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Is it possible to study anxiety in organizations?

Journal article
Authors Barbara Czarniawska
Published in Culture and Organization
Volume 24
Issue 2
Pages 171-178
ISSN 1475-9551
Publication year 2018
Published at Gothenburg Research Institute (GRI)
Pages 171-178
Language en
Keywords Anxiety, emotions, fiction, narratives, organizations
Subject categories Ethnography, Business Administration


© 2017 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. Anxiety has been traditionally studied by asking people to describe their emotions, or by deducing their emotions from their observable behavior. Such methods are, however, ethically doubtful in case of organization studies. Organization scholars do not have a moral right to ask people about their emotions. Further, there is no guarantee that people who were asked describe their emotions correctly. Even more uncertain is the idea of deducing emotions from behavior observed. There are at least two methods permitting to avoid these problems: Eliciting narratives, which permits to study a rhetoric of emotions, and analyzing descriptions of emotion in the literature (including fiction). It is this latter approach that has been used in this paper.

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