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"I am not what I am" - Destructive emotions in an organizational hierarchy: The case of Othello and Iago


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Poulson, C and Duncan, J and Massie, M (2005) "I am not what I am" - Destructive emotions in an organizational hierarchy: The case of Othello and Iago. Research on Emotions in Organizations, 1. pp. 211-240. ISSN 1746-9791

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It may be daunting for those who do not know or care for Shakespeare, but Othello is a compelling case study of destructive emotions in an organizational setting. Iago's chilling words from "The Tragedy of Othello, The Moor of Venice" are the title of this chapter "I am not what I am." Passed over for promotion he wreaks havoc in the personal and professional life of the general who chose not to appoint Iago. We use this play as a case study of destructive emotions -- specifically jealousy, anger and shame -- in an organizational hierarchy. The premise is that those who are passed over present a special managerial problem, one that we address at the end of the chapter after carefully looking at how revenge came to manifest from the emotions of the principal characters. In addition this paper contributes to the growing literature on specific emotions as experienced in organizational life as well as advancing the links between management and the humanities by using one of Shakespeare's best-known tragedies as a case study.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Emotions, shame, rage, jealousy, Shakespeare, organizations, by-passed promotion,affect, Othello
Journal or Publication Title: Research on Emotions in Organizations
Publisher: Elsevier
Page Range: pp. 211-240
ISSN: 1746-9791
Identification Number - DOI: 10.1016/S1746-9791(05)01109-0
Date Deposited: 14 Dec 2006
Last Modified: 18 Nov 2014 03:12
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