Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Feeling bad at work can be a good thing (and vice versa)

Date:
August 21, 2014
Source:
University of Liverpool
Summary:
Contrary to popular opinion, it can be good to feel bad at work, whilst feeling good in the workplace can also lead to negative outcomes, researchers say. The commonly-held assumption that positivity in the workplace produces positive outcomes, while negative emotions lead to negative outcomes, may be in need for reconsideration.

Researchers found that the commonly-held assumption that positivity in the workplace produces positive outcomes, while negative emotions lead to negative outcomes, may be in need for reconsideration.
Credit: mindweb2 / Fotolia

Research by the University of Liverpool suggests that, contrary to popular opinion, it can be good to feel bad at work, whilst feeling good in the workplace can also lead to negative outcomes.

In a Special Issue published in Human Relations, Dr Dirk Lindebaum from the University's Management School, together with his co-author Professor Peter Jordan, developed a new line of study, and commissioned research to further explore the role of emotions in the workplace.

They found that the commonly-held assumption that positivity in the workplace produces positive outcomes, while negative emotions lead to negative outcomes, may be in need for reconsideration. This is partly due to this assumption failing to take into account the differences in work contexts which effect outcomes.

Anger

For instance, anger does not always lead to negative outcomes and can be used as a force for good through acting upon injustices. In some cases, anger can be considered a force for good if motivated by perceived violations of moral standards. An employee, for example, could express anger constructively after a manager has treated a fellow worker unfairly.

In such cases, anger can be useful to prevent these acts of injustice from repeating themselves in the future. Likewise, being too positive in the workplace, rather than resulting in greater well-being and greater productivity, can lead to complacency and superficiality.

One article within the Special Issue also finds that, within team situations, negativity can have a good affect, leading to less consensus and therefore greater discussion amongst workers which enhances team effectiveness.

An interesting contradiction is identified in another study of the special issue. Here, people derive satisfaction from doing `good' in the context of helplines by providing support to people in times of emotional distress. However, they are negatively affected by their line of work due to people shunning them in social situations (e.g., since they might catch the emotional taint they attribute to the profession of the helpline workers).

Positive outcomes

Management expert, Dr Lindebaum said: "The findings of the studies published in this Special Issue challenge the widely held assumption that in the workplace positive emotions generate or engender a positive outcome, and vice versa.

This Special Issue adds to our knowledge and understanding of how the positive and negative dynamics affect the working environment and has practical application and relevance in the workplace.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Liverpool. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. D. Lindebaum, P. J. Jordan. When it can be good to feel bad and bad to feel good: Exploring asymmetries in workplace emotional outcomes. Human Relations, 2014; DOI: 10.1177/0018726714535824

Cite This Page:

University of Liverpool. "Feeling bad at work can be a good thing (and vice versa)." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 August 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140821102429.htm>.
University of Liverpool. (2014, August 21). Feeling bad at work can be a good thing (and vice versa). ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140821102429.htm
University of Liverpool. "Feeling bad at work can be a good thing (and vice versa)." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140821102429.htm (accessed September 23, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Liberia Pleads for Help to Fight Ebola

Liberia Pleads for Help to Fight Ebola

AP (Sep. 22, 2014) Liberia's finance minister is urging the international community to quickly follow through on pledges of cash to battle Ebola. Bodies are piling up in the capital Monrovia as the nation awaits more help. (Sept. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Doctor Says Border Controls Critical

Ebola Doctor Says Border Controls Critical

AP (Sep. 22, 2014) A Florida doctor who helped fight the expanding Ebola outbreak in West Africa says the disease can be stopped, but only if nations quickly step up their response and make border control a priority. (Sept. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Global Ebola Aid Increasing But Critics Say It's Late

Global Ebola Aid Increasing But Critics Say It's Late

Newsy (Sep. 21, 2014) More than 100 tons of medical supplies were sent to West Africa on Saturday, but aid workers say the global response is still sluggish. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

AP (Sep. 21, 2014) Sierra Leone residents remained in lockdown on Saturday as part of a massive effort to confine millions of people to their homes in a bid to stem the biggest Ebola outbreak in history. (Sept. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins