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Stories of Adoration and Agony: The Entanglement of Struggles for Recognition, Emotions and Institutional Work

Abstract

In research on organizations, the institutional work perspective plays a pivotal role in elaborating on the various instances of agency that aim to create, maintain, and disrupt institutional orders. However, the particular effects of emotions on processes of institutional work have been rarely addressed so far. In this paper, we focus on the emotions as an ambivalent driver of institutional work. We do this by introducing Axel Honneth’s socio-philosophical approach on “struggles for recognition”. In particular, we analyze how emotions trigger institutional work in terms of a person’s entry as well as non-entry into struggles for recognition. For this, we suggest an analytical framework which focuses on seductive as well as agonizing aspects of relations of mutual recognition. We give evidence to our approach by an exploration of autobiographical accounts of former employees of investment banks, published in the context of the global financial crisis.

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Notes

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    All quotes are our own translation.

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Correspondence to Ronald Hartz.

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Fassauer, G., Hartz, R. Stories of Adoration and Agony: The Entanglement of Struggles for Recognition, Emotions and Institutional Work. Schmalenbach Bus Rev 17, 173–193 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s41464-016-0015-6

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Keywords

  • Emotions
  • Institutional work
  • Recognition
  • Struggle

JEL-Classification

  • G01
  • G24
  • M10
  • M14
  • N20