be “competing conceptualizations in theliterature” (Forgas, 1996: 278), while the “universalistic approach” (that there are basicemotional responses characterizing all global cultures) is competing with the “cultural relativityapproach” (that cultures significantly shape the experience and expression of emotions), and thiscompetition is seen as a “major controversy” (Scherer & Wallbott, 1994, p. 310). One purpose of3
  4. 4. this article is to show how these dichotomous views are interrelated, and in fact, can be thoughtof different levels of emotion scripts rather than as competing explanations. As evidence for theusefulness of scripts in integrating different levels of analysis, researchers have concluded thatscripts offer a way to reconcile the universalistic versus cross-cultural variation approaches tounderstanding emotion meaning (Russell, 1991b; White, 2000).I begin by defining how emotion scripts have been used in the extant emotions literature.I then show how scripts have been evoked at a variety of levels: the biological level, thecognitive level, the social level, the relational level, and the organizational level. I emphasize thatunderstanding emotion scripts at the organizational level depends on understanding scripts at thepreceding levels, and explore how the emotion script approach offers a methodology andconceptual framework that can heighten our understanding of emotions in organizations.Definitions: Scripts, Schemas, and Related PhenomenaScripts are a type of knowledge structure; they are individuals’ structured ideas abouthow thoughts, feelings and actions are carried out in particular situations. More formally,schemas will be defined here as “organized representations of past behavior and experience thatfunction as theories about reality to guide a person in construing new experience” (Baldwin,1992, p. 468). A cognitive script is a type of schema representing individuals’ ideas about theappropriate sequences of events that occur in specific situations (Schank & Abelson, 1977;Baldwin, 1992). Well-known examples include the “restaurant script,” depicting individuals’ideas about the stereotypical order of events in ordering food in a restaurant (Schank & Abelson,1977). Scripts for social situations are seen as characterized by 1) declarative or descriptiveknowledge that helps the perceiver describe what behavior tends to be followed by whatresponses (“asking for the menu in a restaurant is typically followed by the person orderingfood”), and 2) procedural knowledge that offers a guide to the perceiver’s behavior (e.g., “If I4
  5. 5. respond negatively to this person, they are likely to respond negatively back to me.” SeeBaldwin, 1992; Cantor & Kihlstrom, 1985).Scripts are goal driven. Scripts represent a temporally based hierarchical structureconsisting of “in-order-to” relationships between action elements (Lichtenstein & Brewer, 1980).That is, an activity is performed in order to accomplish subsequent activity which is higher up inthe hierarchy. Selection of food on the menu, for example, is done in order to reach the goal ofeating in a restaurant. Effective performance appraisal interviews are structured as a specificsequence of events as a way as to achieve the goal of providing useful feedback to an employee.This structure implies that scripts are organized as goal-subgoal hierarchies, characteristic ofhuman goals in general, and add structure to both memory and behaviors (Austin & Vancouver,1996; Lord & Kernan, 1987). In addition, scripts are adaptable; they are easily elaborated uponto incorporate new experiences (Abelson, 1981; Bower, Black, & Turner, 1979), a phenomenoncalled “tagging” (Lord & Kernan, 1987, p. 267). Having shared scripts—commonunderstandings of goal-directed behavior chains in well-known situations—is functional in that itfacilitates interactions and reduces ambiguity. Researchers suggest that in the organizationalcontext when employees share the same script this is beneficial because it “creates convergenceof knowledge and action, offering a strategy for reducing conceptual divergence amongindividuals and teams confronted with the same situation” (Zohar & Luria, 2003, p. 841).Emotion ScriptsThis article will focus on a particular type of script, an emotion script, which refers to anindividual’s knowledge of emotion episodes and the prototypical sequence of eventscharacterizing particular emotions. As with cognitive scripts, emotion scripts contain bothdescriptive elements (e.g., the ability of individuals to describe what causes feelings of anger and5
  6. 6. what anger expressions look like) and normative elements (e.g., the ability of individuals toidentify contextual expectations and sanctions attached to anger expressions) (Fischer, 1991).I will refer to the contents of an emotion script as a person’s specific ideas about whatoccurs, for example, when one feels and expresses emotions such as anger or fear or surprise.Abelson expresses this idea succinctly when he argues that, “A sizeable set of inferences can bemade from the knowledge that, say, ‘John is angry.’ A negative thing has happened to John; heblames it on someone; he regards it as unjust; he is aroused, flushed, and prone to swear or lashout; he may seek revenge on the instigator, and so on” (1981, p. 727). Emotion script theorysuggests that individuals’ knowledge structure for emotions is scriptlike; emotions are bestthought of as prototypical sequences of events that comprise an episode (see Fehr & Russell,1984; Lazarus, 1991; Russell, 1991b; Shaver et al., 1987). An emotion episode is typicallycomprised of four primary elements: 1) an antecedent or triggering event; 2) a physiologicalreaction, and an awareness of “feeling” the emotional reaction; 3) expression or behavior oreffortful regulation of expression or behavior, and 4) an outcome, which may include theindividual’s own reaction to the episode as well as the reactions of others. I depict the generalcontents of four typical emotion episodes in Table 1 (derived from Shaver et al., 1987). Thescript concept is useful in that, when elicited, it helps to show how social reality is constructed,and also indicates how “constructions of reality translate into social behavior through actionrules” (Abelson, 1981, p. 727).Two further distinctions are in order. First, emotion scripts differ in the degree to whichthere is agreement among individuals as to the specific contents of the script. When there issubstantial agreement about the antecedents and consequences for a particular emotion in aparticular setting, this is considered a strong script. A weak script is one exhibiting lessagreement on common antecedents and consequences (Abelson, 1981). For example,6
