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A holistic emotions measurement model : using the viable system model to diagnose workforce emotions

Sabir, Iffat


Iffat Sabir


Angela Ma. (Angela María) Espinosa Salazar

Richard Vidgen


Research Purpose: The current study attempted to redress the ‘narrowness’ in the research on the causes of workforce emotional experiences by utilizing the cybernetic Viable System Model (VSM) framework, and developing a reference model to facilitate the integrated view of the related aspects of affective workplace environment.

Methods: Based on VSM distinctions, an analytical tool (named as Holistic Emotions Measurement Model – HEMM) was developed for gauging the broad range of the causes of emotional experiences prevailing in the work environment. It facilitated the joined-up functional and the relational view of the entire working environment adequate for holistic diagnosis of the antecedents of emotions within the work settings. HEMM was tested empirically by conducting survey in Pakistan corporate sector. The development and test of the reference model was guided by the constructivism-positivism philosophy respectively.

Results: The functional and relational view of the workplace environment captured by the reference model helped in comprehending the causes of emotional experiences holistically. The field testing results confirmed the potential utilization of the tool in diagnosing the antecedents of affective experiences of the employees while at work.

Conclusion: The current study provided an empirical account on the effective utilization of organizational cybernetics principles in the field of organizational behaviour which has remained largely unexplored till date. VSM framework has been proposed as a tool for understanding work environment and diagnosing the causes of the workforce emotions generation, which has enhanced the state-of-art theories on emotions management. The application of the reference model on field provided evidence about the convenient use of VSM in conjunction to Affective Events Theory (AET) as emotions measurement tool.


Sabir, I. (2014). A holistic emotions measurement model : using the viable system model to diagnose workforce emotions. (Thesis). University of Hull. Retrieved from

Thesis Type Thesis
Deposit Date Apr 27, 2015
Publicly Available Date Feb 23, 2023
Keywords Business
Public URL
Additional Information Business School, The University of Hull
Award Date Aug 1, 2014


Thesis (5.2 Mb)

Copyright Statement
© 2014 Sabir, Iffat. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright holder.

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