What is Affective Events Theory (AET

The connection between behaviors at work, emotions and attitudes are explained by the affective events theory (AET). Researchers had studied the effects of the major emotions within the workplace – surprise, sadness, love, joy, fear, and anger. The theory states that there are specific events within the workplace that causes different types of people to feel a myriad of emotions. Such emotions then can inspire actions which can either benefit or hinder other people within the workplace. An example of the affective events theory (AET), would be if a colleague unexpectedly gives one a fresh bagel and coffee the moment one arrives at work. The result of such a pleasant experience will make the recipient feel surprised, as well as happy. When the giver is a superior – a boss – then there may also be feelings of pride. Research had found that such positive feelings that result from a work experience similar to the one described will may inspire the person to do something that has not been planned like volunteer to help the giver on some task or project which has not been planned beforehand. The actions are therefore “affect-driven behavior.”
The affective events theory (AET) reflects the fact that humans are, by nature, emotional. During the course of a workday, a person may experience a number of emotions. For most employees, especially those involved in dealing with customers face-to-face, they try to hide such emotions for as long as they are at work – whether they may feel angry, sad, or are fearful, their job forces them to hide what they are really feeling. The result of this is that they act out a professional role which comprises of acting out feelings that they are not truly feeling – like maintaining a smile and pleasant disposition as one deals with customers though the person has just been unfairly reprimanded by a boss.

Because of the challenges individuals sometimes have in incorporating diverse perspectives in group settings, managing diversity in the workplace is essential. A team or organization’s diversity can include diversity across religion, sex, age, and race, but can also include diversity across work skills or personality types. All of these differences can affect team interactions and performance. Global businesses demand management that can work in a diverse environment. Figure 1 Diversity is beneficial to both the organization and the members of the company or organization. Diversity brings substantial potential benefits, such as better decision making and improved problem solving; greater creativity and innovation, which leads to enhanced product development; and more successful marketing to different types of customers. Diversity provides organizations with the ability to compete in global markets. A manager can help guide these differences to the benefit of innovation and inclusion in the organization. This includes not only hiring practices but also communication and career development practices over the course of an employee’s career with a firm. Human Resources (HR) is often tasked with managing many aspects of diversity in organizations, including the attraction, selection, training, assessment, and reward of employees, but project managers and other managers with whom employees directly work or to whom they directly report can also

The difference: how the power of diversity creates better groups. Page Professor of Complex Systems. Page. How can your organization harness the power of diversity? What powers innovation? Many organizations would put it down to smart people or generous R&D budgets. you must focus on diversity as well as ability. Contributions may be limited and specific strengths or talents may be overlooked because they do not seem prominent in the given stereotypical category. as defined by their stereotypical category. increasing the inclusion of different identity groups. firms. schools. and skills. Political Science and Economics at the University of Michigan “Most people think innovation requires smarter people and better ideas. creating smaller mixed teams for subtasks.guide inclusion practices. believes that teams perform best when their members boast diverse identities. poor performance can be overlooked in an individual because they belong to a stereotypically desirable group. and societies and Diversity and complexity. “When you look at innovation and economic growth. In his books.” Scott E. Political Science and Economics at the University of Michigan. “but when you look at innovation and economic growth. On the other hand. . and promoting better teamwork. Diversity training is another way that managers and other employees can manage diversity in the workplace. knowledge. For example. Page calls for a greater recognition of the role of diversity in problem-solving exercises. The process of inclusion engages each individual and makes people feeling important to the success of the organization. which is based on the assumption that the training will benefit an organization by protecting against civil rights violations. stereotypes may affect the performance of a team. Professor of Complex Systems. helping to tackle problems creatively and drive innovation. Different is good: how diversity can benefit your organization Diverse teams bring a wide range of ideas to the table.” he says. but few consider diversity as having a key role in an organization’s or a nation’s ability to innovate. Diversity training is training for the purpose of increasing participants' cultural awareness. monitoring all team members’ progress. Scott E. Managers can combat this by mixing teams. you must focus on diversity as well as ability. A person may be misunderstood early in an interaction. and allowing individuals to volunteer for roles rather than being cast into their default role. vocations and levels of experience.

” The more complex the decision. cognitive style. but undermines performance in instances of low interpersonal congruence. As Page explains: “People need to go into meetings recognizing that there will be cultural differences but expecting to get better results. education. “Businesses should do that. improving group performance in some cases. gender. age. For diversity to pay off. “When tackling problems. Performance depends on a range of factors. Diversity will increase significantly in the coming years. statisticians will throw lots of heuristics at a problem. organizational function. According to research by Jeff Polzer. Diversity not only involves how people perceive themselves. human resource professionals need to deal effectively with issues such as communication. The lesson is that you can’t just toss people together. that’s not going to work. too. Challenges and Solutions by Josh Greenberg Workplace diversity refers to the variety of differences between people in an organization.” he says. . diversity does not automatically generate positive results in teams. Those perceptions affect their interactions.” Teams characterized by diversity possess different ways of seeing problems and will use different routes to arrive at possible solutions. personality. “Similar people. Harvard Business School Professor of Human Resource Management.” explains Page. ethnic group. For a wide assortment of employees to function effectively as an organization.” or the level of awareness that individual members of a group have of the differing approaches and outlooks of the other members. “Diversity can be positive or can work against an organization. for example. the more worthwhile it is to tap into diversity. it is therefore vital to validate. Having different models for the world is useful in making predictions. then the average of the two will be more accurate.” Diversity in the Workplace: Benefits.” In practice. however. adaptability and change. background and more. but how they perceive others. the most significant being what Polzer calls “interpersonal congruence. but hindering it in others. it can be challenging to harness the power of diversity in teams. tenure. That sounds simple. Successful organizations recognize the need for immediate action and are ready and willing to spend resources on managing diversity in the workplace now. rather than suppress. the differences between groups or individuals. are less likely to see things that others have not seen before.“Take forecasting. His studies have found that diversity improves creative task performance in groups with high interpersonal congruence. “There are interesting interactions between idiosyncratic people and complex problems. on the other hand. but diversity encompasses race.” he says. If your model is off by 6% and mine is off by 6%.