  7. 7. individuals’ understanding of what happens when an employee expresses anger in a staffmeeting may be substantially shared: there may be substantial agreement that such expressionsare inappropriate and will elicit sanctions from the leader of the meeting. However, employees’understanding of what happens when anxiety is expressed may be less elaborated; there may beless common agreement on what the causes and consequences of this emotion expression are.Second, emotion scripts vary to the degree to which they originate from idiosyncratic orshared experiences (Fischer, 1991; Frijda & Mesquita, 1994). Individuals may have their ownemotion scripts developed on the basis of their own upbringing and family experiences. Otherscripts are widely shared based on cultural norms, for example the norm to feel sadness and cryat funerals and feel happiness and smile at weddings (Hochschild, 1979). A person may use thisemotion script knowledge to their advantage. For example, an employee may be aware that inprofessional roles the expression of extreme emotions is typically sanctioned (e.g., Gibson,1997), but may have an individually developed script suggesting that expressions of extremeemotions may, at times, generate the desired effect in others (see Pierce, 1995).In line with the idiosyncratic approach, Tomkins (1979) developed a script theorysuggesting that individual personalities are made up of more or less salient scripts, driven byemotions. He argued that individuals form scripts based on three criteria: 1) when theyexperienced the most “intense and enduring affect” (1979, p. 223); 2) when affect changedduring an event suddenly (from positive to negative or the opposite); and 3) when sequences ofaffect were repeated (e.g., an individual experiences a change from positive to negative affectevery time an event happens). While I acknowledge the existence of idiosyncratic scripts, theemphasis in this article will be on the extent to which biological, cognitive, social, relational, andorganizational normative forces constrain and shape these idiosyncratic scripts.7
  8. 8. A Multi-Level Model of Emotion ScriptsGiven this basic idea, that emotions can be conceptualized as scripted sequences ofevents, researchers have turned to the question, “Where do emotion scripts come from?” Theanswer this chapter provides is that scripts emerge at multiple levels. These levels are depiectedin this model (from bottom to top) in terms of the relative effect of context and script specificity(see Figure 1). The first level, the biological script, is considered the most basic and operatesprimarily automatically and unconsciously (see LeDoux, 1996; Plutchik, 1980). Biologicalscripts provide the basic map on which the succeeding layers operate. The second level, thecognitive script, emphasizes the degree to which emotions arise from individuals’ appraisal ofspecific situations. Cognitive scripts are more specific than biological scripts in that particularantecedents (for example, the accomplishment of an important task) are predicted to lead tospecific emotions (for example, joy). They are not regarded as culturally specific, however;cognitive scripts are assumed to operate intrapsychically to explain the connection betweencognitions and emotions. The third level, social scripts, suggest the degree to which emotions aresocially constructed and driven by power relationships and cultural norms (see Kemper, 1990;Russell, 1991b; Scherer & Walbott, 1994). The fourth level, relational scripts, involve emotionscripts enacted primarily in dyadic relationships (see Baldwin, 1992; Fehr et al., 1999; Fitness,2000). The fifth level, organizational scripts, are characterized by substantial complexity(involving multiple individual and group relationships; power and gender effects, among others),and specificity: organizations are seen as providing relatively specific scripts for the feeling andexpression of emotions (see Fitness, 2000; Gibson, 1995, 1997; Hochschild, 1983).This model is not meant to be comprehensive in the sense of including all possible levelsof scripts. Depending on one’s perspective, additional layers could be added and their listing re-ordered. Rather, I illustrate this multi-level model as a way of providing a foundation for8
  9. 9. understanding the focus of this chapter: the emergence of emotion scripts in organizations. It ismy assertion that we cannot understand the intricacies of scripted emotion experience andexpression in organizations without first understanding what drives and anticipates these scripts.Biological ScriptsFrom this view, emotions are considered basic and hard wired, and our tendencies to actare largely pre-programmed. This view has emotions driven by biology; they are primarilyadaptive responses to aid survival of species. While complex emotional responses exist andcultural and social forces shape emotional responses, the biological view emphasizes that humanemotional responses, prior to the intervention of conscious cognition and cultural overlays, havea basic quality that is largely universal: all humans respond to needs in their environment withrelatively similar emotional expressions representing relatively similar feelings (see Ekman,1992, 1994; but see critiques in Russell, 1994; Wierzbicka, 1994).In The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals Darwin (1872/1998) argued thatwhile the developing anatomy of a species could be explained as adaptive responses to anorganism’s environment, Darwin also realized that evolution applied not only to anatomy, but toan animal’s mind and expressive behavior as well. Darwin viewed emotions, and specificallytheir expression, as functional responses by animals to survive in their environment. Expressedemotions acted as signals and as preparations for action, and communicated information to othersabout intentions. Thus, there is an evolutionary connection between an animal baring hits teethand the snarl of a human being, the similarity in laughing expressions by monkeys and humans,and the universal tendency for one’s hair to stand “on end” in conditions of anger and fear.Darwin emphasized that many, but not all, emotional expressions are unlearned or innate.He showed, for instance, that emotional expressions appear in very young children in the sameform as adults, before much opportunity for learning has occurred, and some expressions appear9
  10. 10. in similar form in widely distinct races and groups of humans. Darwin’s contribution is thenotion that emotional expressions are largely universal, and thus have a biological basis, ratherthan being culturally bound. Since emotions serve evolutionary functions, they must exist,though modified, in observable patterns throughout the world.The evolutionary view is supported by more recent lines of research. Ekman (1972, 1992)drew on and extended Darwin’s ideas by showing that people from widely ranging cultures canrelatively accurately recognize emotion expressions for six basic emotions: surprise, happiness,anger, fear, disgust, and sadness. Ekman argued that “there are distinctive movements of thefacial muscles for each of a number of primary affect states, and these are universal to mankind”(Ekman & Friesen, 1969, p. 71). However, he also cautioned that while the movement of facialmuscles shows universal tendencies, the evoking stimuli, subjective feelings, emotional “displayrules” and the behavioral consequences “all can vary from one culture to another” (1969, p. 73).His research, then, is largely consistent with a “dual-phase” model in which biological affects areprimary, and cultural or cognitive processes are a secondary, though critically important, overlay(White, 2000, p. 32).Plutchik (1980) in a “psychoevolutionary synthesis” argued that because all organismsface “common survival problems,” including “finding food, avoiding predators and locatingmates” (1980, p. 130), emotions serve as behavioral patterns that help organisms adapt to theseproblems by providing internal preparations for action as well as external behavior appropriate tocontrolling the environment. Thus, anger successfully prepares the body by increasing the heartrate and heightening attentiveness, and seeks to control environmental forces through facialexpression (e.g., snarling, hair raised) and action (aggressive approach) designed to elicit fear inothers. Viewing emotions from this evolutionary functional approach, Plutchik argues that thereare eight basic emotions (anger, fear, anticipation, surprise, acceptance, disgust, joy and sadness)10
