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Business Psychology of Emotional Involvement

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Abstract

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This article explores business psychology of emotional involvement according to the phrase of Capone “It's Just Business, Nothing Personal”. It describes the necessity of emotional, behavioral and cognitive involvement in business and work.

Keywords: emotional involvement.

Business Psychology of Emotional Involvement

“Nothing personal, it's just business” - this famous phrase attributed to the famous American gangster Al Capone. This expression shows a clear distinction between personal affairs and the affairs of the business. Personal interests and relationships should not harm the interests of the business. Especially it should not happen in issues concerning money. Most often such a situation arises between business partners.

“In business, a man is a wolf to man.” Those who do not understand this fact are doomed to fail. And because everyone wants to be competitive, the image of the “wolf” is gaining popularity. In this case, proponents of the power business approach increasingly use wolf principles among each other, customers and suppliers.          

Naturally, neither the first nor the second nor the third know about it. The client is the “wealth of the company.” But for the powerful company, not only real and potential competitors, impeding the implementation of its business plans, are a nuisance, but also the direct holders of money (customers).

When a company works with the market from a position of strength, it perceives its economic potential as “its own” money in “foreign” hands.

Such a position looks like the famous principle of Alfonso Fiorelli Caponi ('Al' Capone), 1899 - 1947. Assassinations, pimping, racketeering and smuggling were the main business of Capone. The “Empire” of Al Capone brought him about 60 million dollars per year. Capone was one of the first who began to bribe the press.

The first (by fame) American gangster lived in grand style; he lost at least a million dollars per year at the races. During 14 years of Capone’s business work, there had been committed 700 murders in Chicago; 400 of which were ordered by Capone. There is no need to doubt that the majority of those cases of murder had no “personal” reasons.

Money was the main and sometimes the only reason to pull the trigger. With this amendment, the legendary gangster phrase should have been read as follows: “Nothing personal, just the money.” However, Capone used the word “business” not accidentally. In his position it was justified. Murder was one of the businesses of Al Capone. And if we consider murder as a business, a famous phrase takes a quite complete sense.

This example should be used as an issue for consideration. When a company considers the client as a target and knows that it gets the money and do not provide further cooperation, the legendary “Capone rule” can be implemented without any significant loss. But if the business involves repeated contact with clients, this principle can not be useful at all. To prove the validity of this conclusion, we must carefully examine it (Grenville-Cleave, 2009).

Let’s consider the beginning of the phrase “nothing personal, just the money” namely, the words “nothing personal”. The meaning of this message says that it has no personal reason to build a relationship with someone this phrase is addressed to. Moreover, the company can perceive the man as a problem. Now imagine that a customer or a supplier has understood it and begins to treat us the same way. The probability of replacement of actual company by another one for the sake of a meager improvement is high enough.

The second part of the phrase is “only money.” There is no need to prove that the real business is not based on money. It is necessary to produce goods and services to earn some money. If the company's product is in demand, it will find a buyer. Products will receive the necessary demand if the company pays attention to the interests of the client. When a company is building relationship with the customer on the basis of the money, attention to the product is diminishing.  By reducing the attention to product company decreases its own demand. The lower the demand is  - the smaller are the profits. Obviously, money targeting decreases the chances of earning.

The entire phrase is: “nothing personal, just the money”. Key findings from the previous two steps should be combined. The company does not develop its relations with customers, and it is not interested in taking account of their needs. If these rules are the norm, it is reasonable to expect that the dynamics of sales will be random. And the level of resilience of business, living by random money, is very low.

Probably the fairest answer to the latter question would be the phrase of Al Capone: “It all depends on the amount”. If the amount received by the company is large enough, it can “come” rarely. But, speaking about Alfonso Fiorelli, it is hardly possible to believe that the murder has been one of the main items of his income. He has had such ways of earning as pimping, trafficking and racketeering; so it is safe to assume that the income from the murder has not been a major item in his budget. Status of this activity is determined not by the amount of direct benefits (the amount of money), but by the fact that the ability to kill maintains the control over the cash flows.

Turning murder into a trade, Capone controlled the whole street capital. That is why, in his personal dictionary, the phrase “nothing personal” is completed by the phrase “just business.” For this reason, this phrase is not applicable for actual market.

Alfonso Fiorelli led his business during 14 years. According to the current research, 10-15 years is not the average period of operating of successful organizations. The most successful market participants are able to maintain survival over a period of human life. There are some long-lived companies in western economies, whose business history has not been interrupted during the past two hundred years. It is logical to assume that these companies do not use the rule: “Nothing personal, just business.” It is much more likely that the story of their life is built on a long and lasting relationship with customers.

Striking confirmation of this law is presented in the book of Arie de Giusa “The Living Company” (growth, learning and longevity in the business environment). In his book Arie de Giusa distinguishes two approaches to organizational development. A Company, using the first type of organizational development is called by the author a “company-car.” The name of the company, applying the second approach corresponds to the name of the book - “living company.” The differences between these two approaches are as follows. “Living company” maintains its stability due to the high sensitivity to the environment and the ability to adapt. “Company-car” survives on the basis of building a strict hierarchical structure. With time, once the current internal organization ceases to comply with the environment, the company begins to lose its positions, even if its products are good. In practice, this means that without emotional, behavioral and cognitive involvement, without client-focused business company can significantly reduce the development of success. Business, deliberately ignoring the interests of clients, is doomed to failure.

The involvement of the heads of the company in the process of meeting the needs of the customers should be considered. The company’s managers should also consider the emotional involvement of employees in the company's success. There are three levels of employee engagement in the work: commitment based on positive emotions; normative commitment; and the need to continue to work (McKenna, 2008).

Commitment based on positive emotions: an employee works on the basis of identifying with the organization, or emotional attachment. For example, the values of the employee and the organization are the same; the employee really likes the team and his colleagues.

Normative commitment: an employee feels that he owes a lot to the organization, and should work in the company as long as he can. For example, the company paid for training of employee for the specific position, and he wants to “pay off the debt.”

The need to continue to work: an employee must work in the company, whether he likes it or not, because of too costly dismissal.

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It should be described what the employee receives on each level of involvement.

Commitment based on emotional involvement:

An employee receives a unique experience, for example, the support of colleagues, superior’s fair treatment, a well-defined role, performance is a challenging and rather complicated, interesting, with meaningful tasks.

Normative commitment:

Working with such as attitude to the company a person receives socialization in the company, the impact of corporate culture, organization's investment in professional development of employee.

The necessity to continue to work:

In this situation an employee has assets in the company, such as relations. There are no alternatives to the work - it is difficult to get a job, or find a similar job.

Consequences of employees’ performing on these levels should be described (Statt, 2009). According to emotional involvement high performance, highly-efficient potential for office and free assistance to colleagues, a high level of satisfaction with career and life, low level of  work-related stress, as well as physical and psychological stress are observed. Normative commitment has similar outcomes, as in the emotional involvement, but not so strong. Employees sometimes deny a sense of duty to the company. That is why, in spite of the company's investment in their development, they can still go to work in another company.

The work of those employees, who feel the need to continue to work results in: low productivity, no desire to grow professionally. Employees tend to think that the work interferes with their personal life. Employees are forced to stay with the organization because of the lack of alternatives. However, this is not a positive factor for the organization.

Having considered the emotional involvement it can be said that the phrase “It's business, nothing personal” does not meet the modern reality and makes more harm than good.

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