Sharon H. Mastracci

Sharon H. Mastracci
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University | VT

PhD

About

86
Publications
26,741
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1,324
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Introduction
Sharon Mastracci studies the experience of working in public sector organizations; specifically, emotional labor in public service, motivation, burnout, and gender. New research focuses on law enforcement and corrections and the effect on public servants from serving as society’s punitive force. She is a Professor at the University of Utah (USA) and was a 2014-2015 Fulbright Scholar to the University of Birmingham (UK).

Publications

Publications (86)
Article
Full-text available
Purpose The purpose of this study is to examine data from a 2016 replication of a 1986 study of upper-level administrators in government agencies in the US State of Utah. The unique cultural context of this state is used to challenge Hakim’s preference theory; specifically, that the individual agency of work-oriented women is stronger than structur...
Article
Full-text available
Emotion is the “how” of NASPAA competencies related to leading and managing in a culturally-conscious manner. In this article, we describe the role of emotion in public service and we detail the mechanism by which emotion fosters a collective mind-set for effective public service leadership and cultural literacy. We indicate specifically where emot...
Article
Recent experimental results suggest that when police officers smile, the public will react with enhanced perceptions of those officers. However, emotional labor theory suggests that organizationally mandated emotional displays such as smiling exact costs to the individual worker. We use data from a 2020 national survey to test effects of emotional...
Article
Administration draws its legitimacy from neutrality in cultural contexts where power relations are shaped by gendered norms. Neutrality bestows legitimacy where power is vested in the male generative force and is heritable. In the public sphere, neutrality renders administration nonthreatening to politicians and justifies administrators’ use of dis...
Article
Full-text available
The initial interaction between rape victims and police officers affects how cases progress through the criminal justice system. In one US state capitol, the police agency determined its initial response to rape victims was sub-par. Victim engagement was low, and officer-written reports often endorsed negative stereotypes about rape victims. A four...
Preprint
Full-text available
The initial interaction between rape victims and police affects how cases progress through the criminal justice system. In one US state capitol, the police agency determined its initial response to rape victims was sub-par. Victim engagement was low, and officer-written reports often endorsed negative stereotypes about rape victims. A four-hour tra...
Article
Full-text available
This article combines theories on emotional labor in public service and dirty work to argue that organizations should adopt an ethic of care to support their workers. The economics of public services undermine the consumer-sovereignty narrative in government, particularly where public servants are agents of social control and enforcement. Public se...
Article
The purpose of this paper is to reframe child forensic interviewing in terms of emotional labor. Child forensic interviewing practice illustrates a public service function that demands emotional labor yet fails to empower its workers with skills to preserve their personal wellbeing. Under an ethic of care, public servants are not the means to organ...
Chapter
The initial interaction between rape victims and police can affect how these cases progress through the criminal justice system. In one US state capitol, the police agency determined its initial response to rape victims was less effective than desired. Victim retention was low, and officer written reports were found to endorse negative stereotypes...
Article
Administrative discretion can range from benign to troubling, and law enforcement officers possess the power to use physical violence in the discharge of their duties. Body‐worn cameras (BWCs) are a workplace surveillance technology intended to monitor officer behavior in the field, but officers exercise discretion over whether or not to activate t...
Preprint
Recent experimental results suggest that when police officers smile, the public will react with unliterally-enhanced perceptions of those officers. The claim is that smiling is costless. In this paper, we test that claim. We use data from surveys in 2016, 2018, and 2020 to test effects of emotional labor-display rules, surface acting, and deep acti...
Chapter
This chapter reports the results of a dual test on the subscales of burnout –emotional exhaustion and depersonalization – for civilian and sworn employees in a large US correctional agency. The lone previous study to compare burnout in civilian and sworn law enforcement employees (McCarty & Skogan, 2013) found the levels and predictors of burnout w...
Preprint
Administrative discretion can range from benign to troubling, and law enforcement officers possess the power to use physical violence in the discharge of their duties. Body-worn cameras (BWCs) are a workplace surveillance technology intended to monitor officer behavior in the field, but officers exercise discretion over whether or not to activate t...
Article
Full-text available
Introduction: Previous studies of emergency dispatch personnel have established high levels of emotional labor, burnout, and turnover intention among this population of first responders. This study is the first to investigate the effect of emergency dispatch script protocols on workplace outcomes of burnout and turnover intention. Hypotheses: The s...
Preprint
Full-text available
Purpose: This study introduces emotional labor into an analysis of multiple dimensions of burnout in sworn and civilian employees across three law enforcement agencies. Design: Using data from a survey of law enforcement employees in a metropolitan police department, a full-service sheriff’s department, and a state corrections agency located in th...
Article
Purpose: This study introduces emotional labor into an analysis of multiple dimensions of burnout in sworn and civilian employees across three law enforcement agencies. Design/methodology/approach: Using data from a survey of law enforcement employees in a metropolitan police department, a full-service sheriff's department, and a state correction...
Article
Using data from one urban police department in the United States, this study gauges the effects of individual officer characteristics on use-of-force. Consistent with prior research, we find Emotional Exhaustion to be a negative correlate to use-of-force: Emotionally-exhausted officers avoid engaging with others. However, unlike previous research,...
Chapter
Global public administration represents an under-studied current within public administration scholarship, and the experiences of those who work within organizations which span international boundaries remain under studied as well. As challenges become increasingly global in nature—migration, environmental degradation, and cybersecurity threats—so...
Chapter
The story of postwar government in the UK is a story of serial reform. From a twentieth-century welfare state, to New Public Management reforms, to New Labour and its reliance on nonprofits, to the Brexit era, the nation has sought one system after another as a means to provide efficient, effective services in a way that resonates with a difficult-...
Chapter
The wide range of policies demanding multinational attention and the problems that brought them about include the globalization of financial markets, global climate change, internal and cross-border conflicts displacing tens of millions of people (UNHCR 2018), and international trade, among others. Understanding the effects of culture on human beha...
Article
Body-worn cameras (BWCs) are the latest and perhaps most tangible answer to complex social questions regarding the use of force, state legitimacy, and the proper role of police in a liberal democracy. How do officers experience heightened monitoring? This article pursues two objectives via two studies. In the first study, we establish a valid and r...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Law enforcement agencies in the United States take on a wide variety of organizational structures, but all rely upon the non-sworn employees who support the agencies’ missions. The experience of non-sworn law enforcement personnel is unremarked upon in both the emotional labor and criminal justice literature, despite accounting for up to 46% of emp...
Article
Given its focus on customer satisfaction and quality service, emotional labor (EL) is a prominent topic in public administration. As public employees are engaged more often in EL, it is critical to explore determinants of job stress and management strategies to reduce it. By examining the Korean Working Conditions Survey, this study focused on EL’s...
Chapter
Full-text available
Introduction The Palgrave Handbook of Global Perspectives on Emotional Labor in Public Service challenges traditional public administration theory and its disavowal of the emotive component to public service delivery. Providing a comprehensive and comparative overview of the current research in this previously understudied area, this handbook situa...
Chapter
Full-text available
This chapter examines the importance of recognizing the emotional labor inherent in public service delivery and suggests several approaches that organizations can use to support emotional labor demands on staff, with an emphasis on health and social care. Emotional labor has been identified as a key element of future public service work (Needham an...
Article
The purpose of this paper is to explore emotional labour in the context of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) using word data from interviews of five NGO directors on their recruitment criteria when hiring staff. We analyse interview transcripts using semiotic clustering. First-order concepts are organised into second-order themes which are summ...
Article
The purpose of this paper is to explore emotional labour in the context of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) using word data from interviews of five NGO directors on their recruitment criteria when hiring staff. We analyse interview transcripts using semiotic clustering. First-order concepts are organised into second-order themes which are summ...
Book
Full-text available
The Palgrave Handbook of Global Perspectives on Emotional Labor in Public Service challenges traditional public administration theory and its disavowal of the emotive component to public service delivery. Providing a comprehensive and comparative overview of the current research in this previously understudied area, this handbook situates emotional...
Article
Emotional labor is the effort to express job-appropriate emotions and/or suppress inappropriate emotions. The effort manifests in interpersonal interactions, whether face to face or voice to voice, and can increase stress and burnout. Most research in emotional labor is based on North American samples. Could public servants in different cultures ex...
Preprint
Body-worn cameras are the latest proposed technological solution to complex social questions regarding use of force, state legitimacy, and the proper role of police in a liberal democracy. This paper pursues two objectives. First, the establishment of a valid and reliable survey scale to measure police officer perceptions of the risks posed to them...
Article
As the face of government, street-level bureaucrats interact with the citizenry and engage in emotional labor. Here we argue that public servants risk becoming alienated due to the unsupported emotional labor demands of their jobs. Alienated public servants can, in turn, alienate citizens from their government via emotional contagion, and because t...
