Bringing emotion to strategic issue diagnosis: contributions from emotion psychology and social psychology
Published on Feb 1, 2009
Managers analyze their environment in order to diagnose strategic issues, events which may have an important impact on the organizational performance. But to date little has been said about the role of emotion in the process of strategic issue diagnosis (SID). Our paper focuses on how emotions and social identities can influence SID, which has been primarily discussed from a purely cognitive perspective. First, we build on cognitive appraisal theory of emotion to better predict individual emotional and behavioral responses to strategic issues. Second, we integrate concepts from intergroup emotion theory to predict when these emotional and behavioral responses will be based on group membership. In this way, we can better understand how not only how individuals may personally respond but also how group memberships (or social identities) may influence the process of strategic issue diagnosis. After reviewing both theories of emotion we discuss how both cognitive appraisals and the cognitive dimensions identified by existing SID frameworks can predict specific “discrete emotion” responses to the issue (e.g. joy, anger) in turn predicting specific “behavioral responses” to the issue (e.g. support, reject). We then illustrate when individual-level SID processes become group membership-level and conclude by outlining implications for theory and research.