Coping with emotion in New Zealand Business schools
Emotion is an integral aspect of organisational life and this thesis examines the emotional demands that academics experience in their workplace and the consequences this has for them. At a more specific level, the thesis examines the strategies that academics use to cope with these emotional demands, and how these strategies develop and change over the duration of their career. Using data collected from interviews with academics from business schools across the New Zealand tertiary education sector, findings are presented which demonstrate how academics develop coping strategies and how the organisation provides support. The implications from these findings could have significant effects for organisational practice. Firstly, these findings illustrate that academics experiences emotion in relation to personal, interpersonal, and systemic factors. Secondly, academics adopt a wide array of coping strategies, which have been personally developed by each individual over time. They are not given any organisational training or support for their development of these strategies. In addition, academics use coping strategies both in the workplace and at home in order to attempt to mitigate the negative impacts of the emotional demands of their roles. Finally, academics in their early career lack adequate coping strategies, and appear to have the lowest levels of organisational commitment.