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Feeling the Hardware: The Emotionality of Technology-Based Organizational Change
Unformatted Document Text:  Feeling the Hardware, p. 4 such as increased sales, customer satisfaction, and larger tips. Second is research that focuses on “emotional labour” primarily in service-oriented interactions with customers and clients. This work tends to be primarily critical of emotion work in service oriented interactions, suggesting it may harm those engaged in emotional labour as well as the social fabric of society more generally. Third is work that focuses on the role of emotion in organisational culture management, that is, emotion as an instrumental tool for nurturing employee motivation/identification. From this perspective, emotional experiences and emotional expression are cultivated through organisational rites, rituals, and language as a means of unobtrusive control. Prior research has not addressed the role of emotion in organisational change in general or ICT implementation specifically. However, based on prior research, what could we surmise about emotional expression in the process of ICT implementation? First, studies on emotion at work suggest that organisational members express emotions to achieve a number of personal and organisational goals, many of which are prominent in organizational change processes (Waldron, 1994). For example, emotional expression functions to sustain or challenge power relations, such as when managers praise or embarrass staff or when staff members angrily confront managers. Organizational change is a process in which power relations become explicit in that change programmes typically are driven by management (or some particular organisational faction), and are often successful to the extent that change agents have the power to implement them (Tantoush & Clegg, 2001). Emotional expression may also function to define and influence the “moral order,” that is, the accepted norms for acceptable behaviour.(Waldron, 1994) This may be seen in change initiatives when employees express agreement with welcome changes or outrage at unwelcome changes. Here emotional expression may reflect, confirm, or challenge organizational norms or rules. Emotional expression may also serve a “signal function” in

Authors: Zorn, Ted.
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Feeling the Hardware, p. 4
such as increased sales, customer satisfaction, and larger tips. Second is research that focuses
on “emotional labour” primarily in service-oriented interactions with customers and clients.
This work tends to be primarily critical of emotion work in service oriented interactions,
suggesting it may harm those engaged in emotional labour as well as the social fabric of
society more generally. Third is work that focuses on the role of emotion in organisational
culture management, that is, emotion as an instrumental tool for nurturing employee
motivation/identification. From this perspective, emotional experiences and emotional
expression are cultivated through organisational rites, rituals, and language as a means of
unobtrusive control.
Prior research has not addressed the role of emotion in organisational change in
general or ICT implementation specifically. However, based on prior research, what could
we surmise about emotional expression in the process of ICT implementation?
First, studies on emotion at work suggest that organisational members express
emotions to achieve a number of personal and organisational goals, many of which are
prominent in organizational change processes (Waldron, 1994). For example, emotional
expression functions to sustain or challenge power relations, such as when managers praise or
embarrass staff or when staff members angrily confront managers. Organizational change is a
process in which power relations become explicit in that change programmes typically are
driven by management (or some particular organisational faction), and are often successful to
the extent that change agents have the power to implement them (Tantoush & Clegg, 2001).
Emotional expression may also function to define and influence the “moral order,” that is, the
accepted norms for acceptable behaviour.(Waldron, 1994) This may be seen in change
initiatives when employees express agreement with welcome changes or outrage at
unwelcome changes. Here emotional expression may reflect, confirm, or challenge
organizational norms or rules. Emotional expression may also serve a “signal function” in


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