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Finance organizations, decisions and emotions

Опубликовано на портале: 15-12-2002
British Journal of Sociology. 2002.  Vol. 51. No. 1.
Тематический раздел:
Analyses of global financial markets are dominated by atomized models of decision-making and behavioral psychology (exuberance or panic). In contrast, this paper argues that overwhelmingly, finance organizations rather than individuals make decisions, and routinely use emotions in formulating expectations. Keynes introduced emotion (business confidence and animal spirits) but in economics, emotion remains individualistic and irrational. Luhmann's system theory lies at the other extreme, where emotion like trust and confidence are central variables, functional in the reaction of complexity in sub-systems like the economy. The gap between irrational emotions aggregated to herd behavior in economics, and system trust applied to finance and money as a medium of communication in sociology, remains largely unfilled. This paper argues that while organizations cannot be said to think or feel, they are rational and emotional, because impersonal trust, confidence and their contrary emotions are unavoidable in decision-making due to fundamental uncertainty. These future-oriented emotions are prevalent within and between organizations in the financial sector, primarily in generating expectations. The dynamic of corporate activities of tense and ruthless struggle is a more plausible level of analysis than either financial manias in aggregate or system trust.