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What Emotional Labor is: A Review of Literature



The dominance of customer over the production/service employee, and as a result of this, increasing use of emotional labor in the workplace furthers the need to understand what emotional labor is. In this regard, the present paper reviews the literature to explain the concept ‘emotional labor’. In explaining emotional labor and its nomological network, the paper discusses the factors that affect and are affected by it. This paper contributes to the existing literature by assimilating different works done in this domain and providing a comprehensive understanding of emotional labor. This paper focuses on some of the critical issues, about which, the existing literature on emotional labor is silent and thus, providing a platform for further research.
Research and Publications
What Emotional Labor is: A Review of Literature
Sushanta Kumar Mishra
W.P. No.2006-12-05
December 2006
The main objective of the working paper series of the IIMA is to help faculty members, Research
Staff and Doctoral Students to speedily share their research findings with professional
colleagues, and to test out their research findings at the pre-publication stage
Research and Publications
What Emotional Labor is: A Review of Literature
Sushanta Kumar Mishra
Organizational Behavior Area
Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad
The dominance of customer over the production/service employee, and as a result
of this, increasing use of emotional labor in the workplace furthers the need to
understand what emotional labor is. In this regard, the present paper reviews the
literature to explain the concept ‘emotional labor’. In explaining emotional labor
and its nomological network, the paper discusses the factors that affect and are
affected by it. This paper contributes to the existing literature by assimilating
different works done in this domain and providing a comprehensive understanding
of emotional labor. This paper focuses on some of the critical issues, about which,
the existing literature on emotional labor is silent and thus, providing a platform
for further research.
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The relative intangibility, heterogeneity, perishability and inseparability of
production of service from its consumption (Cowell, 1984 as cited in Lashley, 1998)
create difficulty for the customer to isolate service quality from the quality of the
interaction during service delivery (i.e. service interaction). As a result, customer’s
evaluation of the nature of the service interaction, rather than just of the separate product
(service) being delivered, becomes central to the evaluation of the overall service
experience (Korczynski, 2001). Most often, as the service employee works on the
boundary of the organization and performs boundary spanning roles (Tushman, 1977:
587; Friedman & Podolny, 1992), the organization has high stake on how the service
employee behaves in service interactions. Organizations, therefore, attempt to manage
and control interaction between their employees who provide the service (i.e. service
employees) and customers. As a result service employee has become the focus of
considerable managerial intervention. Recent accounts of organizational initiatives in
various service sector organizations have focused on the managerial attempts to mobilize
the commitment of service employee to the delivery of quality customer service (Kinnie,
Hutchinson, & Purcell, 2000). Since customer’s perception of the service quality is
influenced by how the service employee expresses her/his emotion in service interactions
(Pugh, 2001), organizations expect the service employee to present emotions that are
desired by their organizations apart from the high level of competence/expertise in the job
(Grandey, Fisk, Mattila, Jansen, & Sideman, 2005b). As felt emotions are different from
organizationally desired emotions, it requires effort on the part of the employee to display
appropriate emotions as specified by the organization. This type of labor is called
emotional labor. Increasing use of emotional labor in the workplace has raised interest
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among researchers. Therefore a clear understanding of the concept and its place in the
nomological network is warranted. This paper explains the concept of emotional labor
and elaborates the factors associated with the concept. Based on the understanding of the
literature some research gaps are explained for future study.
Emotional Labor
Emotion work is the starting point for the understanding of emotional labor.
Hochschild (2003) used the term emotion work to refer to any attempt to modify the
experience or expression of a consciously felt emotion. When the individual performs
emotion work as a required part of her/his actual job performance it is called emotional
labor. Callahan and McCollum (2002) interprets that the term emotional work is
appropriate for situations in which individuals are personally choosing to manage their
emotions for their own noncompensated benefits. The term emotional labor is appropriate
only when emotion work is exchanged for something such as a wage or some other type
of valued compensation. In her definition of emotional labor, Wharton (1993 as cited in
Callahan & McCollum, 2002) remarks that not only such actions are performed for a
wage; they are also under the control of others. Thus, in organizational settings, emotional
labor is under the control of organizations. Various scholars have conceptualized
emotional labor in various ways. In the next section these conceptualizations of emotional
labor has been reviewed.
Conceptualization of Emotional Labor
Hochschild’s (2003) conceptualization of emotional labor involves impression
management of service employees. These employees put effort to express emotions
acceptable by customers. According to this perspective, the discrepancy between felt and
expressed emotion is related to job stress and burnout.
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Mumby and Putnam (1992: 472) conceptualized emotional labor as the way
individuals change or manage emotions to make them appropriate or consistent with a
situation, a role, or an expected organizational behavior. According to this view,
expression of wider range of emotions at work is desirable, not to enhance productivity
but to foster subjective well-being of the organizational members and their families.
Ashforth and Humphrey (1993: 90) defined emotional labor as the act of displaying
appropriate emotions, with the goal to engage in a form of impression management to
foster social perceptions of her/himself as well as to foster an interpersonal climate
(Gardner & Martinko, 1988). This conception of emotional labor focused mainly on the
effectiveness of the behavior.
Morris and Feldman (1996: 987) conceptualized emotional labor as the effort,
planning, and control needed to express organizationally desired emotion during
interpersonal transactions. This definition of emotional labor includes the organizational
expectations for employees in their interactions with the customers, as well as the internal
state of tension that occurs when a person displays emotions that are discrepant from
her/his true feelings. They proposed that emotional labor consists of four dimensions: (a)
frequency of interactions, (b) attentiveness (intensity of emotions, duration of
interaction), (c) variety of emotions required and, (d) emotional dissonance. According to
this perspective emotional labor is a characteristic of the job.
Liu, Perrewe, Hochwarter, & Kachmar, (2004) interpreted emotional labor as the
attempt by individual to reduce the discrepancy between felt and displayed emotions.
