Original Research

Emotion episodes of Afrikaans-speaking employees in the workplace

Cara S. Jonker, Althea Van der Merwe
SA Journal of Industrial Psychology | Vol 39, No 1 | a1006 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajip.v39i1.1006 | © 2013 Cara S. Jonker, Althea Van der Merwe | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 26 July 2011 | Published: 22 July 2013

About the author(s)

Cara S. Jonker, Workwell Research Unit, Economic and Management Sciences, North-West University, Potchefstroom Campus, South Africa
Althea Van der Merwe, Workwell Research Unit, Economic and Management Sciences, North-West University, Potchefstroom Campus, South Africa


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Abstract

Orientation: Emotions must be investigated within the natural contexts in which they occur. It therefore becomes crucial to study episodes in the workplace.

Research purpose: The objective of this study was to determine the positive and negative emotion episodes and frequencies of working Afrikaans-speaking adults.

Motivation for the study: To date, no study has been conducted to determine emotion episodes amongst White Afrikaans-speaking working adults in South Africa. Gooty, Connelly, Griffith and Gupta also argue for research on emotions in the natural settings in which they occur – the workplace.

Research design, approach and method: A survey design with an availability sample was used. The participants (N = 179) consisted of White Afrikaans-speaking working adults. The Episode Grid was administered to capture the emotion episodes.

Main findings: The main emotion episodes reported on with positive content included goal achievement, receiving recognition and personal incidents. Emotion episodes with negative content included categories such as behaviour of work colleagues, acts of boss/superior/management and task requirements.

Practical and/or managerial implications: The findings are useful for managers who want to enhance the emotional quality of the work-life of employees. Changes could be made, for example, to practices of giving recognition within work environments and the clarification of task requirements. The knowledge on emotion episodes could be very useful in planning interventions.

Contribution and/or value-adding: The findings and results of this study provided insight into emotion episodes as events in the workplace can cause positive and negative workplace experiences. This information should be taken into consideration with regard to wellness and emotion measurement efforts.


Keywords

Emotion events; Emotion episodes; Affective events theory

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