Program and Abstracts

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8th Asia-Pacific Symposium on Emotions in Worklife 2013

29th November 2013


 University of Melbourne

This event is proudly hosted by



Published by:


Melbourne Business School

200 Leicester Street,

Carlton VIC 3053



Book of Abstracts 8th Asia Pacific Symposium on Worklife

© 4th November 2013

Emotions in Worklife, Melbourne Business School, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise without the prior permission of the copyright owner. Copyright rests with the publisher.



Welcome from the Chairs

Welcome to the Eighth Asia-Pacific Symposium on Emotions in Worklife.  This is the eleventh in a series of meetings which began as the Brisbane Symposium on Emotions and Worklife in 2003.  The aim of the Symposium is to bring together postgraduate students, academics, and practitioners who are working in the exciting area of emotions at work.  This year we are pleased to welcome delegates from across Australia and Asia.


The Symposium is being sponsored this year by Melbourne Business School.  Thanks to their sponsorship, we have been able to offer three travel scholarships to assist three doctoral students to attend and present their research.  We offer congratulations to our winners, Rebecca Michalak, Xing Yuan and Libby Sander.


We are fortunate to have Professor Karen Jehn of Melbourne Business School as our keynote speaker who will give a talk on Asymmetry of perceptions: The impact on emotions, cognition, and conflict. Karen is distinguished scholar who has had a significant impact through her contribution to international journals and networks.


We have a number of interesting presentations this year with a body of work focused on abusive workplace behaviors this year. The afternoon sessions include two concurrent poster sessions. Professor Neal Ashkanasy will lead the closing plenary which will conclude the day. We will then have the option of meeting for drinks and/or dinner at the local Corkman pub which is a short walk from the conference venue.


Posters will be viewed during morning tea and lunch, with poster sessions after lunch.


Today we set a challenge to all attendees.  Can each of you come up with two interesting new ideas for research by the end of the day?  Jot down your thoughts as we go through the program, and feel free to workshop your ideas with other attendees during breaks.  In addition to new ideas, we hope that some new research collaborations will be spawned today.


We would like to extend sincerely thanks to research assistant Joanna Minkiewicz, who has done most of the work on the book of abstracts as well as some other organisational work.


Carol Gill and Elise Bausseron


Symposium Coordinators.


8th Asia-Pacific Symposium on Emotions in Worklife

Pelham Room, 168 Leicester Street, Carlton 3053.

Melbourne Business School, Melbourne, Victoria.

Friday 29th November 2013




8.30-9.00am Registration, Poster Set-Up and Coffee
9.00-9.10am Welcome and presentation to scholarship recipients by MBS Dean
9.10-9.15am Introduction to the day and two research ideas challenge

Carol Gill and Elise Bausseron9.15-10.15amKeynote Address: Professor Karen Jehn – Asymmetry of perceptions: The impact on emotions, cognition, and conflict10.15-10.40amMorning tea and Poster Viewing

Themed Paper Presentations – Abusive workplace behaviours

10.40-11.00amMargaret Vickers. Telling Tales to Share Emotional Truths:  Disability, Emotions and Workplace Bullying – a Semi-fiction Case Study11.00-11.20amJemma King. Stress Caused by Abusive Virtual Supervision (as measured by cortisol)  and the Moderating Effect of  Emotional Intelligence11.20-12.20pmBeverly Kirk, Neal Ashkanasy, and Rebecca Michalak. Emotions in Theory and Practice: The Nexus Between Research, Management Issues, and Clinical Cases12.20-1.20pmLunch and Poster Viewing

Paper Presentations

1.20-1.40pmGraham Bradley, Beverley Sparks & Karin Weber. Angry, Anxious, Sad, and Embarrassed: The Varied Emotional Responses to Receiving Negative Online Reviews1.40-2.00pmElise Bausseron. Will the ethical egoist leader please stand up?2.00-2.20pmSandra Ohly & Antje Schmitt. Development and validation of an affective work events taxonomy2.20-3.05pmRound Table Discussion of Posters, Sessions 1 & 2 (9 posters in 2 sessions – see page 2)3.05pm-3.25pmMike Newnham. Sharing the pain? Comparing the enactment and consequences of emotional labour between frontline hotel workers in The Philippines and Australia3.25pm-3.40pmAfternoon tea3.40pm-4.00pmAmanda Carter. Accounting for sympathy: how do accountants respond to the social, emotional and stress-related problems of their clients?4.00-4.30pmCarol Gill. Workshop: From here to there in research and practice.4.30-5.00pmNeal Ashkanasy: Closing Plenary.5.00-6.00pmOptional Drinks.6.00pmOptional Dinner.


Poster Round Table Discussions


Participants can attend two concurrent round table poster presentations/discussions. One can be selected from session 1 and one from session 2.


Session 1. 2.20pm to 2.40pm.

Table Number


Poster Title


Room 2Sandra Kiffin-Petersen

Implicit or Explicit? Advocating a Role For Emotion in Work Design


Room 3Noor Maya Salleh & Shamsul Baharin bin Abdul Rahman

Investigating the relationship between Emotional Intelligence and the frontline staff Creativity


Room 4Gill Lewis

Effect of emotional intelligence (EI) on students’ reactions to affective events during clinical placement


Room 5Brian Van & Karen JehnWas it as good for you as it was for me? Analysing workgroup conflict and performance via co-occurring conflicts, asymmetric conflicts and mediator variables



Session 2.  2.45pm to 3.05pm.