From the perspective of the individual service employee, emotional labor involves
individual differences as well as individuals’ (re)interpretations of their emotional
experiences when examining the causes and consequences of emotional labor. Individual
differences may predispose individuals to feel and perceive stimuli in certain ways. This
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conceptualization emphasizes individual differences as the influencing factor on
emotional labor.
Although these works have defined emotional labor differently, and focused on
different outcomes, they all have the same underlying theme: individuals can regulate
their emotional expressions at work. Emotional labor is thus the process of regulating the
expression of emotions for achievement of organizational goals and the employee is paid
for this labor.
As emotional labor is the process of managing the expression, it is similar to many
concepts like deception, impression management, and dramaturgy.
Related Concepts
Though the concepts are similar in nature there are conceptual differences between
these terms. Kagle (1998) described deception as an interpersonal act which involves at
least two actors: the deceiver and the deceived. It is defined as a deliberate attempt to
mislead others (DePaulo, Lindsay, Malone, Muhlenbruck, Charlton, & Cooper, 2003).
Buller and Burgoon (1996, as cited in DePaulo et al., 2003) noted that when people try to
deceive, they attempt to convey their deceptive message, and at the same time, they
continually monitor the target of their deception for signs of suspiciousness and then
adapt their behavior accordingly. When people deceive others they usually make effort to
seem credible. This deliberate attempt to manage impressions, including impressions of
credibility, is deception. In impression management, the focus of the deliberateness is
typically limited to the content of the performance and not its credibility (Fisk & Grove,
1996). Thus, there is an overlap between impression management and deception.
dramaturgy e
ach participant is considered to be "on stage" and "acting" in ways
specifically chosen to create the most favorable impression (Fisk & Grove, 1996). This
seems true of almost any organizational events - particularly in service organizations.
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This process of acting, through which individuals attempt to influence the perceptions of
other people, is called impression management. Conceptually, there is no difference
between impression management and dramaturgy (Gardner III, 1992). The central point
of impression management is the recognition that people’s comprehension of a
phenomenon can be directed by others (Fisk & Grove, 1996). Though impression
management is typically a means of personal influence, it may occur in any circumstance
which affects an audience’s attitude, opinion and, consequently its behavior (Shoemaker,
1991 as cited in Fisk & Grove, 1996). When the audience’s perception is influenced by
displaying appropriate emotions it is called emotional labor (Hochschild, 2003). Gardner
and Martinko (1988) explained that emotional labor is the act of displaying appropriate
emotions, with a goal to engage in a form of impression management, for the
organization. Thus, emotional labor is a subset of impression management (Ashforth &
Humphrey, 1993). In order to show the appropriate emotions for a situation, sometimes
service employees must exhibit or conceal feelings. This exhibition and concealment of
emotions is referred to as emotional display (Rosenberg, 1990). It includes processes that
may or may not tax the individual’s resources (Gross, 1998). Rosenberg (1990: 8) argued
that emotional display is a purposive human activity, which focuses on producing
intended effects on other people’s phenomenal worlds. Cote and Morgan (2002)
described emotional regulation as the conscious manipulation of one’s public display of
emotion. Though different nomenclature is used by different researchers, emotional
display and emotion regulation are conceptually the same. Walden and Smith (1997, as
cited in Pugliesi, 1999) argued that the concept of emotion work is very similar to concept
of emotional regulation used by social psychologists. Both refer to efforts that create a
normative emotional state, mask feeling in order to present a certain emotional state, and
control the expressions of emotional states. Thus, emotional labor, emotional display, and
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emotional regulation are conceptually similar in the sense that individuals manage their
display of emotions.
Emotional Labor and Display of Emotion
Qualitative research shows that all employees find their true feelings do not always
conform to their roles (Ashforth & Toumiuk, 2000). As feelings do not erupt
spontaneously or automatically employees modify their display of emotions either by
deep acting or by surface acting (Ashforth & Humphrey, 1993; Hochschild, 1979, 2003).
Both deep acting and surface acting represent different intentions. When engaged in deep
acting, an actor attempts to modify feelings to match the required display rules whereas in
surface acting employees modify their displays without shaping inner feelings (Ashforth
& Humprey, 1993; Hochschild, 2003). Deep acting has been called ‘faking in good faith’
as the intent is to seem authentic to the audience. Surface acting is called ‘faking in bad
faith’ because the employee conforms to the display rules to keep the job, not to help the
customer or the organization (Rafaeli & Sutton, 1987). According to Cote and Morgan
(2002), emotions may be regulated either at the input from the environment (antecedent-
focused emotion regulation) or at the output after emotion response tendencies have been
triggered (response-focused emotion regulation). Grandey (2003) argued that both
antecedent-focused emotion regulation and response-focused emotion regulation
correspond to deep acting and surface acting, respectively.
Antecedent-focused emotion regulation occurs when an individual modifies a
situation or the perception of the situation in an attempt to alter her/his felt emotions
(Gross, 1998). It is similar to deep acting as it focuses on modifying feelings, which
subsequently impacts expressions (Grandey, 2003). Gross (1998) identified four different
types of strategies that could be used to engage in antecedent-focused emotion regulation.
These are: situation selection (choosing or avoiding certain situations), situation
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modification (physically changing the situation), attentional deployment (changing the
focus of one’s attention in the situation), and cognitive change (reappraising the situation
so it is interpreted differently). The first two involve changing the situation, and the
second two involve changing one’s perception of the situation. Because many jobs
involving emotional labor do not have much flexibility regarding the situation, situation
selection and modification are not as relevant to emotional labor as the remaining two
strategies (Grandey, 2003).
