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Feeling the Hardware: The Emotionality of Technology-Based Organizational Change
Unformatted Document Text:  Feeling the Hardware, p. 16 Influencing Others’ Interpretations of Emotions Because of the ambiguity of felt emotions and the CSIS system, each individual was open to influence and each tried, consciously or not, to influence the others. Mary’s effusiveness (e.g., “Exciting!”), Gary’s display of calm and quiet humour, and Roxanne’s outbursts and complaints may be partially attributable to their personalities or “actual” feelings, but are simultaneously attempts to influence the others to construct the experience in a particular way. That Gary and Mary were attempting to influence Roxanne is perhaps most obvious and understandable. As managers who were responsible for making the system work (and who would eventually be evaluated on its success), they needed Roxanne to maintain her motivation and thus attempted to influence her emotional experience and evaluation. Roxanne, on the other hand, was going to be primarily responsible for using the system. Her job was going to be most affected by the new system, so her attempts to influence the others’ interpretations can be seen as pre-emptive attempts to avoid negative evaluations later; for example, if it’s a “bad system” it will not be her fault if she takes more time to get her work done. Additionally, if the system indeed turns out to be a “lemon,” swaying the managers to her point of view could lead to a groundswell of opposition that could kill it before it is institutionalised. The conversation in the first training session in which Roxanne expressed her frustration exemplifies their mutual influence attempts. That is, Gary initiated the sequence with an enthusiastic, almost nostalgic reflection on the significance of the training event (“Do you realize there will be dozens of people around the country doing exactly what we're doing?”). This comment was made to Roxanne and seemed a good-natured attempt to cast a positive light on their experience. Roxanne, however, did not accept this positively toned framing, responding instead, “Well, I wish they'd get it right from the start.” Finally, Mary joined in, attempting to put the problems in perspective: “Look, it will take years to get it

Authors: Zorn, Ted.
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Feeling the Hardware, p. 16
Influencing Others’ Interpretations of Emotions
Because of the ambiguity of felt emotions and the CSIS system, each individual was
open to influence and each tried, consciously or not, to influence the others. Mary’s
effusiveness (e.g., “Exciting!”), Gary’s display of calm and quiet humour, and Roxanne’s
outbursts and complaints may be partially attributable to their personalities or “actual”
feelings, but are simultaneously attempts to influence the others to construct the experience in
a particular way. That Gary and Mary were attempting to influence Roxanne is perhaps most
obvious and understandable. As managers who were responsible for making the system work
(and who would eventually be evaluated on its success), they needed Roxanne to maintain her
motivation and thus attempted to influence her emotional experience and evaluation.
Roxanne, on the other hand, was going to be primarily responsible for using the system. Her
job was going to be most affected by the new system, so her attempts to influence the others’
interpretations can be seen as pre-emptive attempts to avoid negative evaluations later; for
example, if it’s a “bad system” it will not be her fault if she takes more time to get her work
done. Additionally, if the system indeed turns out to be a “lemon,” swaying the managers to
her point of view could lead to a groundswell of opposition that could kill it before it is
institutionalised.
The conversation in the first training session in which Roxanne expressed her
frustration exemplifies their mutual influence attempts. That is, Gary initiated the sequence
with an enthusiastic, almost nostalgic reflection on the significance of the training event (“Do
you realize there will be dozens of people around the country doing exactly what we're
doing?”). This comment was made to Roxanne and seemed a good-natured attempt to cast a
positive light on their experience. Roxanne, however, did not accept this positively toned
framing, responding instead, “Well, I wish they'd get it right from the start.” Finally, Mary
joined in, attempting to put the problems in perspective: “Look, it will take years to get it


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