Table Number


Poster Title


Room 8Catherine Prentice

Employee performance outcomes and burnout following the presentation-of-self in customer-service contexts


Room 2Mark Runnalls

Accounting and Emotionality: A performative perspective


Room 3Libby Sander

What Makes a Creative Workplace?  Socio-Environmental Antecedents of Creative Performance


Room 4Xing Yuan & Zhijun Chen

A Social Identity Perspective for the Relationship between Leader Ostracism and Employees’ Political Behavior


Room 5Colin James & Felicity Wardhaugh

A Client-Focused Practice: Developing and Testing Emotional Competency in Clinical Legal Interviews



Table of Contents


SYMPOSIUM Program… 4

Poster Round Table Discussions. 5

Abstracts: Poster sessions. 7

Implicit or Explicit? Advocating a Role For Emotion in Work Design.. 7

Investigating the Relationship Between Emotional Intelligence and the frontline staff Creativity   8

Effect of emotional intelligence (EI) on students’ reactions to affective events during clinical placement  9

Was it as good for you as it was for me? Analysing workgroup conflict and performance via co-occurring conflicts, asymmetric conflicts and mediator variables. 10

Accounting and Emotionality: A performative perspective. 12

What Makes a Creative Workplace?  Socio-Environmental Antecedents of Creative Performance  13

A Social Identity Perspective for the Relationship between Leader Ostracism and Employees’ Political Behavior.. 16

A Client-Focused Practice: Developing and Testing Emotional Competency in Clinical Legal Interviews  18

Abstracts: Paper Presentations. 19

Telling Tales to Share Emotional Truths: Disability, Emotions and Workplace Bullying — A Semi-Fiction Case Study.. 19

Stress Caused by Abusive Virtual Supervision (as measured by cortisol)  and the Moderating Effect of  Emotional Intelligence. 20

Emotions in Theory and Practice: The Nexus Between Research, Management Issues, and Clinical Cases  21

Angry, Anxious, Sad, and Embarrassed: The Varied Emotional Responses to Receiving Negative Online Reviews  23

Will The Ethical Egoist Leader Please Stand Up?. 24

Development and validation of an Affective work events taxonomy.. 25

Sharing the pain? Comparing the enactment and consequences of emotional labour between frontline hotel workers in The Philippines and Australia.. 26

Accounting for sympathy: how do accountants respond to the social, emotional and stress-related problems of their clients?. 27



Abstracts: Poster sessions



Implicit or Explicit? Advocating a Role For Emotion in Work Design

Author: Sandra Kiffin-Petersen, Business School, University of Western Australia




There is an emerging recognition that understanding the impact of interactions with the public on employees’ work motivation and performance is critical for job design in service-based economies (Grandey and Diamond, 2010; Oldham and Hackman, 2010). However, traditional cognitive theories of job design (e.g., Hackman and Oldham, 1980; Salancik and Pfeffer, 1978) downplay the potential motivational influence of emotions on outcomes. In partial fulfilment of this void, newer relational theories of job design have emerged demonstrating that interactions with the customer are a key dimension of service work (Corsun and Enz, 1999; Grandey and Diamond, 2010; Grant and Parker, 2009). Humphrey, Nahrgang and Morgeson’s (2007) meta-analysis also showed that motivational, social and contextual factors all contribute to complex work design and outcome relationships. Whilst the importance of emotions in these relational theories may be implied, the literature has almost exclusively focused on the cognitive dimensions of how work is designed, with emotions often designated the role of ‘poor cousin’ at best. This exploratory paper advocates making the role of emotion within work design theories more explicit, particularly in situations where emotion is integral to the performance of that job.

Affective Events Theory (Weiss and Cropanzano 1996) is now widely accepted as offering an explanation for how discrete workplace events results in affective responses, that in turn lead to attitudinal outcomes, such as job satisfaction.  At the same time, advances in neuroscience have highlighted the important role of emotion in people’s well-being. Despite these advances, there is still only partial integration of theories of work design and emotions within the literature. The way work is designed potentially gives rise to numerous “affective events” and these hassles and uplifts then affect employee’s judgements about their work (Ashkanasy and Humphrey 2011). For example, solving the customer’s problem was found to be the most common reason why sales employees experienced a positive affective “uplift” during a normal working day (Kiffin-Petersen, Murphy and Soutar 2012). A model of work design that explicitly incorporates the influence of positive and negative affective events on employees’ job satisfaction and performance is one possibility. Given the lack of research attention devoted to work design in general (Parker In press 2014), the inclusion of emotions within relational models of work design and service quality may help to further our understanding of interactive jobs and their effects on customers and employees.



Investigating the Relationship Between Emotional Intelligence and the frontline staff Creativity


Authors: Noor Maya Salleh, Institut Teknologi Brune

Shamsul Baharin bin Abdul Rahman, DST Brunei




The relationship between emotional intelligence and creativity will be investigated in this study to understand the nature of these relationships in the working environment experienced by frontline staff working in three sister companies.  The three sister companies consist of 1) DSTCom, the Group’s flagship company that contributed the majority of the group’s revenue and its staff enjoying high compensation and benefits; 2) Kristal, the Group’s media company that contributed little revenue to the Group yet its staff enjoyed similar compensations and benefits as DSTCom; 3) Incomm, the retail arm of the Group that contributed significant amount of revenue to the group that is much higher than Kristal but its staff received lower compensation and benefits than DSTCOm and Kristal.  These groups’ compensation benefit will also serve as a control variable by grouping them according to 1) DSTCom – Significant Revenue Contributor – High Compensations & Benefits; 2) Kristal – Insignificant Revenue Contributor – High Compensations & Benefits; 3) Incomm – Significant Revenue Contributor – Low Compensation & Benefits.  By engaging a sample of 120 staff at three sister companies this study will seek to explore how an individual’s emotional intelligence influences his or her creativity at work and subsequently the outcomes of the job he or she performed.  Emotional intelligence will be measured using the Wong & Law’s Emotional Scale (WLEIS) (2002).  Creativity will be measured using Zhou & George (1993) Creativity Scale. Meanwhile the performance will be measured using Berry, Craven & Lane (2009) instrument.  The mean performance measures of these three groups will be compared.  ANOVA method will be utilised to identify if there is significant differences in the job performance among the three groups.  This study expected differences in the level of creativity between these three groups.  Another significant findings expected in this research is that high level of emotional intelligence is positively related to high creativity which translated into the job performance regardless of the workplace environment which is in this case included the different level of compensation & benefits received by employees of these three companies.  The findings will be discussed from the perspective of theoretical and practical implications.



Effect of emotional intelligence (EI) on students’ reactions to affective events during clinical placement

Author: Gillian Lewis, University of Queensland




Health Workforce Australia (2012) has predicted a shortfall of 109,000 nurses Australia wide by 2025. One of the recommendations to avoid a potential crisis in workforce supply is to increase retention of nursing students in their education programs (HWA, 2012). Extant research has identified that nursing students experience high levels of stress. Social, academic and emotional challenges can result in program withdrawal, making inefficient use of scarce health resources (O’Donnell, 2009; Pryjmachuk, Easton, & Littlewood, 2009; Wilson, Chur-Hansen, Marshall, & Air, 2011). Nurses often make clinical judgements during emotionally charged situations. Therefore, it follows that nursing students need to develop adaptive emotion regulation skills early in their programs to develop competent nursing abilities. Yet, ways of managing emotional responses in clinical placement is a neglected area in nursing education. Despite mounting evidence that emotional distress contributes to attrition and potentially a reduced quality of patient care, there are few published reports in the nursing literature.

The aim of this mixed methods study is to evaluate the effect of emotional intelligence (EI) on students’ reactions to affective events during clinical placement in a sample of first year undergraduate nursing and midwifery students. A Process Model of Affective Response (PMAR) developed by Ashkanasy, Ashton-James and Jordan, (2004) has been adapted to allow practical application of EI theory to nursing student ability to manage their responses to affective events in clinical practice. The adapted PMAR attempts to provide a mechanism for investigation of whether a nursing student’s ability to appraise and cope with the affective event, may be moderated by EI (Ashkanasy et al., 2004). The ability model of EI as developed by Mayer, Salovey and Caruso (2002) provides the theoretical framework in which to base the inquiry. The results will inform the creation of educational strategies aimed at increasing retention rates by supporting the growth of emotion regulation resources in nursing students.



Was it as good for you as it was for me? Analysing workgroup conflict and performance via co-occurring conflicts, asymmetric conflicts and mediator variables


Authors: Brian Van, University of Melbourne

Karen Jehn, Melbourne Business School




The aim of this study was to further develop understanding in the literature regarding conflict and performance.  Specifically, the study investigated how relationship conflict and asymmetry in conflict perception affect performance on complex team-decision making tasks. Relationship conflict literature positions negative emotional perceptions towards other people as a strong inhibitor to team performance. When team members do not like each other due to personal reasons, affective reactions such as anger, disgust and contempt are more likely to arise, affecting group performance. Task conflict has been shown in the literature to be beneficial towards group performance as it allows team members to tackle the task at hand, rather than getting stuck attributing issues to personal issues with others. One hundred and nine participants partook in this study. Contrary to a contagion based prediction, results from one way analyses of variance (ANOVA’s) indicated that in the presence of high relationship conflict, team members were less likely to perceive task conflict. In addition, it was observed that the presence of relationship conflict resulted in lower objective performance on a complex team-decision making task. A one-way ANOVA indicated that asymmetry in task conflict perception occurred with higher asymmetry in teams exposed to relationship conflict versus those that were not exposed to relationship conflict. Resultant mediation analyses revealed full mediation via cognitive and affective mediators (the emotional conflict side including anger, disgust and contempt towards others), which exerted significant effects leading from perceived task conflict asymmetries to subjective team performance.


Employee performance outcomes and burnout following the presentation of self In customer-service contexts


Author: Catherine Prentice, Swinburne University



Frontline employees in the service industries generally and the hospitality sector in particular perform a necessary communications function between customers and the firm and play a significant role in influencing organizational effectiveness.  Situated in boundary spanning positions, these employees are caught between the demand of customers for attention and quality service provision and organizational demands for efficiency and productivity.  Despite their importance, those who occupy service roles are typically underpaid, under-trained, overworked, stressed, and susceptible to burnout. The incidence of burnout has negative consequences such as low employee self-esteem, health problems, absenteeism, accelerated turnover, job dissatisfaction and poor performance with serious consequences for both individuals and organisations.

These consequences have prompted researchers and practitioners to investigate its causes and potential remedies. Emotional labor features prominently in a number of examinations of employee burnout. This study examines how emotional intelligence and occupational commitment have a moderating effect on the relationship between emotional labor and its potential outcomes. Two acting strategies reflect emotional labor, namely surface and deep acting, with burnout and performance as the prospective outcomes. Burnout is operationalized into emotional exhaustion, depersonalization and diminished personal achievement; whereas performance is operationalized into task performance and organizational citizenship behaviour (OCB). The study investigates employee responses from several tourism and hospitality organizations in Florida, USA. The results show that emotional labor relates most positively to task performance and to burnout in the case of surface acting. Tests of moderation show that occupational commitment enhances performance outcomes by facilitating emotional labor strategies, and the prevalence of higher emotional intelligence amongst employees reduces burnout. These findings contribute to the literature on emotional labor by incorporating emotional intelligence and occupational commitment as moderators and by incorporating OCBs within performance analyses.