Attentional deployment refers to changing the attention focus of personal thoughts
about the situation, and may involve such strategies as calling to mind events, that bring
about the emotions needed in a certain situation (Gross, 1998). Cognitive change refers to
changing the appraisal of the situation, and may involve interpreting events more
positively than they are in reality (Gross, 1998).
From the above discussion it may be concluded that emotional labor involves active
strategies to modify, create, and alter the expression of emotions in the context of paid
employment. Individuals perform the emotional labor either by deep acting (modifying
the feeling) or by surface acting (modifying the expression). However, emotional labor is
not a recent phenomenon. As social beings, individuals display certain emotions
irrespective of their felt emotions. Also as part of their occupation individuals perform
emotional labor. In the following section the paper discusses the factors that influence
emotional labor.
Antecedents of Emotional Labor
Social Factors
Individuals do not always express their real feelings in social settings. Hochschild
(1979) argued that individuals may learn to feel according to the situation cues, and
strategically use their emotional expressions to achieve certain goals. Emotional display is
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demanded by society even in the absence of a corresponding emotional experience
(Hochschild, 1979). The feeling rules that obtain at a funeral demand that we feel sad.
Both social situations and social roles impose emotional demands on people (Rosenberg,
1990). In addition, emotional display serves as an important means for the attainment of
one’s ends. A customer may feign anger in order to elicit better service in a restaurant and
a good natured sales-person sells more goods than their peers (Rosenberg, 1990).
Emotional concealment is as much a feature of emotional display as is emotional
exhibition and it plays an equally important part in enabling people to realize their
objectives in society (Shott, 1979 as cited in Rosenberg, 1990). The above discussion
suggests that in the society individuals display emotions irrespective of their feelings.
Sometimes occupations demand expression of certain emotions.
Occupational Factors
The display of positive emotions is required in many service occupations, including
restaurant workers and flight attendants. Funeral directors in contrast are required to
display negative emotions (i.e. sadness). Some job requires display of neutrality i.e. those
of the judges (Rafaeli & Sutton, 1987). In service organizations, service employees are
often the only contact that customers have with the organization and projection of right
emotions is important in enhancing the organization’s public image. Therefore,
organizations are increasingly influencing emotional labor of the service employees. With
the growth of service industry emotional labor has gained momentum both in the
workplace and in the academics. This paper concentrates on the role of emotional labor
in organizational context. There are many organizational factors that shape the display of
emotions. The following section elaborates the organizational factors that influence the
emotional labor.
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Organizational Factors
The service employees represent the organization to the public. Therefore
organizations have vested interest in impressions being managed well by the service
employee. Thus, organizations increasingly offer display rules for the employees.
Display Rules
Display rules refer to the organizational expectations about the appropriate
emotional expressions on the job. Perceptions of display rules may develop from social,
occupational, and organizational norms (Rafaeli & Sutton, 1989). Rafaeli and Sutton
(1987) identified three ways in which organizations create and maintain these norms.
These are recruitment and selection processes, socialization practices, and rewards and
punishments. Diefendorff and Gosserand (2003) remarked that apart from display rules
the emotional labor involves constant comparison of one’s emotional displays with
display rules.
Diefendorff, Croyle, & Gosserand, (2005) argued that it is not the display rule but the
type of display rule that affects emotional labor. They found that positive display rules
correlate positively with deep acting and negative display rules correlate positively with
surface acting. This pattern of findings suggest that when individuals perceive
requirements to display positive emotions at work they focus more on trying to
experience a positive emotional state and when individuals perceive requirements to hide
negative emotions, they are more likely to fake necessary emotions. Consistent with this
argument Grandey (2003) show that awareness of display rules is positively related to
deep acting but not related to surface acting. This supports the idea that deep acting is a
response to work demands (Rafaeli & Sutton, 1987) and surface acting occurs in response
to work events rather than general rules. Diefendorff and Gosserand (2003) suggested that
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the relationship between awareness of display rules and emotional displays may be
mediated by surface acting and deep acting.
In another study Gosserand & Diefendorff (2005) argued that, mere presence of
display rules is not enough and commitment to display rules may have important effect on
the display of emotions. They define commitment to display rules as a person’s intention
to extend effort toward displaying organizationally desired emotions, persist in displaying
these emotions over time, and not abandon these display rules under difficult conditions.
They found that the commitment to display rules moderates the relationships between
display rule perceptions and acting strategies: these relationships are strong and positive
when commitment is high and weak when commitment is low. Gosserand & Diefendorff
(2005) conclude that perceiving high levels of display requirements combined with high
commitment to those display rules is associated with more use of emotional regulation
strategies and positive affective delivery.
Interaction Characteristics
Apart from display rules, the frequency, duration, and routines of interpersonal
interactions influence emotional labor. Morris & Feldman (1996) proposed that
individuals will have a greater need to regulate their emotions, in jobs requiring frequent
contact with others. In an empirical study, Diefendorff et al. (2005), found no relationship
between frequency of interaction and acting. Routineness is the extent to which customer
interactions are repetitive and scripted. Routineness of interaction is related positively
with deep acting (Diefendorff et al, 2005), but Rafaeli and Sutton (1990) commented that
when routine interactions occur customers may prefer impersonal but cordial interactions.
This creates little incentive to deep act. Duration refers to how long typical customer
interaction lasts. Studies found that duration of interaction correlates positively with deep
acting (Diefendorff et al., 2005; Morris & Feldman, 1996). Technology changes the way
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individuals interact with each other. The introduction of computers into the workplace
provides an excellent example of how changes in technology can change social norms
and the display rules that govern manager – subordinate interactions (Humphrey, 2000).
Job Characteristics
Job characteristics influence the formation of display rules and social norms.
Pugliesi (1997) showed that the impact of job characteristics and emotional labor appear
to compound rather than interact. Job autonomy has been defined as the degree to which
the job provides substantial freedom, independence, and discretion to the individuals in
determining the procedures to be used in performing the job. Job autonomy is a predictor
of job satisfaction (Hackman & Oldham, 1976 as cited in George and Jones, 1999).