  11. 11. corresponding to the needs of any organism to respond to existential crises, including protection,exploration, and reproduction.Recent neurological research has provided some support for the evolutionary point ofview. Summarizing his own and other research examining fear centers in the brain, LeDouxexpressed his view as: “I believe that the basic building blocks of emotions are neural systemsthat mediate behavioral interactions with the environment, particularly behaviors that take careof fundamental problems of survival” (1996, p. 125). He also argued that different “basic”emotions rely on unique centers and pathways in the brain rather than indicating an “emotionalcenter” for a variety of responses. He concluded that human brains are largely programmed byevolution to respond in certain ways to significant situations, so there is a large dose ofautomaticity in our emotional responses. Determining significance is a combination ofevolutionary history and our own memories of past experiences. While much of our initialreactions are automatic, when we become conscious of this neural activity, we can be said to“feel”—we can have the strong subjective reactions we think of as emotions. Emotions, then, are“unconscious processes that can sometimes give rise to conscious content” (1996, p. 269).What are the implications of the biological approach for emotion script theory? First,biological approaches provide support for the notion that emotions can be considered assequences of events beginning with sensing the environment for survival clues, reacting inpatterned physiological ways, and ending in behaviors or intended behaviors. Second, biologicalapproaches, by emphasizing the existence of relatively discrete “basic” emotions, suggest thatthere are identifiable, and relatively strong emotion scripts surrounding a certain small number offeeling states. The fact that researchers using the biological approach have not been able to agreeon the identity or number of basic emotions has been critiqued (see e.g., Russell, 1994). Whilethis lack of agreement hinders the development of universalistic scripts, the proposal of basic11
  12. 12. emotions has provided a foundation to allow script researchers to explore families of scripts,especially those for anger and fear (see Fehr & Russell, 1984).What the biological view means for thinking about emotion scripts is that at its primarylevel, our emotional responses are following biological scripts. Even researchers who emphasizecultural differences note the importance of a biological “core”; for example, Russell (1991b, p.437) states about emotional expression, “There is a core of emotional communication that has todo with being human rather than with being a member of a particular culture.” As biologicalscripts play out in real interactions, they are typically interrupted by consciousness and by willfulself regulation (Frijda, 1986). The level of regulation depends on the significance of the event(how fearful one is, for example), and on the strength of the conscious scripts that are invoked toalter the basic biological script. We examine these more conscious scripts next.Cognitive ScriptsWhile the biological and evolutionary approaches emphasize the relative automaticity ofbasic emotional responses, cognitive approaches emphasize the degree to which cognitionsimpinge on nearly every aspect of feeling and expressing emotions. From a cognitiveperspective, how a person interprets or appraises a meaningful event and how emotions areconceived as knowledge structures influence how different emotions are perceived, understood,labeled and expressed (Fitness & Fletcher, 1993). Two research streams, one focused onemotions as prototypes and one focused on cognitive appraisals of emotion, exemplify thecognitive perspective on emotion scripts.The prototype approach suggests that individuals conceive of emotions as “fuzzy sets” ofattributes. Emotions have been notoriously difficult for researchers to classically define becausethere is not a set of conclusive necessary and sufficient features (such as would be true about thecategory of even numbers, for example—see Shaver et al., 1987). Indeed, the difficulty12
  13. 13. researchers have had in defining emotions (see Averill, 1983; Buck, 1990), combined with thefact that laypeople have a strong intuitive sense of what emotions are and how they operate,speaks to the applicability of the prototype approach (Fehr & Baldwin, 1996). According to thisapproach, individuals categorize emotions based on whether they bear a resemblance to whatthey think of as prototypical instances of emotion (see Rosch, 1975). Thus, just as “chair” is aprototypical subcategory of “furniture,” “anger” and “fear” are considered by laypeople to beprototypical subcategories of “emotion.” Shaver et al. (1987), found, for example, that when 135emotion terms were subjected to hierarchical cluster analysis, five “basic” level emotion wordsemerged: love, joy, anger, sadness and fear. They concluded that a large number of emotionlexical terms could be tied to a small number of prototypical emotions. The variability inemotion words tend to specify either the intensity of a basic emotion (i.e., rage being moreintense than annoyance; jubilation being more intense than satisfaction) or the antecedentcontext in which the emotion arises (i.e., disappointment tends to be preceded by differingantecedents than grief). Consistent with a prototype approach, these findings suggest a hierarchyin which a range of emotion words (such as grief, annoyance, jubilation) are subordinate to abasic level (love, joy, anger, sadness, fear) which is subordinate to a superordinate level(emotions). The hierarchical structure of these prototypes has been supported in several studies(see summary in Cropanzano et al., 2003).In examining individuals’ knowledge structures of emotions, researchers furtherdiscovered that these structures conceive of emotions as containing prototypical sequences ofevents. That is, if asked, individuals not only provide good examples of what they think anemotion is (e.g., “I felt really angry when my supervisor accused me of being late!”), they alsoconceive of anger in terms of whether it fits a likely sequence of events (“When he accused me, Ifelt tense and sweaty—I had the urge to yell at him, but managed to control it.”). As noted above,13
  14. 14. individuals conceive of emotional feeling and expressions in terms of event sequences, or scripts.As Fehr and Russel (1984) and Russell (1991a) depict these structures, emotions are categorizeddepending on their prototypical features. These features are organized cognitions and “knowablesubevents: the causes, beliefs, feelings, physiological changes, desires, overt actions, and vocaland facial expressions” of emotions. They are ordered “in a causal sequence, in much the sameway that actions are ordered in a playwright’s script” (Russell, 1991b, p. 442).Similarly, Shaver et al. (1987) characterize laypeople’s emotion scripts as episodesbeginning with an interpretation of an event as good or bad, helpful or harmful, consistent orinconsistent with a person’s motives (see also Roseman, 1984). Depending on whether asituation is perceived as being motive consistent or inconsistent, the individual then assesseswhether action is necessary. Based on an individual’s appraisal of the event (Is this a threat tome? Am I justified in taking action? Does this event make me feel good?) a pattern of possibleresponses is initiated. These action responses (including action tendencies, cognitive biases, andphysiological patterns) are seen as arising fairly automatically. However, individuals tend to alsosimultaneously engage in self-control efforts, which can be initiated at any point in the emotionprocess and directed at any of the components (appraisal, physiological response, and emotionexpression (see Frijda, 1986; Gross, 1998).Closely related to the prototype approach, the cognitive appraisal approach focuses onone aspect of this prototypical sequence: how an individual’s appraisal of the situation leads tospecific emotional responses (Lazarus, 1991). These researchers argue that it is an individual’sevaluation or interpretation of events, rather than the events per se, that determine whether anemotion will be felt and which emotion it will be (Roseman, 1984). The particular emotion feltby an individual depends on their appraisal of the situation based on several dimensions. Forexample, Roseman (1984) identifies an individual’s appraisal of perceived power (weak versus14
  15. 15. strong), the probability of an outcome (uncertain versus certain), and his or her motivation state(seeking to avoid punishment versus seeking to attain reward), among others (Roseman, 1984).For example, anger is seen as resulting from the absence of a reward or presence of a punishmentthat is caused by other people when a positive outcome is deserved (see Roseman, Spindel, &Jose, 1990). Cognitive appraisal theorists differ from biologically-oriented theorists in theiremphasis that emotions are not primarily hard-wired unthinking processes, but rather, basedprimarily on cognitive interpretations (appraisals) of situational cues (Lazarus, 1991).Social ScriptsThe notion of universal, evolutionary bases of emotion have come under attack (Scherer& Wallbott, 1994; White, 2000). Sociologists and anthropologists argue that culture is not simplyan overlay to biological and cognitive patterned responses; it is fully integrated and essential toemotional experience and behavior. Social constructionist psychologists (e.g., Averill, 1982;Gergen & Davis, 1984) contend that while emotions have physiological components, they arelargely a result of social processes, especially expectations and norms for how and when peopleare expected to feel and express emotions (Parkinson, Fischer & Manstead, 2005). Geertz(1973:81) concisely summarizes the point of social constructionists by arguing that “Not onlyideas, but emotions too, are cultural artifacts.” Hochschild (1979, p. 552) proposes a two stepprocess in the social experience of emotion, one in which factors in the structure of the situation(such as how much power we have, or whether we are appreciated as part of a group) arouseprimary emotional responses (we are angered when a boss yells at us) that are then “managed”by secondary acts. These secondary acts are cultural and organizational norms, described as“feeling rules,” that stipulate how we ought to feel in given situations.Social constructivists thus put relatively more importance in the effect of societal normson how we conceive of emotions rather than on biological responses. One such example is the15
  16. 16. Japanese feeling and expression of amae. Amae means to presume upon another’s love orindulge in another’s kindness; it is a sense of helplessness in which one is a passive love object(see LeDoux,1996). While the script for amae is well known in Japan and considered anessential part of the Japanese personality structure, there is essentially no strong equivalent forthis script in the western tradition, indeed no comparable word for it in European languages.Social constructivists use examples such as these to show that emotions are typically culturallydetermined rather than essentially hard-wired.From an emotion script approach, I argue that while evolutionary psychologists providethe neurological and biological “rules” that govern emotional feeling and expression, sociologistssuch as Hochschild provide the social rules that shape and guide these basic physiologicalresponses (see also Kemper, 1990). There is a layer of biological responses that form thefoundational script for emotional response. Overlaid on that script is a more refined social scriptthat provides the connection between these basic responses and the needs and expectations ofsocial situations.Russell (1991b) uses a script theory of emotions to reconcile the universalistic andcultural relativity approaches. He argues that those cultures which have languages containingfewer emotion categories have more general emotion scripts. These scripts have fewer specificfeatures and cover a broad range of phenomena (we have termed these “weak” scripts above).Cultures with languages with many emotion categories have more specific scripts—each script“would have more features and cover a narrower range of phenomena” (1991b, p. 443). In thisway, scripts vary to the degree they are universal or specific, depending on the culture. Withinthe script, antecedents of particular emotions will also vary from universal to specific, as willaction tendencies (Frijda, 1986), facial or vocal expressions (Ekman, 1972), and physiological16
  17. 17. changes (Ekman, Levenson & Friesen, 1983). But the nature of emotions-as-scripts exists acrosscultures.Relational ScriptsThe previous work cited has primarily been at the neurological and intrapsychic level—emphasizing a focal person’s thoughts, physiological changes, and reactions. However, mostemotions are felt in response to and in relation with other people, and thus emotion scripts shouldinclude an interactional or relational component (Fehr et al., 1999; Parkinson et al., 2005). Theapproach of researchers employing relational scripts is that, based on past experience,individuals develop cognitive structures representing their expectations around how their actionsare likely to lead to reactions by another person (Baldwin, 1992). In terms of emotion, thisapproach holds that we learn over time how other people are likely to react to our expressions ofparticular emotions. If I have learned that expressing my anger to my partner increases thechances that he or she will react with defensiveness and avoidance, for example, this experiencepattern will affect my current expectations around what expressing anger means and others’likely responses, shaping the patterns of my new relationships (see Baldwin, 1992).Work in the area of relational scripts has focused on determining whether there arenormatively held interpersonal scripts for emotional expression, and then examining the specificcontents of those scripts. Gergen and Gergen (1988) cite a series of studies in which they gaveparticipants a scenario in which an emotion was expressed, then provided a series of possibleresponses. For example, they had participants read a scenario about a young married couple. Inthe first scene, the husband mildly criticized the wife’s cooking. The participants then rated arange of behavioral options that the wife could take in response (from embracing and kissing tophysically striking). Following their choice of an option, the participant then read that the wifehad escalated the hostility—she had responded by criticizing her husband. The story is again17