Accounting and Emotionality: A performative perspective


Author: Mark Runnalls, Macquarie University




Accounting and emotionality are odd bedfellows. However, when viewed through a sociological or performative lens; I suggest accounting and emotionality have a useful, co-operative and under-researched relationship.I followed the budgeting process in a medium sized, entrepreneurial, employee-owned technology firm for twelve months. The company uses two metaphors – biological and architectural:  any organisation which fails to adapt to its environment will not survive; an inviting and productive habitat is required for people to want to turn up and do great work. In order to adapt, and realising “we are not a flea on a dog, we are a microbe, on the flea on the dog, we control nothing” the company decided to adopt an innovative approach to budgeting in 2011. It adopted “Agile budgeting” as part of a management control package to develop a cultural values-driven identity to which 100% of employees could positively emotionally engage. The company completely rebudgets every calendar month or “sprint”. It is a humanistic, collaborative and iterative approach to budgeting derived from software development.

Deviations from planned budget are viewed as discussions on how to adapt not opportunities for scapegoating. The company services the global mining industry, a notoriously difficult boom-bust economic sector. In order to survive such volatility, an array of approaches are used which combine formal and social forms of control.  This reinforces the concept of a management control systems package (Malmi and Brown, 2008). I build on that concept by unearthing the extent to which the cultural controls: clans, values and symbols reflect the meta-beliefs and values of the owners. This is a relational rather than transactional system or package (Laughlin, 1991), a type of interpretive scheme or “cognitive schemata that map our experience of the world, identifying both its relevant aspects and how we are to understand them” (Bartunek, 1984). I discuss how accounting and control systems has been ‘shaped’ to accommodate such a strong cultural identity rather than, as might be expected, clash with it. My study suggests that group emotionality has acquired a form of ‘agency’ (Latour, 1995).

Could accounting and emotionality be complementary, enabling and ‘persuasive’ technologies? Might accounting controls be more effective when designed with humans in mind not economic models?  “It will be useful to remind the reader that people at work don’t perform, they behave”, Weiss (2002, p. 181).



What Makes a Creative Workplace?  Socio-Environmental Antecedents of Creative Performance


Author: Libby Sander, Griffith University





Whether one prefers to call it flat (Friedman, 2005) or spiky (Florida, 2005), the landscape of work is increasingly complex, unpredictable and knowledge-based. The speed and reach of changes caused by globalization and technology reflect a cultural revolution (Runco, 2004), meaning that the need for creativity is more important than ever.  In responding to rapid change, organizations depend on creativity from employees (George, 2007) as the creativity of individuals is a vital precursor to firm-level innovation and entrepreneurship (Runco, 2004).

In response to the need for creativity to ensure organizational success, organizations are exploring diverse means of supporting employees’ creative performance.  At Google, not only can employees unicycle, take their dogs to work and move around the office via slippery dips, they can utilize up to 20% of their work time to work on projects of personal interest to them (Von Jan, 2011).

Creativity has often been studied as a function of individual differences (Amabile, 1988; Tierney & Farmer, 2002), teamwork or interaction (Hagadon & Bechky, 2006) or organizational support in the form of incentives (Eisenberger & Cameron, 1998), supervisor support (Shalley, Zhou, & Oldham, 2004) or social process (Shalley et al., 2004).

Increasingly, however, attention is turning to where creative work occurs (Backhouse & Drew, 1992). The way we work, and the physical workplace’s role in it, is undergoing a fundamental shift, with creativity being viewed in part as a function of place and space (Csikszentmihalyi, 2002), with firms like IDEO stating that their working environment and infrastructure improves their creative performance (Kelley & Littman, 2001).

Emerging research links specific aspects of the physical environment to creativity (Backhouse & Drew, 1992; McCoy & Evans, 2002), but little is known about the mechanisms by which the physical workspace impacts creative performance, or how the physical environment may enable or interact with some aspects of the social environment to support employees’ capacity for creativity at work.

With regard to creative performance in particular, despite calls to examine the role of social and environmental contexts (Csikszentmihalyi, 2002; George, 2007; Shalley et al., 2004), only a few studies have looked at the effect of the physical work environment. Some studies have looked at the potential impact of physical workplace environment on creativity (Ceylan, Dul, & Aytac, 2008; McCoy & Evans, 2002) while others have looked at how the physical environment can support the creative process (Kristensen, 2004; Martens, 2011).  Backhouse and Drew (1992) undertook a study of the design implications of social interaction in a workplace while Sailer (2011) presented a conceptual approach to examine the impact of spatial layout on creativity through the study of interaction patterns.

Limited research has investigated the spatial configuration of work settings on creativity and this research has examined only limited variables in work environments such as number of physical boundaries present in the setting, distance between individuals in the setting, and the overall density of the setting (i.e., number of individuals per unit of space), (Aiello, 1987; Shalley & Oldham, 1997). The studies have not considered together elements such as the aesthetics of the workspace, overall design impression, and the impact of the presence of creative coworkers and creative role models (Perry-Smith & Shalley, 2003). Research has demonstrated the vital importance of environmental dimensions such as spatial layout, furnishings, ambient conditions, artifacts and style of décor on cognitive beliefs, mood and social interaction in service settings (Bitner, 1992). Through my research, I will establish that the consideration of these types of elements of the physical environment are critical in order to fully understand the how creativity is afforded or inhibited in the workplace, and how the physical environment affords the social environment aspect of creativity.

In this paper, I respond to the need to better understand the role of context in creativity by developing a model of the social and environmental factors and mechanisms that enhance creative performance (Figure 1).  My model makes a contribution to the existing creativity literature in several ways. Firstly, it integrates individual and contextual antecedents of creativity from previous research, combining them in a model that illustrates their role in fostering creative performance through enhanced creative self-efficacy. Secondly, I extend current organizational theory by introducing elements of the physical environment that will influence creativity by drawing on the architecture and design literatures.  I link these environmental to the established social and individual antecedents of creativity.