Research suggests that those with high job satisfaction perceive higher person-job fit and
are more likely to have positive moods and emotions in the workplace (Fisher, 2000 as
cited by Grandey, 2003). Grandey, Fisk, Steiner, (2005a) found that job autonomy
moderates the relationship between response-focused emotion regulations and burnout.
The relationship is weaker for employees with high job autonomy than employees with
low job autonomy.
Gross & John (2003) remarked that emotional regulation is neither inherently good
nor bad. The same strategy that permits bill collectors to perform his duty will not be
appreciated in customer service. So, situational factors are very important in displaying
emotions particularly in service industries.
Situational Factors
Display rules provide ground rules for transaction between role occupants and target
persons, the people with whom they interact. But, cues associated with a transaction can
further shape display of emotions. These transaction–defining cues come from either the
setting or the target person (Rafaeli & Sutton, 1990). Cues from the setting are transient
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aspects of the context in which a transaction occurs, including the time of day or year, the
temperature, and the interpersonal context. Cues from target persons include gender, age,
and apparent social status.
Store busyness. Busyness is the extent to which a store is rapidly paced and crowded
with customers. A negative relationship between store busyness and employee display of
positive emotion has been demonstrated in supermarkets in Israel (Rafaeli & Sutton,
1990), convenience stores in United States and Canada (Rafaeli, 1989; Sutton & Rafaeli,
1988), and banks in the United States (Pugh, 2001). Rafaeli and Sutton (1990) note that
the clerks were apparently cognitively overloaded during the busy times, which affect
their emotional display. However, Tan, Foo, Chong, & Renee, (2003) in the study of
cashiers in the fast food chains in Singapore found no relation between store busyness and
display of positive emotion. The difference may be due to different cultures at national
and organizational levels.
Customer demand is the extent to which a transaction requires a prolonged and
complex response from a service employee. It is positively related to the display of
positive emotion during transactions with customers (Pugh, 2001; Rafaeli & Sutton,
1990; Tan et al, 2003). This supports the general assumption that employees use positive
emotions to gain control over demanding customers.
Work intensification. Ogbonna and Harris (2004), in a university context, found that
when the work intensifies, the lecturers are attempting actually to experience
occupationally and organizationally expected emotions. This is a form of deep acting and
it is noticed that university lecturers frequently exhibit spontaneous emotions as an
everyday part of their working lives to cope with work intensification.
Liu et al. (2004) argued that emotional labor will vary as individuals perceive and
interpret the interaction cues with the customer differently. Tan et al. (2003) found that
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the relative effect of personality over the situation is almost as strong as that of the
situation over personality. Thus, the study of emotional labor warrants the role of
individual differences to surface. The following section describes the effect of individual
personality variables on display of emotions.
Personality Factors
Neuroticism and extraversion. Grandey (2000), suggests that individual differences
in felt emotions may impact emotional regulation. Consistent with this idea, research has
shown that negative affectivity (neuroticism) is positively related to emotional labor (Liu
et al., 2004). Brotheridge and Grandey (2002) found that negative affectivity is positively
related to surface acting. Kokkonen and Pulkkinen (2001) argued that neuroticism and
extraversion play different roles in the deployment of emotional regulation strategies.
They found that neuroticism is related to the reduction in attempts to repair or maintain
the emotions. Tan et al., (2003) in their study found that service employees with high
extraversion traits are characterized by the display of more positive emotions than by
service employees with low extraversion traits. Consistent with this finding studies show
that positive affectivity (extraversion) is negatively related to surface acting (Brotheridge
& Grandey, 2002; Diefendorff et al., 2005). Based on the discussion it can be concluded
that negative affectivity increases and positive affectivity reduces emotional labor.
Emotional expressivity. Emotional expressivity is a stable trait characterizing the
extent to which people outwardly display emotion, regardless of whether it is positive or
negative (Grandey, 2000). Friedman, Prince, Riggio, & DiMatteo, (1980) conceptualized
emotional expressivity as the use of facial expressions, voice, gestures, and body
movements to transmit emotions. Pugh (2001) found that emotional expressivity is
positively associated with the display of positive emotion by employees during their
interactions with customers. Grandey (2000) found that positive emotional expressivity is
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negatively related with surface acting but unrelated with deep acting. However,
Diefendorff et al. (2005) found that emotional expressivity is correlated neither to surface
acting nor to deep acting. Gross and John (2003) argued that there may be important
individual differences that predict how emotional response tendencies are translated into
behavior. Gross, John, & Richards, (2000) explained dispositional expressivity as a stable
individual difference in emotion-expressive behavior and found that, for positive
emotions both felt emotion and dispositional expressivity are substantially and
independently related to emotion-expressive behavior. For negative emotion, apart from
individual effects, both felt emotion and dispositional expressivity has interaction effect:
emotion experience predicted emotion expression for dispositionally high-expressivity
individuals but not for dispositionally low-expressivity individuals. So, emotional
expressivity has a strong influence on emotional labor.
Conscientiousness. Conscientiousness reflects the extent to which a person is careful,
thorough, and responsible (McCrae & John, 1992 as cited in Witt, Andrews, & Carlson,
2004). It is anticipated that conscientious individuals would follow emotional display
rules by working to be genuine in their expressions, rather than just going through the
surface acting. Consistent with this argument, Diefendorff et al. (2005), in their study
found that conscientiousness is negatively correlated with surface acting.
Agreeableness. Agreeableness reflects stable individual differences in the need to
develop and maintain positive relationships through social behaviors. Agreeable
individuals are expected to put more effort into emotion regulation so that they have
positive social interactions. Also, realizing the negative effects of insincere emotional
displays, agreeable individuals may try to display genuine emotions by deep acting rather
than surface acting. Diefendorff et al. (2005), found in their study that agreeableness
correlates positively with deep acting and negatively with surface acting.