Variety of viewpoints A diverse workforce that feels comfortable communicating varying points of view provides a larger pool of ideas and experiences. and return on investment. When organizations actively assess their handling of workplace diversity issues. Broader service range A diverse collection of skills and experiences (e. Some of those challenges are: Communication Perceptual. Company-wide strategies can then be executed. lack of teamwork. languages.Benefits of Workplace Diversity An organization's success and competitiveness depends upon its ability to embrace diversity and realize the benefits. develop and implement diversity plans. multiple benefits are reported such as: Increased adaptability Organizations employing a diverse workforce can supply a greater variety of solutions to problems in service.g. profit. Challenges of Diversity in the Workplace Taking full advantage of the benefits of diversity in the workplace is not without its challenges. sourcing. Ineffective communication of key objectives results in confusion. Employees from diverse backgrounds bring individual talents and experiences in suggesting ideas that are flexible in adapting to fluctuating markets and customer demands. and low morale. cultural understanding) allows a company to provide service to customers on a global basis. resulting in higher productivity. More effective execution Companies that encourage diversity in the workplace inspire all of their employees to perform to their highest ability. The organization can draw from that pool to meet business strategy needs and the needs of customers more effectively. and allocation of resources. . cultural and language barriers need to be overcome for diversity programs to succeed.

Armed with the results of employee assessments and research data. An organization must decide what changes need to be made and a timeline for that change to be attained. It can help your management team determine which challenges and obstacles to diversity are present in your workplace and which policies need to be added or eliminated. Successful Management of Diversity in the Workplace Diversity training alone is not sufficient for your organization's diversity management plan. Recommended diversity in the workplace solutions include: . Implementation of diversity in the workplace plan The personal commitment of executive and managerial teams is a must. Attitudes toward diversity originate at the top and filter downward. The plan must be comprehensive. That report will be the beginning structure of your diversity in the workplace plan. Leaders and managers within organizations must incorporate diversity policies into every aspect of the organization's function and purpose. Management cooperation and participation is required to create a culture conducive to the success of your organization's plan. Recommended steps that have been proven successful in world-class organizations are: Assessment of diversity in the workplace Top companies make assessing and evaluating their diversity process an integral part of their management system. they must build and implement a customized strategy to maximize the effects of diversity in the workplace for their particular organization. The "we've always done it this way" mentality silences new ideas and inhibits progress. A strategy must be created and implemented to create a culture of diversity that permeates every department and function of the organization.Resistance to change There are always employees who will refuse to accept the fact that the social and cultural makeup of their workplace is changing. Reassessment can then determine the success of you diversity in the workplace plan implementation. A customizable employee satisfaction survey can accomplish this assessment for your company efficiently and conveniently. Development of diversity in the workplace plan Choosing a survey provider that provides comprehensive reporting is a key decision. Implementation of diversity in the workplace policies This can be the overriding challenge to all diversity advocates. attainable and measurable.

orientation. A lack of understanding by (usually majority) corporate leadership that perception is different by race. 2. Organizational success and competitiveness will depend on the ability to manage diversity in the workplace effectively. The growth market for almost all businesses depends on a company being able to forge relationships with all kinds of people (see point 1 above). 3. Foster an attitude of openness in your organization. Ability to manage these differences is the basis of diversity management. Question: What would you say are the top five or six main issues with regard to diversity in organizations? Answer: 1. . disability and other factors that make us human beings. investors and suppliers.Ward off change resistance with inclusion Involve every employee possible in formulating and executing diversity initiatives in your workplace. Utilize diversity training Use it as a tool to shape your diversity policy. If there is bias in the results (less than statistically balanced representation at all levels). Evaluate your organization's diversity policies and plan for the future. Lack of measurement. The work force is a company’s best measurement of ability to build equal relationships. our workforce becomes increasingly diverse. Launch a customizable employee satisfaction survey that provides comprehensive reporting Use the results to build and implement successful diversity in the workplace policies. Ignorance of “The Business Case for Diversity. As the economy becomes increasingly global. age. Encourage employees to express their ideas and opinions and attribute a sense of equal value to all. Promote diversity in leadership positions This practice provides visibility and realizes the benefits of diversity in the workplace. then there is bias. starting today. Managing bias out of an organization pays dividends in higher quality relationships with customers. 75 percent of the world isn’t white.” White people will be the minority in this country by 2050. culture. gender.

strong diversity management includes employee-resource groups. It is logical that top management is going to be more white than the rest of the organization (there are more white people proportionally than people of color the older a person is in America). supplier diversity and work/life programs. 6. diversity councils. Lack of nurturing. Therefore. This includes. surveys. 5. Lack of bidirectional communications. but is not limited to. An uninvolved CEO is not doing well by shareholders. etc. employees or customers. It is a process by which a company communicates by word and deed that they will care for their people without bias. Poor diversity management exposes a company to potential liabilities (lawsuits). Lack of leadership commitment. Nurturing is not nannying. .4.