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Workplace Fear: A Phenomenological Exploration of the Experiences of Human Service Workers

Antoniadou, M and Sandiford, P and Wright, G and Alker, LP (2016) Workplace Fear: A Phenomenological Exploration of the Experiences of Human Service Workers. In: Research on Emotions in Organization. Emerald. ISBN 978-1-78754-845-9

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Abstract

This chapter explores the meanings that human service workers employed in the airline industry and in higher education give to workplace fear, the ways it is expressed, and perceptions of its consequences. The findings reveal that fear is not a wholly “negative” emotion, as it can contribute to the achievement of desirable outcomes when openly expressed, suggesting that simplistic evaluations of discrete emotions (i.e. positive or negative) and prescriptive organizational norms of emotional expression may block positive as well as negative outcomes (organizationally and personally). This chapter concludes that permitting a greater range of emotional displays at work could significantly improve workers’ wellbeing and the effectiveness of their organizations.

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