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Self-monitoring. Self-monitoring is defined as the self observation and self-control of
expressive behaviors according to what is appropriate for a specific situation. Diefendorff
et al. (2005) found that self-monitoring correlates positively with surface acting. Abraham
(1998) proposed that self-monitoring moderates the emotional dissonance-job satisfaction
relationship: high self-monitors experience significantly less dissatisfaction compared to
low self-monitors.
Political skill. Political skill is an interpersonal style construct that combines social
astuteness with the ability to demonstrate situationally appropriate behavior (Ferris et al.,
2000as cited in Liu et al., 2004). Surprisingly, Liu et al. (2004), in their study found that
political skill is positively related to employee perceived emotional labor.
Psychoticism. Eysenck & Eysenck, (1976 as cited in Tan et al., 2003) conceptualized
psychoticism as a personality measure that covers conscientiousness and agreeableness.
Psychoticism correlates significantly with traits such as non-acceptance of cultural norms,
immaturity, and anti authority attitudes. Tan et al. (2003), in their study found that the
negative relationship between store busyness and the display of positive emotions will be
stronger when service employees are higher in the psychoticism traits.
Emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence refers to an interrelated set of abilities
that allow an individual to recognize, use, and regulate, her/his emotion in an efficient
and productive manner, thereby allowing effective dealings with the environment (Barrett
& Gross, 2001). The emotionally intelligent person not only perceives emotions correctly,
s/he also uses emotions to help shape judgment and behavior. Emotionally intelligent
person engages in efficient emotion regulation in both self and others. This monitoring
makes it possible for the individual to strategically manage emotion in self and others to
produce the desired outcome in a given situation. The persons who can differentiate
emotions can cope with them more effectively. Barrett & Gross (2001) argued that
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differentiation of negative emotional experiences is associated with a large number of
emotion regulation strategies. In an empirical study Barrett, Gross, Christensen, &
Conner, (2001) found that individuals with highly differentiated and more intense
negative emotional experience reported greater emotional regulation. However, positive
emotional differentiation was unrelated to emotional regulation.
Psychological climate. Psychological climate is defined as an employee’s perception
about an organization’s events, practices, and procedures and the kind of behaviors that
get rewarded, supported and expected (Schneider et al., 1992 as cited in Tsai, 2001). The
psychological climate has many dimensions. The concept of ‘climate for service
friendliness’ refers to employee’s perception that certain practices (which are adopted by
the organization) are rewarding for being warm and friendly to the customers. Tsai (2001)
found that psychological climate for service friendliness is positively related to displayed
positive emotions. Grandey (2003) argued that deep acting is positively related to and
surface acting is negatively related to the perception of the service delivery as friendly
and warm.
Grandey, Dickter, & Sin, (2004) in their study found that employees who appraise
customer aggression as highly stressful use surface acting and deep acting is more likely
for those who appraise customer aggression as mildly stressful in comparison with those
who view them as highly stressful. Employees who feel that they have control at work
feel more empowered in customer encounters, including aggressive ones and show less
stress appraisal of customer verbal aggression (Grandey et al., 2004).
Gender. There is strong evidence in the literature that women and men demonstrate
different patterns of emotional expression even within the same jobs (Rafaeli, 1989).
Women are more emotionally expressive than men (LaFrance and Banaji, 1992 as cited in
Pugh, 2002). Ogbonna and Harris (2004), in their study found that women academics
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more commonly use deep acting by invoking their sentiments. In professional and
management jobs Simpson and Stroh (2004), found that women are better at suppressing
negative feelings and displaying positive feelings than men. Also, men report more often
suppressing positive feelings and displaying negative feelings than women report.
Age. Gross, Cartensen, Tsai, Skorpen, & Hsu, (1997) argued that with age,
individuals report greater emotional control and lesser negative emotional experience.
They suggested that this may be the result of older participants adopting increasingly
antecedent-focused strategies to influence their emotions. Consistent with this finding,
Lockenhoff and Carstensen (2004) found that when time in life is limited, younger and
older people alike pay more attention to the emotional aspects of situations, prioritize
emotion-focused over problem-focused coping strategies. Similar effects emerge when
time is limited for reasons other than chronological and there is ample evidence for a
greater emphasis on emotion-focused coping strategies as people age, and this is
associated with better emotion-regulatory skills and more positive and less negative
emotional experience among older adults.
The above discussion agrees that dispositional factors can predict the display of
appropriate emotions (Tan et al., 2003). Though emotional labor is meant to create
economic benefits for the organizations, it can have negative consequences on both the
physical and mental health of the employees. The following section describes
consequences of emotional labor for the individual as well as the organization.
Consequences of Emotional Labor
When the discrepancy between displayed emotions and felt emotions increases it
leads to emotional dissonance. Emotional dissonance is the discrepancy between
displayed and felt emotions as part of the work role (Heuven & Bakker, 2003; Rafaeli &
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Sutton, 1987). Simpson and Stroh (2004) suggest that the critical dimension linking
emotional labor to worker well being is emotional dissonance.
Negative Consequences
Emotional dissonance. Lewig and Dollard (2003) found that emotional dissonance
exacerbates the level of emotional exhaustion at high levels of psychological demands.
