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Emotional foundations of capability development: An exploration in an SME context

Kars-Unluoglu, Selen; Kevill, Alex


Selen Kars
Senior Lecturer in Organisation Studies

Alex Kevill


Research uncovering the behavioural and cognitive foundations of
capability development has gained traction in recent years. However, the emotional foundations of capability development have not been
adequately addressed. This is an important gap; if emotions impact on
decisions and actions of key organisational actors, this suggests an
influence on capability development processes in organisations, with
implications for their survival and evolution. In this paper we therefore
explore ‘how do the emotions of key strategists enable and/ or hinder
capability development?’ Our in-depth qualitative research, based in five
small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), shows that emotions of
key strategists, including emotional tensions and ambivalence, have
multi-faceted effects on capability development depending on the
activation level of pleasant and unpleasant emotions experienced. This
adds to extant understanding of idiosyncratic foundations of capability
development and extends conversations regarding the internal dynamics behind organisational survival and evolution.


Kars-Unluoglu, S., & Kevill, A. (in press). Emotional foundations of capability development: An exploration in an SME context. Journal of Management and Organization,

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Nov 19, 2020
Deposit Date Nov 20, 2020
Publicly Available Date Nov 20, 2020
Print ISSN 1833-3672
Publisher Cambridge University Press (CUP)
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Public URL


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