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The Signal Provision of Emotion: Using Emotions to Enhance Reliability Via Sensemaking

Joseph A. Allen, University of Nebraska at Omaha
Cliff Scott, University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Sarah Tracy, Arizona State University
John Crowe, University of Nebraska at Omaha

Article comments

Allen, J. A., Scott, C. W., & Tracy, S. J., Crowe, J. (In Press, 2013). The signal provision of emotion: Using emotions to enhance reliability via sensemaking. International Journal of Work, Organisation, and Emotion.

This journal can be accessed at: http://www.inderscience.com/jhome.php?jcode=ijwoe.

Abstract

High reliability organization (HRO) theory suggests that early detection of and swift responses to potentially hazardous and situation changing events in organizational environments is central to the sustainability of reliable operations. Limited research on HRO’s (e.g. military groups and firefighters) considers how normative demands on feeling and emotion help to explain why some events are recognized and responded to while others not. In this article, we propose a model of enactment of anomalous events (i.e., situation changing events) that considers the manner in which emotions are regulated in high reliability contexts and how this influences the extent to which early indicators of anomalous events are heeded or dismissed. In this article, we seek to provide a theoretical framework for explaining both the enabling mechanisms by which emotions may function as a signaling resource in the detection of anomalous events and the constraining mechanisms through when emotion regulation processes may inhibit reliability. We discuss implications of the model for researchers and practitioners in high reliability organizations.

Suggested Citation

Joseph A. Allen, Cliff Scott, Sarah Tracy, and John Crowe. "The Signal Provision of Emotion: Using Emotions to Enhance Reliability Via Sensemaking" International Journal of Work, Organisation, and Emotion (2013).
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/joseph_allen/32