Fox Focus Spring 2015 - page 20

produce positive and negative results.
Recently, her research into anger
was featured in
The Financial Times
and was the subject of a showcase
symposium at the latest annual meeting
of the Academy of Management.
“Emotion, when triggered, often prompts
valuable communication,” said Geddes,
who’s been on faculty at Fox for 25
years. “If I get a memo from my boss
and it makes me mad, hopefully, I can
and do approach the boss. If I simply
vent to colleagues, the problem typically
remains unresolved and now I’ve involved
unrelated individuals. But if I approach
the boss, it’s a sign I trust the boss to
offer explanation, apologies, and/or make
an appropriate change. It’s actually a
compliment, not insubordination.”
Geddes’ research also covers emotional
labor, or those who are hired to project
or generate certain emotions. These
employees include retail associates,
flight attendants and other front-line
employees in service-oriented industries.
She and a former PhD student (Dr.
Susan Kruml, now Dean of the Tabor
School of Business at Millikin University
in Illinois) used a National Science
Foundation grant to explore this special
form of labor.
“There’s a high level of burnout for this
sort of effort,” Geddes said of emotional
Chair and Associate Professor of
Human Resource Management
Coeur d’Alene, Idaho
Dr. Deanna Geddes considers
herself a “transplanted westerner”
who’s been with the Fox School
and living in Philadelphia since
1990. Previously, she’d lived in
California, Idaho, Utah, Nevada
and Hawaii. The well-traveled
scholar is also an appreciator of
fine art, having taken courses at the
Barnes Foundation.
Have you ever honked your car horn out
of frustration? Or vented to your neighbor
about your boss or coworkers? If you
answered ‘yes’ to either of those queries,
Dr. Deanna Geddes can explain why.
The Chair of the Human Resource
Management (HRM) department at
the Fox School of Business, Geddes
counts emotion in organizations and
performance feedback among her
primary research interests. She’s a
proponent that emotions like anger are
often misunderstood, but actually vital
for civil society.
In prominent journals, she’s published
“the dual-threshold model,” which
clarifies when expression and
suppression of emotion are likely to
Deanna Geddes’ research delves
into misunderstood emotions,
like anger, and makes a case for
their relevance in the workplace.
laborers. “We helped identify when the
requirement to project positive emotions
is healthy and when it leads to emotional
exhaustion. If you’re trying to feel
empathy toward somebody, for example,
that extra effort can lead to a fulfilling
experience, rather than making no effort
to empathize and simply faking it.”
Geddes is Fox School’s only female
department chair. In her role, she
has overseen the expansion of
undergraduate, Master’s, and PhD
programs in HRM. She was named the
2012 recipient of Fox’s Full-Time MBA
Professor of the Year Award and in
2004, received the Musser Excellence
in Teaching Award. In previous years,
Geddes received the Andrissani-Frank
Fox Undergraduate Teaching Award and
honors for her pedagogy and research
in online courses and technologies.
“I try to approach my teaching almost
as an executive coach, for the students.
To me, there’s nothing more crucial
for developing leaders and managers
than enhancing their communication
awareness and effectiveness,” she said.
“Savvy leaders recognize that there’s
always the intended message, as well as
possible unintended consequences.”
Christopher A. Vito
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