Professor of Strategy
Strategy making can be emotional for decision-makers, especially when facing a major threat or a disruptive change. Yet, we know little whether and how strategic decision-makers’ emotions are regulated:p and how such regulation influences strategy making.Based on a longitudinal study of Nokia from 2007 to 2013, the authors develop a process model of socially distributed emotion regulation. This model shows how various organizational groups help regulate top managers’ emotions.Top managers contain their initial emotional reactions to strategic options thanks to activities performed by groups with power over top managers. This enables top managers to form data-informed reappraisals of strategic options, contributing to gradual changes in their emotions. The reappraisal process is aided by diverse groups performing distinct roles. Top managers’ revised emotions, in turn, enable them to form new, iterative data-informed reappraisals and ultimately enable radical strategic change.The authors' study contributes to research on emotions and strategy making by showing how socially distributed emotion regulation operates during strategy making and influences its outcomes. The authors contribute to the cognitive perspective on strategy by showing how cognition and emotion interact over time during strategy making.