  18. 18. interrupted, and participants are asked to rate the husband’s probable reactions, along with theirdesirability and advisability. Through this methodology Gergen and Gergen (1988) foundpredictable patterns of escalation based on whether primarily aggressive or conciliatory tacticswere used in early stages of anger expression.Fitners and Fletcher (1993) examined love, hate, anger and jealousy in maritalrelationships. They first examined whether respondents, in outlining their experiences of theseemotions, showed evidence of prototypical knowledge structures. They found, using profileanalysis, that respondents cited cohesive elements for each emotion, allowing researchers toconstruct summary prototypes. In second and third studies they also showed that by presentingprototypical emotion elements, respondents could differentiate and identify specific emotionsbased on the nature of the event and the appraisals offered by protagonists. The more informationprovided in the vignette (the more complete the script), the more accurate was their identificationof the emotion.Anger has been the most common focal emotion in studies of emotion scripts inrelationships; this is not surprising, given its prototypicality ratings (Fehr & Russell, 1984;Shaver et al., 1987). Fehr et al., (1999) studied anger in close heterosexual relationships. Ratherthan having respondents generate their own experiences of anger episodes, they providedrespondents with basic elements of an anger script and explored whether common patternsemerged. They were particularly interested in whether there would be gender differences in theunderstanding and implementation of anger scripts. Based on previous research and pilot testing,they presented respondents five causes of anger (e.g., betrayal of trust, negligence, unwarrantedcriticism—each with specific examples), six possible anger reactions they could anticipateengaging in (e.g., avoid, aggress directly, talk it over/compromise), and responses they wouldanticipate from their partner (e.g., avoid, deny responsibility, mock or minimize). Analyzing18
  19. 19. these responses, they found that betrayal of trust was the most anger-provoking elicitor in theseclose relationships, and that respondents anticipated that they and their partners would react to ananger-provoking situation by talking things over rather than expressing aggression (similar toprevious research; see Averill, 1982). They also discovered gender differences: women found theevents to be more anger provoking overall, and were more likely to say they would express hurtfeelings and behave aggressively, if necessary. These responses arose more frequently ininstances in which there was negligence (e.g., forgetting a birthday, or personal criticism).An important finding of this study, however, was that while men and women held similaranger scripts in some situations (e.g., when an angered person chooses to express anger in apositive way), under other conditions men’s and women’s anger scripts were different.Specifically, when an angered person chose to react in a negative way, such as aggressingdirectly, women were more likely than men to expect that their partner would denyresponsibility; men were more likely to expect that their partner would express hurt feelings,avoid them or reject them. This study, then, showed both that individuals hold similar scripts forthe expression and reaction to anger, but that other variables such as gender can shape thecontent of the script and script selection.Fehr and Harasymchuk (2005) found that emotion scripts differed in the context ofrelationships between friends versus romantic partners. They found that people’s emotionalreactions were based on the responses they expected from a romantic partner or friend when theyexpressed dissatisfaction. Specifically, they found that when a romantic partner expresseddissatisfaction and received a response of neglect (a passive, destructive response) theyresponded in a much more intense and negative way than when a friend responded todissatisfaction with neglect. Their study showed that the same event had different meanings in19
  20. 20. the context of different relationships, and produced different types of emotional behavior (seeWhitesell & Harter, 1996).Overall, these studies of emotion scripts in close relationships provide substantial supportfor the idea that interpersonal expectations for emotional expression can be empiricallyexamined, and the findings suggest that relational scripts for emotions are cognitivelyrepresented as if-then contingencies between self and other (Fehr & Harasymchuk, 2005). Thiswork adds further complexity, however, by emphasizing that individual differences such asgender shape the expectations and contents of emotion scripts.Organizational ScriptsThe notion that emotions may best be represented as scriptlike phenomena has specialrelevance to the organizational context, which constrains and organizes human behavior, oftenthrough patterned sequences, such as rituals and routines (Lord & Kernan, 1987). Cognitiveresearchers have applied script concepts to organizational behavior, arguing that scripts performtwo functions: to serve as guides to appropriate behavior; and to provide a means for makingsense of the behavior of others (Gioia & Poole, 1984). From a cognitive schema approach,organizations themselves can be seen as “systems of shared knowledge and meaning composedof repertoires of schemas that guide comprehension and action” (Poole et al., 1989, p. 272).Schemas provide a system for individuals to aid in understanding the onrush of organizationaldecisions, behaviors, and interactions.In applying cognitive schema models to organizations, however, observers argue thatemotions are often missing from the picture. Organizations are portrayed as shared systems ofmeaning exemplified in routines and tacit assumptions, and scripts are portrayed as behavioraland cognitive structures. For example, an analysis of the script for employee performanceappraisals (Gioia et al., 1989) contains little reference to likely emotional responses.20
  21. 21. Sociologists of emotion, however, argue that organizations, as situations in which vertical powerrelations and horizontal group cohesion play a large part, are situations likely to generate strongemotional responses (see Collins, 1981; Gibson, 1997; Kemper, 1978). Collins (1981) arguesthat organizations can be seen as “marketplaces” of emotional and cultural resources, whereresources are compared through conversational rituals and loyalties and power are negotiated.Organizational participants “monitor what each is feeling toward the other and especially towardthose in authority” (Collins, 1981: 994).Three studies have extended the idea of emotion scripts into the sphere of organizations.What we find, in comparing these script analyses to the previous levels we have examined, is anincreasing level of complexity. Biological scripts indicate the degree to which particularemotions fulfill discrete functions and exhibit unique action sequences. The prototype andcognitive appraisal approaches more specifically identify these action sequences and focus onantecedents and appraisals as determining the shape and structure of the emotion script.Research on close relationships introduces at least two new variables to these existing scripts: thereactions of a target and the critical variable of gender. In organizational contexts, a range ofadditional variables must be considered, including hierarchical status and power relationships,multiple interactants (i.e., group emotion scripts), and organizational culture.In the first study, Fischer (1991) interviewed 56 employees reflecting on anger and fearepisodes in both “public” (organizational) and “private” spheres. In constructing scripts based onher interviews, she examined respondents’ appraisal of the event, their action tendencies, theperceived intensity and duration of emotional experience, the emotion words used to describe theepisode, their actual behavior, and whether they consciously tried to regulate their emotion. Inexamining anger, Fischer noted that individuals tend to have a “general anger script” similar tothe prototype identified by Shaver et al., (1987). Individuals then refine this general script by21