To test this model data will be collected from numerous international sites of a large North American manufacturer and a large European manufacturer, both of which are actively involved in a variety of workplace design initiatives and so will provide diversity on the independent variables in my model. These companies have been selected as they have both had a significant focus on physical workspace redesign in recent years and the impact of these changes on social and relational outcomes especially collaboration, creativity and innovation.

Approximately 750 employees from each company will be invited to participate in the study.  Data collection will occur at two time points, one month apart to support causal inference and to reduce the threat of common method bias in the data (Podsakoff, MacKenzie, Lee, & Podsakoff, 2003).

While my concern is with environmental influences on individual creativity, there is a well-established tradition of individual differences that predict creativity. Because my design does not have random assignment, it will be important to control for variance in individual aptitude for creativity. As such, I will control for the most important individual differences related to creativity, including education (Fasko, 2001), proactive personality (Kim, Hon, & Crant, 2009) and intrinsic motivation (Amabile, 1983).

I will use maximum likelihood structural equation models to assess all aspects of the data and model, including measurement properties, hypothesized causal relations, and mediating effects.

The role of the physical and social environment as antecedents of creative performance is an important and interesting investigation to both the literature and for the practical implications for organizations.

Following reviews of the literature across organizational behavior, creativity, social psychology, environmental psychology, architecture and design I propose research that extends the creativity literature by developing a model of the role of place – including social and physical factors in increasing creative self-efficacy and creative performance.


A Social Identity Perspective for the Relationship between Leader Ostracism and Employees’ Political Behavior


Authors: Xing Yuan, Shanghai University of Finance and Economics

Zhijun Chen, Shanghai University of Finance and Economics

Contacts: Xing Yuan:

Zhijun Chen:



In current organizational research, an increasing number of studies have documented the detrimental influence of destructive leadership, including authoritarian leadership (Cheng, Chou, Huang, Wu & Farh, 2004; Silin, 1976), abusive supervision (Marie & Maureen, 2007; Samuel, Chen, Sun & Yaw, 2007; Tepper, 2000), and supervisor incivility (Reio, 2011), on employees’ work behaviors. Comparing with such direct harassment or mistreatment which may lead to interpersonal confrontation, managers are more inclined to exhibit excluding or neglecting behaviors. One exemplary action at work is leader ostracism, which refers to the extent to which leaders ignore or exclude their followers at work (Ferris, Brown, Berry, & Lian, 2008). According to a recent study, 66 percent of the workforce reported that they had received silent treatment by others during work (Fox & Stallworth, 2005). Meanwhile, prior research has shown that leader ostracism led to a variety of employees’ work outcomes such as psychological distress, anger, and turnover intentions (Chow et al., 2008; Ferris et al.; Wu, Yim, Kwan & Zhang, 2012).

Though prior studies have examined some attitudinal consequences of leader ostracism, few of them have delineated how the victims may behaviorally respond to leader ostracism. This represents an important, yet largely unaddressed issue, because it shows the way in which victims may cope with ostracism from their immediate supervisor and try to mitigate its unfavorable influence. Thus, the major purpose of our study is to extend this line of investigation by examining the specific actions employees display while they manage their situation of being ostracized. We focus primarily on employees’ political behavior first because political behavior represents victims’ efforts in collaboration with coworkers as a way to mitigate the destructive influence from immediate supervisor’s ostracism. More importantly, political behavior can change the power structure within teams and affect the distribution of essential social resources in the workplace (Wu et al., 2012). While leader ostracism depletes victims’ resources (Greenhaus & Powell, 2006; Wu et al. 2012), victims tend to protect, retain, and restore their control of these resources. To achieve the purpose, they often display political behavior. Thus, employees’ political behavior represents an important outcome greatly under-represented in the ostracism literature.

Inspired by the social identity theoretical perspective (Ashforth & Meal, 1989), we build up a social identity model about the leader ostracism – employee political behavior relationship. We first argue that employees are more likely to display political behavior when they cope with leader ostracism such that leader ostracism is positively related to employees’ political behavior. Moreover, employees’ social identity embedded in their group, which refers to “part of an individual’s self-concept which derives from his knowledge of his membership as a social group (or groups) together with the emotional significance attached to that membership” (Tajfel, 1974:69), will mediate this positive relationship.

Following this social identity rationale, we further introduce one boundary condition to capture the social categorization and social identification processes as the social identity theory has posited (Ellemers & Haslam, 2012). In particular, we focus on team relationship conflict and expect it to moderate the negative relationships between leader ostracism and employees’ group identity and the one between employees’ group identity and their political behavior. That is, these relationships will be more pronounced if the focal team has a high rather than low level of relationship conflict. With a sample of 163 Chinese employees from 34 teams, we obtained support for all of our predictions.

Consequently, our findings contribute to the ostracism literature and research on political behavior in several ways. First, the current study extends prior research by linking leader ostracism with an important employee behavior, namely political behavior, while the majority of previous studies have focused mainly on employee attitude. In this manner, we adopt a more agentic view by delineating how employees may cope with the

challenge of being ostracized by the immediate supervisor. Second, we introduce a social identity theoretical perspective into the ostracism literature. With details explained in the hypothesis development section, we specify employees’ group identity and identity-restoration as the underlying mechanism that transmits the positive relationship between leader ostracism and one’s political behavior. Third, by employing the social identity framework, we also demonstrate employees’ group identity as important predictor of their political behavior. Last but not the least, as a qualification of the social categorization and social identification processes, we highlight team relationship conflict as a critical moderator. As a result, our model incorporates team contextual influence into leadership research, and provides a more complete and comprehensive view about how employees may respond to leadership influence within the team context.



