Identity, Emotion Management and Generic Social Processes: An Ethnographic Study of Organizational Culture Change

By Byrad Yyelland.

Published by The Humanities Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This is an ethnographic study of emotion management performed by members of a team attempting to lead an organizational culture change process at a multi-campus Canadian college. The study examines the interplay between generic social processes, perceptions of identity, types of emotion management and the willingness of change leaders to initiate and sustain emotion management. Emotions can run high and morale can plummet during times of change. Prior research has argued individuals tasked with facilitating an organizational culture change process need to be willing and able to manage their own emotions and the emotions of others. Classical research on emotional labor suggests emotion management undertaken in such a context is performed primarily for instrumental reasons. Instrumental motivations were evident in this study but there was far greater evidence of social motivations and motivations corresponding with professional identity. This research also found significant support for the role of generic social processes as central in achieving identity, emotional expression, and the willingness to continue emotion management. Generic social processes specific to identity and to emotion were most predominant.

Keywords: Identity, Emotion Management, Generic Social Processes, Ethnographic, Organizational Culture Change

International Journal of the Humanities, Volume 7, Issue 9, pp.131-144. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.330MB).

Dr. Byrad Yyelland

Director of General Education, Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts, Qatar, General Education to Liberal Arts and Sciences, Doha, Qatar

Byrad Yyelland is a Canadian who has been teaching undergraduate Psychology and Sociology for 20 years. He did his MA research on emotional labor in nursing and has extended that research in his doctoral research on emotion management within the context of organizational culture change. Byrad and his family recently moved from the prairies of Canada to the deserts of Qatar where he joined Virginia Commonwealth University as Director of General Education at their Doha campus. Byrad’s research interests include emotion management, identity, organizational culture change, educational leadership and visual sociology. He is in the final months of completing an EdD in Educational Leadership.


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