  22. 22. adding specific elements depending on the context (in this case, public versus private settings),where these differing contexts are likely to evoke different expectations, and thus, differentscripts.She found that the primary difference between anger scripts in private and publicsituations is how one appraises the expected reactions of others. In private situations respondents“do not wish to hurt others,” but they want to “show commitment to others by expressing theiranger” (1991: 151). In public situations, however, “one is far more concerned with how otherswill evaluate one’s anger, so anger seems primarily to be used as a device to maintain or improveone’s position” (1991: 151). She found a few gender differences in terms of likely antecedents ofanger: men were more likely to mention unjust reproaches in private situations and more likelyto refer to the negative behavior or others in public situations. Women more often got angrybecause of rule violation in private situations and because they got “passed over” in publicsituations.Overall, Fischer found support for the idea of a “general anger script” drivingrespondents’ knowledge structures. There were wide differences in the types of antecedentscited, however, making anger scripts specific to particular public and private settings moredifficult to compare. An example of how anger scripts became more contingent on context is inthe expression of anger. Overall, respondents regarded expressing anger as desirable. It wasconsidered to promote a healthy relationship in intimate settings, and it was necessary to showone’s commitment in professional settings. At the same time, there were limits to this script:respondents noted that if anger was expressed uncontrollably, negative consequences tended toresult.Gibson (1995, 1997) applied Plutchik’s (1980) evolutionary model as a way ofunderstanding scripts for eight emotions in organizations: anger, fear, sadness, disgust, surprise,22
  23. 23. joy, acceptance and anticipation. He constructed scripts by coding and categorizing respondents’recollections of an emotional experience at work (n = 143 MBA students) into antecedents,agents (who were the instigator of emotion), whether the emotion was expressed and to whom,and the perceived consequences of emotional expression or non-expression. He found that therewas substantial agreement by respondents on scripts for particular emotions, and analyses ofvariance indicated differing feeling and expression patterns across the different emotions.Qualitatively, Gibson (1995) found, for example, that fear episodes revolved around a generaltheme of uncertainty, especially about one’s actions (see Table 2). In this script, 53% of episodeswere explained by the top three categories, which included the failure of the respondent to carryout a task appropriately (27% of antecedents), threats to survival, either personal or career (13%)and threats to the organization itself (e.g., to merge or be bought out, 13%). Fear tended to becaused by individuals superior to the respondent (43%) and tended not to be expressed. Angerepisodes, similar to previous findings (e.g., de Rivera, 1977; Russell, 1991a) were characterizedby a theme of perceived injustice. Criticism of the respondent characterized 16% of theseepisodes, and another 16% surrounded instances when respondents’ suggestions or commentswere ignored by others. At the organizational level, respondents were angered by the companyacting in an unjust way (e.g., by laying off workers—16% of the response). Agents of anger wereprimarily superiors (39%) or the company itself (22%), and were often expressed: respondentsexpressed their anger to the agent in 53% of the episodes.Gibson (1997) reported exploratory findings indicating that status of the agent made adifference, noting that when superiors were the agent of emotions, there was less likelihood ofemotion expression than if peers or subordinates were agents. Interestingly, this occurred forboth positive (aggregating joy, acceptance and anticipation) and negative (aggregating anger,fear, sadness, and disgust) emotions. In terms of gender, though the small sample size made his23
  24. 24. findings speculative, Gibson found that women both felt and (for some emotions) expressed theiremotions to a greater degree than did men. Women, he proposed, typically had to engage in moreregulation of emotion, since they their emotions significantly more strongly than did men, yetexpressed them at about the same level.Gibson concluded that these emotion scripts indicate that there is a small number ofemotions that are considered appropriate to express in organizations, primarily “approach”emotions such as anger and acceptance, while many emotions—primarily those indicatingavoidance or vulnerability—are rarely expressed, such as fear, sadness, and joy. He argued thatthis kind of limitation in emotion scripts could have implications for organizational decisionmaking and interpersonal processes. If employees’ full range of emotions are not allowed to beexpressed in organizational settings, for example, group decision-making in organizations maybe limited by a constricted set of data.Fitness (2000) examined anger scripts in the workplace, using a sample of 175 episodes.She explored script differences that depended on the focal person’s hierarchical status in theorganization, whether the anger was directed to a supervisor (80 respondents), to a co-worker (57respondents), or to a subordinate (38 respondents). She elicited scripts through an interviewschedule that asked respondents to “remember a time when you felt really angry with someone atwork,” and then to describe the antecedents to their anger, how they thought and felt at the time,how they behaved, and whether they thought the incident had been successfully resolved. Aswith previous studies, there was substantial agreement over prototypical anger-eliciting events.For example, 44% involved “being directly and unjustly treated by another.” Other prominentantecedents included immoral behavior (23%) and job incompetence (15%). Importantly, Fitnessalso found differences in antecedents depending on who was perceiving the anger; for example,69 of the superior-instigated incidents involved directly unjust treatment, while only 28% of co-24
