There is a strong focus on cognitive, language-based, information processing in organizations. Acknowledging the gut decision of managers, this article introduces a symbolic interactionist framework that allows the investigation of organizational behaviour based on affective meaning, on emotion-generated implications. Unlike most symbolic interactionist approaches, affect-control theory is based on rigorous mathematical formalization that allows precise empirical methodologies. The effectiveness of this affective model is demonstrated in a multicultural setting where cultural differences and language differences make communication within the organization difficult. Computer-based simulations of interaction address the problems that managers experience following culture-centric behaviour prescriptions instead of using the affective meaning of their professional identities as guidance for their behaviour.
- Computer simulation
- Symbolic interactionism