This indicates that jobs combining high levels of demands are much more risky (Lewig &
Dollard, 2003). Researchers express that, surface acting is more likely to lead to
emotional dissonance (Hochschild, 2003) and emotional exhaustion (Grandey, 2003) than
deep acting. Consistent with the argument, Brotheridge and Grandey (2002) found that,
surface acting is linked to burnout and lower service performance, while deep acting is
positively linked to service performance. Heuven and Bakker (2003) emphasized the
importance of emotion work variables on emotional dissonance. They found that
emotional dissonance explains a significant amount of variance in predicting emotional
exhaustion and depersonalization among cabin attendants. Lewig and Dollard (2003)
found that emotional dissonance results in emotional exhaustion and job satisfaction
beyond that accounted for by psychological demands. They also found that emotional
dissonance fully mediates the relationship between positive emotional display and
emotional exhaustion which is consistent with the results of Brotheridge and Lee’s (1998,
cited in Lewig and Dollard, 2003) view that the emotional demands of work do not
directly lead to emotional exhaustion but do so through their relationship with emotional
dissonance. Hochschild (2003: 90) argued that the effort to maintain a “difference in
feeling and feigning over the long run leads to strain”, ultimately posing threats to the
physical well-being of employees. Similarly, self-alienation may result when the worker
ceases to recognize or even feel authentic emotions (Ashforth & Humphrey, 1993).
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Job satisfaction. Parkinson (1991, as cited in Pugliesi, 1999) argued that when
employees’ genuine feelings are masked, it lead to decrease in job satisfaction. Abraham
(1998) proposed that increase in emotional dissonance reduces job satisfaction.
Consistent to this argument, Cote and Morgan (2002) found that the suppression of
unpleasant emotions decreases job satisfaction and increases the intention to quit. The
effects of response-focused emotional labor on distress, is stronger than work complexity,
demand, or control (Pugliesi, 1999). Although control and complexity are stronger
determinants of job satisfaction, response-focused emotional labor diminishes job
satisfaction to a greater degree than the customer demand.
Memory performance. In two experiments Richard and Gross (1999) show that
suppressing felt emotions impair memory performance on a concurrent task. In an
extended study, when comparing suppression with reappraisal, Richards and Gross (2000)
found that only suppression hurts memory performance. They argue that as suppression
occurs relatively late in the emotion-generation processes it consume greater resources
than does reappraisal.
Emotional labor is not uniformly harmful to all service employees. Instead it has
been found in separate studies that it is the tension and conflict arising from emotional
dissonance that is significantly associated with higher emotional exhaustion and lower job
satisfaction (Abraham, 1999). The act of expressing according to display rules appears to
be dysfunctional for the individual only to the extent that expressed sanctioned emotions
conflict with felt emotions. Studies also show that emotional labor potentially yields
advantageous results for both workers and their organizations (Staw, Sutton, Pelled,
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Positive Consequences
Staw et al. (1994) emphasized that service employees with positive emotions will be
more successful in organizational life than employees with negative emotions. Updegraff,
Gable, & Taylor, (2004) found that people with positive expectancies, not only
experience more positive emotions over time, but also their overall sense of daily
wellbeing is tied more to positive emotional experiences and less to negative emotional
experiences. Ashforth and Humphrey (1993) propose that emotional labor can increase
self efficacy of the employees and also increase personal wellbeing.
Organizational Level Consequences. Pugh (2001) remarked that the display of
positive emotions by the employee is positively related to the customers’ positive affect
and this positive affect of the customer leads to positive evaluations of service quality.
Ashforth and Humphrey (1993) proposed that expression of positive emotions is related
to increased task effectiveness. Rafaeli and Sutton (1987) found that positive emotions of
the service employee brings about immediate (increased sales), encore (customer revisit),
and contagion gains (spread of good words by the customer) for the organization.
Contradictory to this finding, Tsai (2001) found no support for the relationship between
employee display of positive emotions and immediate gains in the context of shoe stores.
However, consistent with the findings of Rafaeli and Sutton (1987), he found that when
employees display more positive emotions toward customers, customers were more
willing to visit the store again and pass positive comments to friends.
Individual Level Consequences. The expressions of positive emotions by service
employees influence outcomes that are salient to the role occupant like financial
wellbeing, mental and physical wellbeing (Rafaeli & Sutton, 1987). Service employees
with positive emotions receive favorable evaluations of their performance and get better
pay compared to their coworkers (Staw et al., 1994). Staw et al. (1994) found support for
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the hypothesis that service employees with positive emotion receive social support from
supervisors and coworkers. Customer demand is more positively related to the display of
positive emotion during transactions with customers (Pugh, 2001; Rafaeli & Sutton,
1990; Tan et al, 2003). This supports the general assumption that service employees use
positive emotions to gain control over demanding customers. Cote and Morgan (2002)
found that the amplification of positive emotions increases job satisfaction. Staw et al.
(1994) found that service employees who display positive emotions are judged by others
as sociable, pleasant and likeable. Employees’ display of positive emotion increases self-
efficacy and psychological well-being (Ashforth & Humphrey, 1993).
Thus emotional labor has both positive and negative consequences. As discussed
earlier, when the organization succeeds in reducing the difference between display rules
and individuals’ experienced emotions, better benefit can be accrued at the organizational
as well as individual levels.
Research Gap
Based on the review of literature this paper identified gaps for further research. In
the following section the gaps are discussed.
Organizational Identity and Emotional Labor
The existing literature (Hochschild, 2003; Pugh, 2001; Rafaeli & Sutton, 1990;
Sutton & Rafaeli, 1988; Tan et al., 2003) assumes that the roles of service employees are
to manage their own emotions and make the clients feel good. The literature is silent
about the motivation of these service employees to perform emotional labor. Ibarra
(1999) noted that, organizational identity provides resources that compensates for
situations that would otherwise be draining or depleting. Conforming to this idea
(Alvesson & Willmott, 2002), argued that identity helps employee commitment,
involvement and loyalty. Since organizations increasingly rely on customers and clients
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to perform their tasks, for many organizations the image of the organization seems, in
fact, to be more important than the content or substantial value of the goods and services
provided (Alvesson and Berg, 1992: 138). The image also introduced to capture the
clients’ perception of a company (Burnstein, 1984 as cited in Alvesson and Berg, 1992).
