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Feeling the Hardware: The Emotionality of Technology-Based Organizational Change
Unformatted Document Text:  Feeling the Hardware, p. 17 right.” The two managers, in spite of having misgivings, made multiple attempts to frame the experience as an exciting, positive event; CSIS may have problems, but problems are to be expected and would eventually be worked out. Roxanne, in spite of also having ambiguous feelings, attempted to re-cast the initiative as one that was unnecessarily frustrating. Emotional Expression as Instrumental In attempting to influence each other’s interpretations of the emotional experience of the ICT implementation, emotional expression serves other instrumental ends as well.(Waldron, 1994) From multiple observations observing Roxanne and Mary work together, and multiple conversations with each, it was apparent that there was a great deal of respect and attachment between them. Similarly, they spoke positively of Gary as well. Thus, the positive emotional expressions during the training session also functioned to maintain and enhance their working relationships. Similarly, the use of humour served as comic relief (Shuler & Sypher, 2000)—a means of managing the frustration and stress of learning a new system—and often simultaneously as a means of bonding. For example, take Gary’s comment to Roxanne: “That's good Roxanne, you make as many mistakes as possible, so when I'm training someone I can say ‘If you do this, expect this to happen and call Roxanne for the answer!’” The comic relief is apparent. Roxanne made a mistake and rather than criticise, Gary humorously suggests that her mistake is a good thing. Such comic relief serves to buffer the frustration of making mistakes and system failures. But the comment also conveys the emotional messages that (a) Roxanne and Gary are “in it together” in that they are now and can continue to help each other out, and (b) Roxanne will be seen as the expert—the person who will have the answers when Gary’s future trainees experience problems. At the same time, Roxanne’s negative emotion displays served several functions. First, they served to resist a change about which she had misgivings, conveying to the

Authors: Zorn, Ted.
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Feeling the Hardware, p. 17
right.” The two managers, in spite of having misgivings, made multiple attempts to frame the
experience as an exciting, positive event; CSIS may have problems, but problems are to be
expected and would eventually be worked out. Roxanne, in spite of also having ambiguous
feelings, attempted to re-cast the initiative as one that was unnecessarily frustrating.
Emotional Expression as Instrumental
In attempting to influence each other’s interpretations of the emotional experience of
the ICT implementation, emotional expression serves other instrumental ends as
well.(Waldron, 1994) From multiple observations observing Roxanne and Mary work
together, and multiple conversations with each, it was apparent that there was a great deal of
respect and attachment between them. Similarly, they spoke positively of Gary as well. Thus,
the positive emotional expressions during the training session also functioned to maintain and
enhance their working relationships. Similarly, the use of humour served as comic relief
(Shuler & Sypher, 2000)—a means of managing the frustration and stress of learning a new
system—and often simultaneously as a means of bonding. For example, take Gary’s comment
to Roxanne: “That's good Roxanne, you make as many mistakes as possible, so when I'm
training someone I can say ‘If you do this, expect this to happen and call Roxanne for the
answer!’” The comic relief is apparent. Roxanne made a mistake and rather than criticise,
Gary humorously suggests that her mistake is a good thing. Such comic relief serves to buffer
the frustration of making mistakes and system failures. But the comment also conveys the
emotional messages that (a) Roxanne and Gary are “in it together” in that they are now and
can continue to help each other out, and (b) Roxanne will be seen as the expert—the person
who will have the answers when Gary’s future trainees experience problems.
At the same time, Roxanne’s negative emotion displays served several functions.
First, they served to resist a change about which she had misgivings, conveying to the


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