  25. 25. worker and 16% of subordinate-instigated offences were considered to be unjust. For co-workerswho instigated anger, the primary event involved morally reprehensible behaviors, such aslaziness or dishonesty; for subordinates who instigated anger, the primary antecedent was jobincompetence.In terms of behavior, Fitness found expected differences in whether anger was expresseddepending on status. Only 45% of respondents angered by superiors immediately confrontedthem during the course of feeling anger, compared with 58% of respondents angered by co-workers, and 71% of respondents angered by subordinates.Fitness’ study demonstrates the importance of studying context in order to outline andunderstand emotion scripts. She identified two distinct anger scripts, depending on power. Thatis, high power respondents were likely to be angered by different eliciting events, likely toexpress their anger to a greater degree than low power respondents, and were more likely tothink that the anger incident had been successfully resolved. She also noted that she discoveredno gender differences in this setting: rather, in the organizational context the variable of powerappeared to overwhelm gender in affecting emotion scripts.While there are few studies specifically examining organizational emotion scripts,numerous other studies have implications for a script approach, though they might notspecifically use the terms of script theory. For example, Sutton (1991) found that respondents ina bill collection agency were well aware of specific norms around how to express emotions todebtors they wanted to collect money from. There were norms, for example, to express neutralityto angry debtors and norms to by more easy-going (at first) with distressed debtors. Thesenormative instructions are clearly indicative of an emotional script for these transactional dyads.Moreover, in the negotiations literature, studies now examine how emotional expressions bynegotiators affect their targets, and vice versa (Van Kleef, DeDreu & Manstead, 2004).25
  26. 26. A particularly important direction for emotion script research is the recognition thatknowledge of emotion scripts may allow participants to express their emotions strategically,knowing that they are likely to elicit a particular response. Clark, Pataki and Carver (1996) arguethat because people share assumptions about the script (its structure, antecedents andconsequences), people can “learn to present emotions to others to accomplish specifiable socialgoals” (1996, p. 248). Indeed, negotiations researchers are finding that negotiators whostrategically display particular emotions are able to affect the outcome of the negotiation(Kopelman, Rosette & Thompson, 2006) and qualitative studies of professionals—such aslawyers—show frequent use of strategic emotions (Pierce, 1995). As Forgas notes, this emphasison the strategic nature of scripts suggests that “affect is not merely a private experience, but atthe same time is a public event” (1996, p. 282).Implications and ConclusionsThis article outlines a multi-level model of emotion scripts. It provides a way ofconceptualizing scripts that helps to integrate widely divergent approaches to emotion. Scriptsare both observed sequences of events and they are understandings about how sequences ofevents tend to occur. On one hand, this combination of descriptive and normative elementsaccounts for their explanatory versatility across a range of widely divergent research landscapes.On the other hand, this eclecticism may have also impeded further study into scripts. Byaddressing a range of approaches, the script approach offers a metaphor and a methodology forstudying sequences of behaviors, but its very applicability and consequent lack of specificitymay also be its undoing. Compared to general cognitive appraisal approaches (e.g., Lazarus,1991; Scherer, 2001) or sociological/normative approaches (e.g., Kemper, 1990), thedevelopment of script research has been less well developed.26
  27. 27. The fundamental outlines of prototypical emotion sequences are well developed and wellsupported (see Fehr & Russell, 1984; Shaver et al., 1987). But the development of scripts indiffering contexts is much less well developed. Studies of anger predominate in script theory (seeGibson, 1995, 1997 for an exception), while scripts for other emotions (other than fear) havereceived far less attention. The issue, for the future of emotion script research, will be to developscripts at a level of detail that can help in understanding organizational problems while not beingso specific that they are only applicable to one context (see Fitness, 2000 for one illustration ofsuch meso-level scripts).Future Directions in Emotion Script ResearchStudies of additional emotion scripts. In parallel with emotions research moregenerally, emotion script research needs to expand its focus from anger and fear to other criticaldiscrete emotions (see Gibson, 1997). While anger and fear offer a cohesive prototypical view,they also offer only one slice of organizational life. For example, while most studies of emotionhave focused on negative emotions and moods, in fact, linkages to organizational outcomes suchas individual and group achievement, decision-making effectiveness, and creativity tend to be farmore compelling for positive emotions (Lyubomirsky, King & Diener, 2005). While emotionscripts have been relatively well-articulated for anger and fear, we know much less abouthappiness and liking/acceptance. Studies of strategic displays of emotional expression (e.g.,Clark et al., 1996) indicate that displaying happiness (and suppressing anger and sadness) isrelated to ingratiation behavior and increasing the liking of a target, both phenomena of interestto organizational researchers (Jones & Pittman, 1982). More refined scripts for organizationalenvy (Cohen-Charash & Mueller, in press), sadness, and shame/guilt (Poulson, 2000) would alsobe in line with current research inquiry.27
  28. 28. Individual differences and scripts. A continuing avenue of research will be to discoverunder what conditions individual differences shape the execution of scripts. Because they arefocused on sequences of events, studying scripts can uncover findings about contingencies thatwould not be revealed in correlational work or work focused on intrapsychic, context-freeenvironments. For example, Fehr and Baldwin (1996) point out that the commonsenseunderstanding that women are more likely to cry in response to anger may not be the wholestory. Rather, what their findings indicate is that women may not be more likely to respond withcrying and hurt feelings whenever angry, but rather, they “are more likely to experience beingangered in situations when hurt feelings are a key element of the anger experienced (e.g., thebetrayal of trust)” (1996, p. 240). That discovery was only possible by researchers examining theantecedents of anger, since different kinds of people may be more or less sensitive to differentkinds of instigators, may have different kinds of experience with them, may have different stylesin terms of emotion regulation, etc. Thus, script methodologies may be especially well suited todiscovering different contingencies related to individual differences, gender being a prominent,but not the sole, example.Degree of Script Convergence. A primary approach to determining whetherorganizational participants share a script is to measure the degree to which participants cite aparticular element in their narrative of an episode. For example, Fitness (2000) found that 69%of anger episodes in her sample were caused by superiors who unjustly treated their subordinates(see also Gibson, 1997; Fischer, 1991). While these proportional approaches provide goodoverall support for the level of agreement in terms of the existence of common scripts, morespecific and accurate measures need to be developed. Studies of cognitive scripts, for example,have used videotaped interactions and more elaborate qualitative methods to assess the degree ofcohesiveness in organizational scripts (see Gioia, Donnellon, & Sims, 1989; Poole, Gray &28