Dutton, Dukerich, & Harquail, (1994) explained organizational identity as the degree to
which a member defines her/him-self by the same attributes that s/he believes defines the
organization. Alvesson (1992) defined organizational identification is one form of
psychological attachment that occurs when members adopt the defining characteristics of
the organization as defining characteristics for themselves. Broadly speaking,
organizational identity is individuals’ identification with the organization. Organizational
identity affects individuals’ identity in following ways. First, indicates organizational
membership confer positive attributes on its members (called as perceived organizational
identity) and people may feel proud to belong to the organization (Dutton & Dukerich,
1991); Second, when, members believe that outsiders see the organization in a positive
light, they bask in the reflected glory of the organization (Cialdini, Borden, Thorne,
Walker, Freeman, & Sloan, 1976: 366; Dutton & Dukerich, 1991). Ibarra (1999) noted
that, people enact personas that convey qualities they want others to ascribe to them.
Thus, the two images influence the cognitive connection that members create with their
organization and the kind of behaviors that follow (Dutton et al., 1994). Consistent with
this argument Gibson and Schroeder (2002) argued that increasing one’s identity in
general leads to positive emotions. A person’s well-being and behavior are affected both
by the attributes they ascribe to themselves and the organization. Gosserand and
Diefendorff (2005) argued that commitment to display rules moderates the relationships
between display rule perceptions and acting and these relationships are strong and
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positive. However, there is no systematic research to find out the role of organizational
identity on the display of emotions by the service employee.
Societal Culture and Emotional Labor
Researchers in the context of U.S. (Pugh, 2001; Sutton & Rafaeli, 1988), Canada
(Rafaeli, 1989), and Israel (Rafaeli & Sutton, 1990) found a negative relationship
between store busyness and employee display of positive emotions. Surprisingly in the
context of Singapore, Tan et al. (2003) found no relation between store busyness and
employee display of positive emotion. Tan et al. (2003) suggested that it may be due to
the cultural difference between the two contexts. In another study, Gross et al. (1997)
used culturally diverse set of samples to explore the age-related changes in emotion and
emotion regulation. They found that age was associated with decreased impulse strength
for European Americans but not Chinese Americans. They suggested that the broad
impact of culture on the emotional behavior can not be ruled out. However, much work
has not been done to explore the role of culture on emotional labor.
Leader’s Emotional Expression and Group Dynamics
Lewis (1993) argued that leader’s expression of emotions affects follower
experience of emotion. Lewis (1993) in his study found that when the leader expresses
negative emotions it results in higher low arousal and lower positive arousal among
followers. He argued that when the followers observe the emotional expression of their
leaders they get emotionally influenced through emotional contagion. Thus, emotions of
the followers are influenced by leaders expressed emotions. However, arguing in similar
lines, there may be a relationship between positive emotional expression of the leader and
followers’ positive emotional experience. Fredrickson (2001) in his paper argued that
experience of positive emotions broaden follower’s momentary thought action
repertoires, which in turn serves to build their enduring personal resources, including
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psychological, social, and intellectual resources. This positivity affects the connectivity
among the individuals and influences the group dynamics (Losada & Heaphy, 2004).
Thus, there may be a relationship between the leader’s expression of positive emotion and
group dynamics. The research is silent about these facets of emotional labor.
Thinking and feeling are indispensable part of human actions (Muchinsky, 2000).
Thus the need of research on feelings of individuals in the workplace is as important as
the research on cognition. As feelings are at the core of human emotions, emotion plays a
vital role in organizations. In this era of intense job stress, the capacity to cope with
emotions is related to interpersonal relations. Based on the literature this paper has
contributed to the existing literature by assimilate different works done in this domain.
This paper presents a comprehensive understanding of emotional labor. It was felt that
there are many unexplored areas in the realm of emotional labor. Some of the unexplored
areas are described for further research. The clarity in understanding the concept of
‘emotional labor’ and its place in nomological network will help in explaining many
behavioral issues in the workplace.
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... Birincisi bireyin gerçekten hissetmediği halde hissediyor gibi davranması, ikincisi ise rol yapma yeteneğini gerektiren derin oyunculuktur (Örücü ve Korkmaz, 2018). Mumby ve Putnam, iş görenlerin kendilerinden beklenen davranışları rol yapmak suretiyle karşı tarafa aktarmaları şeklinde duygusal emeği tanımlamaktadır (Mishra, 2007). Morris ve Feldman ise iş görenlerin çalıştıkları örgütlerde duygularını ifade edebilmek adına gösterdikleri çaba ve denetim şeklini duygusal emek olarak açıklamışlardır (Morris ve Feldman, 1996). ...
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Bu araştırmanın amacı Balıkesir’in Bandırma ilçesinde bulunan banka personellerinin duygusal emek ve örgütsel vatandaşlık davranışları arasındaki ilişkiyi incelemektir. Araştırmanın evrenini Bandırma’da bulunan 11 banka şubesinin 128 personeli oluşturmaktadır. Araştırmanın örneklemini ise bu şubelerde çalışmakta olan 106 personel oluşturmaktadır. Veriler anket uygulaması aracılığıyla elde edilmiştir. Anketten elde edilen verilerle, frekans analizi, normallik testi, güvenilirlik analizi, korelasyon analizi ve regresyon analizi yapılmıştır. Yapılan korelasyon analizinin neticesinde duygusal emeğin alt boyutları olan samimi davranış, yüzeysel davranış ve derin davranış ile örgütsel vatandaşlık davranışı arasında pozitif yönlü ve anlamlı ilişkilerin olduğu tespit edilmiştir. Regresyon analizlerinin neticesinde duygusal emeğin örgütsel vatandaşlık davranışı üzerinde anlamlı etkisinin olduğu görülmüştür. Duygusal emeğin alt boyutlarından samimi davranışın, yüzeysel davranışın ve derin davranışın da örgütsel vatandaşlık davranışı üzerinde anlamlı ve pozitif yönlü etkilerinin olduğu tespit edilmiştir. Duygusal emeğin alt boyutu olan derin davranışı sergileyen banka çalışanlarının örgütsel vatandaşlık seviyelerinin diğer boyutlara nazaran daha yüksek olduğu tespit edilmiştir. Çalışmanın sonunda sonuçlar yorumlanıp, tartışılmıştır. İleride yapılacak çalışmalar için önerilerde bulunulmuştur.