A Client-Focused Practice: Developing and Testing Emotional Competency in Clinical Legal Interviews


Authors: Felicity Wardhaugh, University of Newcastle Legal Centre and the Newcastle

Law School

Colin James, University of Newcastle Legal Centre and the Newcastle

Law School

Contacts: Felicity Wardaugh:

Colin James:



Law students are taught interviewing skills as part of their clinical legal education, which includes helping students relate to clients.   Recent suggestions for teaching students have included adopting a client centred approach to legal interviewing, and in the face of growing concerns about the adversarial culture of lawyers there have been calls for lawyers to develop relationship-centred competencies.  Typically, law students attending law schools are in their early twenties and, in terms of experience and developmental capacities, many may not be at a stage where thinking about the client comes naturally.  Students interviewing legal advice clients tend to ignore visual or spoken cues from the client about how the client feels about parts of their situation.  If law students can improve their emotional competency whilst interviewing a client, they may relate better to clients, obtain a clearer understanding of the client’s priorities and be in a better position to help the client. At the University of Newcastle Australia we have designed a research project to test whether training students in emotional competence (applied Emotional Intelligence) can produce a measurable change in the client’s experience of a legal interview.  The project is also designed to test for differences in the reported experience of the students and their supervising solicitors between trained and non –trained students. Part of the project involves designing the intervention, which is a training program to assist clinical law students to develop emotional competencies.  This poster presentation will describe the project design, including a brief background for the research question, some preliminary findings from stage one of the research and a proposed outline for the intervention training program.




Abstracts: Paper Presentations



Telling Tales to Share Emotional Truths: Disability, Emotions and Workplace Bullying — A Semi-Fiction Case Study


Author: Margaret Vickers, School of Business, University of Western Sydney




Bullying is widely recognised as a huge problem for workers, and the organisations employing them. It is also a source of great individual and organisational turmoil. A great deal of workplace bullying research has already been done. Two areas have not been adequately investigated are: (1) the lived experiences of disabled workers being bullied, especially in light of their already disadvantaged work lives; and, (2) the multiple perspectives of all those involved in workplace bullying events – targets, third parties, and bullies (or those accused of bullying) – including their varying emotional responses.

This article responds directly to calls from past bullying researchers for more nuanced and sensitive analyses that include the use of creative writing (See Tracey et al, 2006: 177). An in-depth, multiple perspective, semi-fictional case study is shared that showcases a disabled woman’s lived experience of being bullied out of her workplace after disclosing her diagnosis of multiple sclerosis (MS) to her line manager. It also showcases the potential emotional responses of those involved: the target, a bully, and an organisational bystander.


Stress Caused by Abusive Virtual Supervision (as measured by cortisol)  and the Moderating Effect of  Emotional Intelligence


Author: Jemma King, University of Queensland Business School




Workplace stress is a significant problem for organisations, particularly stress induced as a consequence of strained interpersonal relations between employees and managers.  In the modern workplace virtual communication between managers and employees is now becoming the dominant mode of communication (Wakefield, Leidner & Garrison, 2008).  Cyber-communication removes most of the important communication cues such as eye contact, pitch, tone, rate of voice, facial expressions and body language, used in normal face-to-face communication (Giumetti, McKibben, Hatfield, Schroeder, & Kowalski, 2012). This restricts an employee’s ability to gauge the affective quality and intensity of the communication, thus greatly increasing the possibility for misconstrual and offense.

Even more problematic is that, not only are ambiguous communication messages more likely to be interpreted as critical; supervisors are somewhat less constrained to use inflammatory language online than they would if in person. According to Suler (2004) virtual communication has been seen to promote the dis-inhibition effect or a type of ‘cyber bravado’. This is where the absence of an instant communication feedback loop (i.e., seeing offence in the employees face) and the reduced likelihood of immediate reprisal can increase levels of incivility and criticism severity (Giumetti et al., 2012).

The increasing use of virtual communication between managers and employees in organisations is thus creating fertile ground for employees to feel intense emotional experiences such as frustration and anger. These emotions can lead to numerous negative psychological and physiological consequences for employees (Lewicki & Bunker, 1995), and subsequently sub-optimal outcomes for the organisation (Wessemann & Williams, 2011).

It has been demonstrated in the literature that there are several factors that can influence an employees’ level of frustration and anger (ref); namely, their level of emotional intelligence (EI), and ability to implement emotional regulation skills (i.e., expression, suppression, reappraisal, and control of emotions). Encouragingly, research has demonstrated that such EI skills can be developed within an individual with appropriate training (ref). Furthermore, of particular interest is to investigate the construct of trust in the manager / employee dynamic. More specifically, whether the level of trustworthiness felt by an employee towards a manager, increases or decreases the amount of anger experienced after an abusive interaction, and how does an individual’s EI relate to their propensity to trust.

Emotions in Theory and Practice: The Nexus Between Research, Management Issues, and Clinical Cases


Authors: Neal. M. Ashkanasy, University of Queensland Business School


              Rebecca Michalak, University of Queensland Business School



Beverly Kirk, Centre of Emotional Intelligence





Presenter 1: Neal. M. Ashkanasy

Owing to recent economic conditions, many supervisors have been tasked to require subordinates to “do more with less”; an approach to managing employee performance that might be considered “Cracking the Whip”, which creates a need for a theoretical model to help explain when these types of supervisory requests are perceived as appropriate versus abusive. Insights can be drawn from the qualitative implications of biographies of controversial leaders such as Lyndon B. Johnson and Steve Jobs, who both displayed behaviour that many would consider abusive but nevertheless had a group of loyal, dedicated, and appreciative subordinates.

In this presentation, I explain why some subordinates experience negative affect and perceive abuse while others experience positive affect, by outlining a model based on affective events and attribution theories which also integrates the literatures on authentic leadership, pseudo-transformational leadership, trust, emotional intelligence, and justice theory. In doing so, I answer the question:  When do demands for high performance become “abusive supervision”?


