The Role of Empathy in the Professional Workplace

Authored by: Jody A. Worley

The Routledge Companion to Management and Workplace Spirituality

Print publication date:  March  2019
Online publication date:  March  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138499188
eBook ISBN: 9781351015110
Adobe ISBN:


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This chapter aims to highlight the role of empathy in the professional workplace by presenting evidence for internal and external benefits to a company when the notion of empathy is embraced and practiced as an integral part of the organizational climate. First, two components of empathy, cognitive (perspective-taking) and emotional concern, are briefly described. Then, ways that empathy contributes to the professional workplace are discussed by focusing on internal and external benefits for companies. Although the range of possible benefits is broad, this chapter will focus on internal contributions of empathy for workplace communication, collaboration, performance, and leadership. The role of empathy in the workplace also has implications for relationships in the external social context in which the organization operates. Potential benefits outside the organization might include global market collaborations, philanthropy and social impact.

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