Addressing the Relationship Between Emotion Management and Social Capital: An Analysis of Federal Employees

Nicole M. Humphrey

Abstract


Emotion management describes the ability of an employee to regulate the outward manifestation of emotions during personal interactions. Prior studies examining emotions in organizations have often emphasized the production of emotional labor during service delivery transactions with clients. Such a focus has overlooked the emotion management that takes place between employees. Using ordinary least- squares (OLS) regression, this study analyzes the 2016 Merit Principles Survey of federal employees to examine the relationship between emotion management and the development of social capital. Findings from the study show a positive relationship between emotion management and social capital. These findings provide evidence that employees capable of properly regulating their emotional states during interactions with their colleagues perceive themselves as having more social capital. The findings, however, also indicate that the positive relationship between emotion management and social capital does not hold for employees of color to the same extent that it does for white employees. This could mean that emotion management by employees of color is less likely to lead to increases in social capital as it is for their white counterparts. These findings have important implications for our understanding of emotion management and its impact on how employees navigate their organizations.


Keywords


Emotion Management; Social Capital; Federal Employees

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.20899/jpna.6.1.5-21

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