Asia Pacific Journal of Management

, Volume 31, Issue 1, pp 293–308 | Cite as

The rationality of emotions: A hybrid process model of decision-making under uncertainty

  • Yan LiEmail author
  • Neal M. Ashkanasy
  • David Ahlstrom


Decision-making continues to be a vital area of research on organizations, particularly in Asia. After years of research under the cognitive approach, there has been an upsurge of scholarly attention connecting decision-making to emotion. Nonetheless, competing accounts of the role played by emotion in decision-making have created a conundrum as to whether emotion is rational or irrational and whether it should even be considered along with other cognitive aspects of the decision-making process. In response, we derive a hybrid process decision-making model to integrate the effects from cognition and emotions varying with the levels of uncertainty. In proposing this model, we seek to differentiate the rationality of emotions from the instrumental, functional, and expressive mechanisms in decision-making. In particular, we proffer that affective construal legitimates the rational account of emotions under high uncertain situation. Finally, we draw some key implications and recommendations for organizational research in the Asian region.


Affective construal China Emotion Decision-making Rationality Irrationality Uncertainty 



The Asia Pacific Journal of Management would like to thank Rachel (Rae) Pinkham, Saraswathi “Sara” Sabapathy, and Marc Ahlstrom of Burlington County College for their editorial and research assistance.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Beijing Institute of TechnologyBeijingChina
  2. 2.The University of QueenslandBrisbaneAustralia
  3. 3.The Chinese University of Hong KongHong KongPeople’s Republic of China

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