Article
There is a thirst for meaning in theory, praxis, and citizenship that knowledge cannot quench. It is time for an affective turn in public administration scholarship, toward an appreciation for the pairing of cognition and emotion, rather than a reliance on cognition alone. For citizens to be engaged with government, they must care about it. It is n...
Article
Police departments in the United States are rapidly adopting body-worn cameras (BWCs). To date, no study has investigated the effects of BWCs on police officers themselves, despite evidence suggesting negative effects of electronic performance monitoring on employee well-being. Police officers already experience higher levels of burnout than other...
Article
This paper contributes to research on emotional labour by offering a measurement instrument that is suitable for making comparisons across nations. We confront the challenge of measurement equivalence by reporting survey items that achieve configural and partial metric invariance across seven nations on four continents. Survey items for each of thr...
Article
The growing use of body-worn cameras (BWCs) in law enforcement poses ethical and privacy threats to be considered by policy makers. Law enforcement adoption of surveillance technology often outpaces the laws and regulations that would ensure their appropriate use, and the negative consequences are rarely anticipated, particularly as they relate to...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose Within public services there is a widely recognised role for workers who operate across organisational and professional boundaries. Much of this literature focusses on the organisational implications rather than on how boundary spanners engage with citizens. An increased number of public service roles require boundary spanning to support c...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to find the most important factors to the Index that explains gender gaps in education, health, politics, and economic outcomes worldwide. Design/methodology/approach World Economic Forum (WEF) data are analyzed using hedonic regression analysis to estimate which factors affect a country’s Global Gender Gap I...
Article
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In this paper, the author examines public service as depicted in the television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer (BtVS). First, she shows how slaying meets the economist’s definition of a public good, using the BtVS episode “Flooded” (6.04). Second, she discusses public service motivation (PSM) to determine whether or not Buffy, a public servant, op...
Article
Full-text available
Prior research has established the role of ethical leadership in promoting positive workplace outcomes. Nevertheless, in the wake of scandal, what is the perception of ethical leadership by new entrants into the scandalized profession? Can ethical leadership still promote positive behavior? Path analysis using survey data from 159 beginning nurses...
Article
Full-text available
Despite the increasing number of women in the workforce, the norms surrounding division of labor in the domestic sphere and work/life balance have not changed. Structural theory predicts that balancing work and family demands will improve as the proportion of women reaches critical mass, because women will advocate on behalf of such changes. But wo...
Article
Passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in the US increases demand for nurses and brings health care into the public sphere with all that entails, including public accountability and performance measurement. In the UK’s long-standing national healthcare system, revelations of several years of neglect and poor oversight at one hospital might have c...
Article
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Based on a continuing program of research, this paper reveals several organizational measures needed if emotional labor is to be supported, including self-care plans, recruiting for self-awareness, and performance evaluations that capture more than a standard set of knowledge, skills, and abilities. The paper focuses on the experience of emergency...
Article
To examine how public servants are depicted in film, I discuss the changes over time of Batman’s Commissioner Gordon, particularly his character arc in the contemporary The Dark Knight trilogy. An important aspect of Gordon’s evolution is in contrast to the films’ other prominent public servant, District Attorney Harvey Dent. The Gordon-Dent contra...
Article
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Studying gendered norms, practices, and processes represents the future of research on gender in public management, not tracking numbers over time. Gendered norms are rules governing behaviour that are institutionalized in organizational practices and processes, and are produced and reproduced through repeated interpersonal interactions. Theories o...
Article
Economists do not have a sufficiently clear grasp of how inequality and debt affect business cycles. These authors lay the important groundwork, providing solid new evidence as to how inequality can contribute to less stability.
Article
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Working mothers in federal service spend about 20 min per day less on caregiving activities, compared to their counterparts in the private sector. This result holds regardless of the type of job they hold, their educational attainment, marital status, the number and ages of their children, or the employment status of their spouse. This is an import...
Article
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Nonprofit organizations have long provided an important space for women to establish roles in public life. Using establishment-level data on for-profit and nonprofit organizations, we show that the proportions of women in full-time and mission-critical positions are higher in nonprofits. In contrast, for-profit businesses have more women in part-ti...
Article
Full-text available