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Organisations consist of people and people are beings guided not only by rational cognitive processes but also by emotions and seemingly irrational motives based on affect. This chapter elucidates the matter of intra-and interpersonal emotion regulation at work through the prism of employees and their leaders. It provides a critical overview of multiple aspects of the topic, outlining their importance in terms of subjective wellbeing in the workplace and objective performance at work as well as contemporary theoretical frameworks and empirically-based practical solutions. It helps readers to understand conscious and subconscious processes of regulating own and others' emotions in occupational settings and explain various subsequent outcomes for organisations and their employees.
Organisations consist of people, and people are beings guided not only by rational cognitive processes but also by emotions and seemingly irrational motives based on affect. This chapter elucidates the matter of intra- and interpersonal emotion regulation at work through the prism of employees and their leaders. It provides a critical overview of multiple aspects of the topic, outlining their importance in terms of subjective wellbeing in the workplace and objective performance at work as well as contemporary theoretical frameworks and empirically-based practical solutions. It helps readers to understand conscious and subconscious processes of regulating own and others' emotions in occupational settings, and the authors explain various subsequent outcomes for organisations and their employees.
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İşletmelerde müşteri ile direk ilişki içerisinde olan çalışanların müşteriler ile etkileşimi sürecinde işletmelerin çalışanlardan bazı istekleri olabilmektedir. Bu istekler genel olarak müşteriyi destekleme, hoş karşılama, ilgili görünme vb. gibi duygular ile ilgili istekler olabilmektedir. Ancak çalışanlar her zaman bu duygulara sahip olamayabilmektedirler. Bireyler çalıştıkları iş yerlerinde, iş yerinin beklentisi doğrultusunda bazı duyguları içselleştirmeseler bile yansıtmak zorundadır. Bu duygu durumu çok sürekli şekillerde çalışandan beklendiğinde, çalışanların bu durumdan rahatsız olmalarına ve performans düşüklüğü, iş memnuniyetsizliği ve tükenmişlik gibi olumsuz örgütsel durumların ortaya çıkmasına sebebiyet vermektedir. Bu çalışmanın amacı, çalışanların müşterilere duygularını yansıtırken harcadıkları duygusal emek düzeyi ile iş tatmini arasında bir ilişkinin olup olmadığını incelemektir. Başka bir değişle yoğun duygusal emek sarf eden çalışanların iş yerinden elde ettikleri iş tatmini düzeyi kıyaslanmıştır. Elde edilen bulgular ışığında, duygusal emek alt faktörlerinin tamamı ile iş tatminin ilgili olduğu ancak sadece yüzeysel davranış ile içsel iş tatminin ilişkisiz olduğu söylenebilir. Araştırma, Batman ve Siirt illerinde bulunun kamu ve özel sektöre ait hastane çalışanları arasından seçilmiş ve toplamda 408 adet veri üzerinden inceleme yapılmıştır.
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Purpose The purpose of this study is to examine the relationship between emotional labour (EL) strategies and employees’ performance by considering the role of emotional intelligence (EI) as a moderator. Design/methodology/approach This study focused on the administrative staff of International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM) who deal with students and guests from different countries. A total of 186 valid questionnaires were gathered from administrative staff selected using random sampling. Structural equation modelling was used to test the hypotheses of this study. Findings The results showed significant relationships of EL strategies with administrative staff performance. Furthermore, moderation analyses revealed that EI moderates the relationships between EL strategies and staff performance. Originality/value The study extends the current research on the effects of EL strategies on work performance and tests the moderating role of EI in these relationships in higher learning institutions. Moreover, it examines the performance of EL strategies and EI in cross-cultural context.
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The regulation of emotion is well established at the work place, in the present market scenario, and was termed as “emotional labour by Hochschild (1983). There are various conceptualizations of emotional labour mainly; strategic model (Hochschild, 1983); job characteristics models (Moris & Feldman, 1996); and a mixed model proposed by Gandey (2000). These model predict burnout (drown out of energy to do work, Maslach, 1982) to varying degree. The exiting literature point out to two prominent moderators social support and coping. This paper reviews the relationship of emotional labour with burn out and moderation effect of social support and coping.
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Emotional labor is the display of expected emotions by service agents during service encounters. It is performed through surface acting, deep acting, or the expression of genuine emotion. Emotional labor may facilitate task effectiveness and self-expression, but it also may prime customer expectations that cannot be met and may trigger emotive dissonance and self-alienation. However, following social identity theory, we argue that some effects of emotional labor are moderated by one's social and personal identities and that emotional labor stimulates pressures for the person to identify with the service role. Research implications for the micro, meso, and macro levels of organizations are discussed.
A leader's emotional display is proposed to affect his or her audience. In this study, observing a male or female leader express negative emotion was proposed to influence the observer's affective state and assessment of the leader's effectiveness. In a laboratory study, a leader's specific negative emotional tone impacted the affective state of participants in the study. Negative emotional display had a significant and negative main effect on participant assessment of leader effectiveness compared to a more neutral emotional display. Further, a significant interaction between leader gender and emotion was found. Male leaders received lower effectiveness ratings when expressing sadness compared to neutrality, while female leaders received lower ratings when expressing either sadness or anger. Copyright © 2000 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.