Presenter 2: Rebecca T. Michalak

Emotional intelligence (EI: Salovey & Mayer, 1990) is an individual difference often overlooked in studies on stress and coping. With coping embedded within a specific context, I argue that EI is important to understanding how and why employees might respond to interpersonally deviant encounters at work, given that this intelligence can moderate the effects of stress for some individuals (Gohm, Corser, & Dalsky, 2005). Moreover, ability to manage emotions may also be useful in terms of using emotion-focused coping strategies to regulate an individual’s affective state. As Salovey (2001) notes, both expressing and suppressing negative emotions can negatively impact on health, so emotion management represents in essence an ability to determine when expression or suppression of emotion helps or hinders in emotion-focused coping strategies. According to Salovey and Mayer, emotional assimilation refers to the ability to differentiate between different emotions as the individual feels them, and to prioritize those that are influencing their thought patterns; that is, to process cognitively why the individual experiences an emotion with the aim of determining whether the felt emotions are appropriate in the situation. Emotional assimilation may also play a role in helping the individual to assess what level of emotion management may be required, which may affect the efficacy of the coping strategies deployed (Ashkanasy, Ashton-James, & Jordan, 2004).

In this presentation I discuss how each of the four EI abilities may play a role in moderating proposed relationships between interpersonal deviance experiences, negative affective responses, emotion-and problem-focused coping strategy deployment, and a variety of individual level wellbeing outcomes; a series of mediatory relationships underpinned by three different appraisal processes. I also include preliminary findings from a two-time point quantitative study conducted to test the multi-stage model, which is based on the Transactional Theory of Psychological Stress (Lazarus &Folkman, 1984), and Affective Events Theory (Weiss & Cropanzano, 1996).


Presenter 3: Beverley Kirk

Negative emotions play an important role in the workplace.   Members of the workplace can be impacted by these negative emotional cues whether they are expressed verbally or non-verbally.  The Model of Workplace Functioning shows a strong correlation between negative emotions and uncivil workplace behavior (Kirk, Schutte, & Hine, 2009).   The uncivil workplace behavior (Martin & Hine, 2005) precipitated by the negative emotion sets up a reciprocal feedback loop from both the perpetrator and target perspective.   The incivility initiated by the perpetrator impacts the target who in turn behaves uncivilly, often passively rather than aggressively.  This reinforces the feedback loop between negative emotions, the perpetrator and target of uncivil workplace behavior.   The key to breaking this cycle is Emotional Self-Efficacy (Kirk, Schutte, & Hine, 2008) which is the precursor of the Model and correlates strongly with the Mayer, Salovey, & Caruso, D. (MSCEIT: 2002) model of emotional intelligence.  High levels of negative emotion suggest low emotional intelligence and low emotional self-efficacy, with the latter determining the confidence a person has in using emotional intelligence skills.

This presentation will outline the application of theory into practice through a case study using the Model of Workplace Functioning. I discuss how the reciprocal feedback loop of incivility can be broken by having the emotional self-efficacy and the confidence to identify, think about and understand emotions in both the self and others.  In doing so I provide clear examples of how EI can be used in clinical practice.


Angry, Anxious, Sad, and Embarrassed: The Varied Emotional Responses to Receiving Negative Online Reviews


Authors: Graham Bradley, Griffith University

               Beverley Sparks, Griffith University

               Karin Weber, Hong Kong Polytechnic University


Contacts: Graham Bradley:

Beverley Sparks:

    Karin Weber:



Customers are increasingly using the Internet to express dissatisfaction with products and services. Negative online commentaries and reviews are directed at a range of service industries: hospitality, travel, retail, finance, education, health, and others. They can attract large audiences and greatly influence consumer opinions and purchasing behaviours. What is often forgotten, and has hitherto been under-researched, is that these negative comments can also have significant human consequences. Owners, managers, and employees are often criticized personally and professionally in these reviews and may suffer physically, emotionally and financially as a consequence.

This presentation introduces a model of the stresses associated with negative online reviews. We have coined the term, NOR_Stress, to refer to this adverse psychophysical response. Drawing upon the stress, emotions, and service marketing literatures, an interview-based study of hospitality and tourism industry professionals, and a selection of relevant websites, we elaborate on the elements, antecedents, and consequences of NOR_Stress. Four main dimensions of the affective response to negative online reviews are distinguished: 1. anger (ranging from dismay to fury); 2. self-focused emotions (ranging from self-consciousness to humiliation, including embarrassment, shame and guilt); 3. anxiety (ranging from uneasiness to dread);  and 4. sadness (ranging from disappointment to depression).The presentation uses quotations from our interviewees and from the websites to illustrate each of these emotional responses and the likely antecedents and consequences of each. Recommendations for managing negative online reviews and reducing their adverse impacts are presented.


Will The Ethical Egoist Leader Please Stand Up?


Author: Elise Bausseron, The University of Queensland Business School




An increasing number of studies investigate the existence of a possible relationship between emotional intelligence (EI) and interpersonal deviance or Machiavellianism (e.g., Austin et al., 2007; Côté et al., 2011; Winkel et al., 2011). This is meant to balance the dominant view that EI is a positive tool that leaders can use to accomplish noble goals. While both views about the way EI may be used are relevant and thus necessary to acknowledge and research, I argue that, by targeting the extremes, they do not offer a sufficiently sophisticated analysis of leaders’ motivational agenda. Instead, they limit their logic to a Manichean intellectualisation of the construct. That is, they succomb to the cartesian urge of distinguishing between the morally good and bad in too binary a manner, which prevents effective problematization of EI.