  29. 29. Gioia, 1990). Advancing methods in sequence analysis (see Abbott, 1990), and reliability ratings(Forrest & Abbott, 1990) will provide important means of gathering these data. Measuring thedegree of convergence would represent a significant advance in understanding emotion scripts.One application of this research would be to examine the effect of diverse versus homogenousscripts on organizational behavior and performance. For example, Barsade et al. (2000) showedthat similarities in affective disposition in top management teams led to increased performance intop management teams. Future research should examine organizational members’ emotionalscripts to determine whether similarity in scripts also contributes to team effectiveness, andunder what conditions.Scripts as Methodology. I have argued that scripts offer both descriptive and normativematerial for analysis. The script approach is particularly applicable to emotions, since laypeopletend to think of emotions in terms of prototypical sequences of events (see Shaver et al., 1987).Following this line of reasoning, in addition to identifying scripts and assessing theirconvergence, script data is very useful for identifying and understanding organizational emotionnorms and culture. Recently, scholars have called for more research on the nature oforganizational cultural norms for emotion expression (see, e.g., Barsade et al., 2003). However,gathering data on norms (without directly observing behavior), is often difficult. Havingrespondents outline their perceived scripts for emotional expression may be one means toillustrate organizational norms.For example, Van Maanen and Kunda (1989) identified emotion norms stipulating thatemployees at Disneyland express positive emotions while cloaking their dissatisfaction, andparticipants in a high technology company express passion around the firm’s products. Whilethese authors determined these norms through participant observation, an alternative methodwould have been to interview participants on the structure of emotion scripts in their29
  30. 30. organization. While identifying generalized norms may be difficult for participants, experientiallearning with scripts suggests that they may more readily generate episodes of emotionalexpression (Gibson, 2006) that can be useful in determining normative scripts. Similarly, while itmay be difficult for employees to discuss risky issues such as gender and power in theirorganization, having them discuss emotion scripts may indirectly lead to these issues (seeFitness, 2000). A caution here, of course, is one of social desirability: there may be a tendencyon the part of employees to provide “acceptable and warrantable public explanations” for theirbehavior, rather than a faithful recollection of events (Forgas, 1996, p. 284). Forgas argues that awider variety of methods, including experimentation approaches (see, e.g., Clark et al., 1996)would help to address this concern. New approaches in negotiation research (see Kopelman etal., 2006; Van Kleef et al., 2004) apply similar methods focusing on specific emotions (e.g.,happiness and anger) to determine more specific antecedents and consequences.ConclusionThe explosion of emotions work in the organizational context has advanced the field inmany ways: as this research companion demonstrates, advances in the definition of emotions, itsspecificity and methodologies have stripped away some of the mystery and “conceptual anddefinitional chaos” that once characterized emotions research (see Buck, 1990, p. 330). I amrecommending emotion script theory as one advance that deserves more attention. While scriptshave been invoked in emotions research almost as long as we have examined emotionsthemselves, work using this approach has advanced unevenly. Scripts provide clues to the basic,biological nature of emotions, and they allow us to examine how additional levels of normativestructures inherent to relationships and organizations are laid over this basic foundation. Theyprovide vital clues to how we live out our emotional experiences in organizations.30
  31. 31. Biological Script: Emotions primarily serving evolutionary survival functionsSocial Script: Emotions created and shaped by the structure of the socialsituation and cultural normsCognitive Script: Emotions shaped by intrapsychic appraisals of situationsand prototypical ways of respondingRelational Script: Emotions shaped by interactions with significant othersand their reactionsOrganizational Script: Emotions shaped by structure (delineation ofgroups, hierarchy), power, and genderFIGURE 1Emotion Scripts: A Multi-Level ModelLevelIndividual, Group,OrganizationDyadicIndividuallyinternalized socialand cultural normsIntrapsychic(within individual)NeurologicalSpecificityMore SpecificMore General31
  32. 32. Table 1: Generic Emotion Scripts(adapted from Shaver et al., 1987)Emotions Described by RespondentsScript Elements Joy Anger Love FearAntecedents A desirableoutcome; gettingwhat was wanted(68%)1Task success,achievement (54%)Receiving esteem,respect, praise(33%)Judgment that thesituation isillegitimate,wrong, unfair(78%)Real or threatenedphysical orpsychological pain(57%)Violation of anexpectation; thingsnot working out asplanned (54%)Having spent a lotof time together,having sharedspecial experiences(33%)P finds O attractive(Physically and/orpsychologically)(28%)O offers/providessomething that Pwants, needs, likes(22%)Threat of harm ordeath (68%)Being in a novel,unfamiliarsituation (43%)Threat of socialrejection (28%)Being alone(walking alone,etc.) (28%)BehavioralResponsesSmiling (72%)Communicating thegood feeling toothers (or trying to)(40%)Positive outlook;seeing only thebright side (40%)Verbally attackingthe cause of anger(69%)Loud voice,yelling, screaming,shouting (59%)Thinking “I’mright, everyoneelse is wrong”(38%)Feeling happy,joyful, exuberant,etc. (52%)Smiling (44%)Feeling warm,trusting, secure,etc. (43%)Feeling nervous,jittery, jumpy(48%)Picturing adisastrousconclusion toevents in progress(42%)Talking less, beingspeechless (31%)Self-ControlProceduresSuppressing theanger; trying not toshow or express it(20%)Redefining thesituation (11%)Acting unafraid,hiding the fearfrom others (23%)Comfortingoneself, tellingoneself everythingis all right, tryingto keep calm(22%)32
  33. 33. 1Percentages indicate the percentage of 120 subjects mentioning that feature. Subjects could identify multiplecategories; thus these percentages do not sum to 100%.33
  34. 34. Table 1: Organizational Emotion Scripts(adapted from Gibson, 1997)Emotions Described by RespondentsScript Elements Joy Anger Liking FearAntecedents Theme: PersonalSuccessJob or Projectcompleted (47%)*Respondentreceivesrecognition orpromotion (24%)Job or Projectbeginning (12%)82% explained bytop 3 categoriesTheme: InjusticeCriticism ofrespondent (16%)Suggestionsignored by Agent(16%)Company initiateslayoffs (16%)48% explained bytop 3 categoriesTheme: BondingCamaraderie ingroups (53%)Positiverelationship with aparticular other(40%)Respondentreceivesrecognition orpromotion (7%)100% explained bytop 3 categoriesTheme:UncertaintyFailure by Self(27%)Threats external tothe organization(13%)Lack of corporatesupport forrespondent (13%)53% explained bytop 3 categoriesAgents Work itself (38%)Superiors (25%)Superiors (39%)Company (22%)Team/peers (67%) Superiors (43%)Self (21%)External agents(13%)Expression/BehaviorExpressed to agent(19%)Did not express(81%)Expressed to agent(53%)Did not express(47%)Expressed to agent(60%)Did not express(40%)Expressed to agent(20%)Did not express(80%)Consequences None listed (47%)Bonding withgroup or peers(24%)Nothing; no onecared (21%)Outcome favorable(21%)Outcomeunfavorable (16%)Bonding withgroup or peers(47%)Positive feedbackfrom agent (27%)Respondentreceivessympathy,emotional supportfrom others (33%)Nothing; no onecared (27%)1Percentages indicate the percent of respondents mentioning each script element. Sample size for Joy was n = 16,Anger, n = 19, Liking, n = 15, Fear, n = 15.34
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