Feedback from graduates often indicates that their training failed to adequately prepare them for the human processes involved in the administration and delivery of public services. Although provided with training in cognitive skills, they are left on their own to acquire an appreciation for, and to develop skill in, nuanced emotive skills. This is...
Article
Full-text available
Feedback from graduates often indicates that their training failed to adequately prepare them for the human processes involved in the administration and delivery of public services. Although provided with training in cognitive skills, they are left on their own to acquire an appreciation for, and to develop skill in, nuanced emotive skills. This is...
Article
Full-text available
To most, federal employment means stable work with good pay, good benefits, long-run job security, and opportunities for promotion from the mail room to upper management. The authors' debunk that notion. The authors' definitively establish the presence of a core/ring structure in federal employment. Core occupations are permanent full-time, year-ro...
Article
Full-text available
Public personnel management research and practices increasingly focus on creative human resource management (HRM) strategies for recruiting individuals with information technology (IT) expertise and retaining employees with institutional knowledge, particularly in light of impending retirements. Some agencies face unique workforce demographic chall...
Article
How do the concepts of emotional labor and artful affect translate into our understanding of leadership? Where would one find affective leadership in practice? To address these questions, the workdays of civil servants are examined. Based on interviews and focus groups, the authors set forth in their own words how social workers, 911 operators, cor...
Article
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The term blended workforce describes a group of employees within the same organization who are in a variety of work arrangements—part-time, temporary, seasonal, and contract, as well as full-time, full-year, and permanent. The use of such arrangements has been expanding in some sectors as a result of managers' interests in improving cost-effectiven...
Article
Full-text available
In a 2003 study, we simulated the effects of a minimum wage increase in Illinois using payroll and population data, and predicted that the increase would not trigger widespread job loss. Data are now available to examine these effects empirically. Controlling for the demographics and economic changes of bordering states, as well as using Illinois b...
Article
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This paper tests predictions of redistributive policy theory. Lowi claims that redistributive policy is not influenced by economic conditions. Limited empirical evidence exists to confirm this prediction, and what little evidence exists is indefinite. Policy theory also suggests that such a policy need not produce actual outcomes, but rather, only...
Article
How have employment relationships changed as government experiences greater and greater exposure to market ebb and flows? How have public sector managers responded to increasingly dynamic product and labor markets, and to what extent are these responses dictated by regulations and practices surrounding the employer-employee relationship? In this pa...
Article
Scholars of public organizations have begun to emphasize emotional labor in studies of gender in the workplace, finding that the skills women bring to organizations are often overlooked and undercompensated even though they play a vital role in the organization. Emotional labor is an individual’s effort to present emotions in a way that is desired...
Article
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It is taken for granted that those who have only a high school education will not easily find jobs in information technology industries, that in the current economy, they will inevitably be left at a disadvantage. But this economist finds that the conventional wisdom is exaggerated.
Article
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In an era when greater responsiveness is required of government workers, the authors test whether there is a blind spot in employee performance appraisals that prevents rewarding the most effective workers. Emotional labor—work that is relational and involves the manipulation and expression of emotions—is labor intensive and is required of many pub...
Article
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Nonstandard work arrangements (NSWAs) are those other than full-time, permanent positions (e.g., seasonal, part-time, on-call, temporary agencywork) and those that involve individuals whose services are acquired via a contractual arrangement with another organization. Recent interest in NSWAs derives from several sources, including the Contingent W...
Article
This study focuses on two grant programs administered by the Women's Bureau of the U.S. Department of Labor: the Non-Traditional Employment for Women (NEW) program and Women in Apprenticeships in Non-Traditional Occupations (WANTO). These two grant programs were created to increase the numbers of women in nontraditional fields, and this analysis se...
Article
Employment and training programs aimed at women and men without 4-year college degrees address the needs of the majority of the working population. Noncollege women tend to hold lower-paying jobs with fewer opportunities for advancement, compared with the opportunities noncollege men have. One type of policy seeks to increase the numbers of women i...
Article
During the 1990s, one program successfully increased women's participation in highly skilled, higher-wage occupations where women are underrepresented, but the cases highlighted here reveal the important role of institutions and contexts in successful program implementation. In contexts where grant recipients obtained support from both policymakers...

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