I propose to reconcile recent tensions about the “power” of EI by examining the intersection of EI and leadership ethics. In this respect, I argue that normative ethics provides an appropriate and interesting platform to tease out, and judge the ethicality of the various avenues that the use of EI may take. In particular, I make the case for ethical egoism as the normative ethical theory that possesses the most convincing potential for demystifying the EI-leadership link as currently portrayed in the literature. Ethical egoism deems an action moral if it prioritises and satisfies the personal interest of the person executing the action in question. I argue that ethical egoism is helpful to deepen our understanding of the role of EI in leadership because it embraces the notion of self-interest. Precisely, I argue that the pragmatism of this theory permits us to formulate more realistic interpretations about how and why leaders may capitalise on their EI abilities when interacting with others at work. In adopting an ethical egoist perspective, we can also integrate the influence that the situational context has on leaders’ behaviours to our judgment of the ethical nature of these behaviours. This is because ethical egoism attributes high importance to detecting emerging opportunities that promote long-term self-interest.

I discuss the practical implications of this position, including for the development of assessment tools designed to measure ethical decision making and for the modernisation of leadership training programs.

Development and validation of an Affective work events taxonomy


Authors: Sandra Ohly, University of Kassel

               Antje Schmitt, University of Kassel

Contact: Sandra Ohly,


Affective events theory (AET) highlights the importance of work events as antecedents of distinct emotions, attitudes and work behavior. However, when reviewing the literature it becomes evident that few attempts have been made to systematically classify positive and negative work events. The aim of this study was to develop a comprehensive taxonomy of work events to provide a common frame of reference for future research. We used concept mapping methodology as a qualitative approach to analyze our data on work events.

In three daily diary studies, 218 employees reported 559 positive and 383 negative work events. We identified four positive and seven negative events clusters. Each event cluster showed a unique relationship with distinct affective states (worried, angered, exhausted, at rest, enthusiastic) form the affective circumplex. These relationship mostly hold when controlling for trait affect and the occurrence of events without clustering. The results support the validity of our taxonomy. This study contributes to the previous literature by refining AET and through providing a comprehensive yet parsimonious classification of both positive and negative work events. The event clusters can be arranged on a two-dimensional space spanned by communion and agency, thereby suggesting that both positive and negative events are not unitary concepts. Future research can use the taxonomy to more differentially investigate relationships proposed in AET, and work-related consequences of affect.

Sharing the pain? Comparing the enactment and consequences of emotional labour between frontline hotel workers in The Philippines and Australia


Author: Mike Newnham, University of Wollongong in Dubai



This study compares the enactment and consequences of emotional labour between service workers in hotels in Manila, The Philippines with those in Melbourne and Sydney, Australia, and is the first empirical study to make such a cross-cultural comparison. More than 700 guest contact employees completed a survey comprising INDCOL, the Emotional Labour Scale and the Maslach Burnout Inventory. Treating the constructs as orthogonal, Filipino respondents reported themselves as both more collectivist and individualist than the Australian sample. Individualists in both countries reported using more surface acting than others, whereas there were no significant differences in how deep acting was reported. Respondents in both countries who used more surface acting reported higher levels of emotional exhaustion and depersonalisation than others and conversely, respondents who reported using more deep acting reported significantly lower levels of emotional exhaustion and depersonalisation. Service workers who reported using high levels of both surface and deep acting, reported higher levels of emotional exhaustion and depersonalization than others. These findings add to the literature by suggesting that coping and support mechanisms in the literature may be equally beneficial for service workers in The Philippines sample, adapted to and benefitting from their distinctive cultural orientation. This study also identifies that in order to maximise the benefits and minimise the harm of emotional labour in The Philippines, individual differences must be considered, rather than relying on generalised descriptions of so-called collectivist Filipino culture.

Accounting for sympathy: how do accountants respond to the social, emotional and stress-related problems of their clients?


Author: Amanda Carter, University of South Australia Business School




Accounting graduates are often ill-prepared for client interactions as the individual is abstracted in accounting education. Rather the client is represented as a “firm”, “partnership” or “company”. However, the reality is that accountants, as with other professional service providers, interact with people – and people are emotional beings. Within the transdisciplinary field of emotions at work, employee-client interaction occupies considerable space, particularly in terms of emotional labour (see for example Ashforth & Humphrey, 1993; Groth et al., 2006, 2009; Morris & Feldman, 1996; Totterdell & Holman, 2003). However, in examining employee-client interaction and emotional labour, the focus of the literature is often on service failure (such as Cropanzano et al., 2003; Groth et al., 2006; McColl-Kennedy & Smith, 2006). Service failures presuppose therefore that client dissatisfaction, or negative emotional response, is the result of the interaction itself, with clients experiencing dissatisfaction in terms of service provision (Bradley et al. 2010).  This paper considers the circumstances in which clients bring into interactions “emotional externalities” which result from various social, emotional and stress-related problems and that the clients are seeking more than professional advice during affective episodes (Beal, Weiss, Barros, & MacDermid, 2005; Weiss & Cropanzano, 1996).

The research explores the emotional impact on the accountants themselves, that is, how they feel when confronted by emotional client. A national survey of Chartered Accountants was conducted in 2012 with 223 usable responses (a response rate of 28.3%). The survey included a specific open-ended question which asked them “how do you feel when a client presents with social, emotional or stress-related problems?”.

The responses were subjected to a qualitative analysis using the eight main emotion groups as a frame: anger, fear, shame, sadness, love, disgust, enjoyment, and surprise. While all emotion groups were present including disgust, the majority of responses expressed most often fear (50.22%, n=112/223), shame (28.25%, n=63/223), and then love (25.56%, n=57/223). Fear was often stated in terms of concern or worry about clients, shame in their own failings or inability to help, and love as trust and calmness. It is clear however, that the more “negative” emotions – fear, shame, and even anger and sadness – dominate. The incidence of such negative emotions amongst accountants which resulted from such “emotional externalities” has significant implications for the profession: the lack of preparation and support for accountants and their emotions may increase the risk of harm to both accountant and client.