Lindebaum D (2012)
Journal of Management Inquiry, 21(3): 262-277.
Publication year: 2012

In this analysis, I associate the commodification of emotions at work with an increasingly imposed standardization as far as emotional displays are concerned. I refer to this process as a form of emotional convergence operating within organizations. I contrast this tendency with another buoyant construct in organizational behavior and psychology studies: Emotional Intelligence (EI). Individual emotional and intellectual evolution lies at the heart of the ability EI model, which I interpret as a form of emotional divergence that individuals harness in managing their daily lives. Hitherto, scholars have largely ignored the potential conflict between both research strands, especially the possibility of high EI individuals as non-conforming actors in the organizational arena. The latter leads me to propose an interaction model between individual behavior and organizational norms. Implications for theory and suggestions for future research are detailed.