Sociology Index

EMOTIONAL LABOUR

The term emotional labor can be applied where emotion is faked. As used by Arlie Russell Hochschild, emotional labour refers to paid work requiring the worker to maintain observable facial and bodily displays with the intention of creating particular emotional feelings in clients.

Among workers performing emotional labour are musicians who perform even as the ship sinks, flight attendants who continue to smile as the plane crashes, bill collectors, funeral directors, doctors, nurses, and others.

Merchandising smiles: Emotional labour in Jamaican tourism - Crick, Anne P, Author. Abstract - Emotional labour, the projection of certain emotions during the context of a job performance, is an important source of competitive advantage in many service industries including tourism.

Tourism is however a very distinct industry with few boundaries between those who are paid to give emotional labour and those who are expected to give it voluntarily. This paper examines how emotional labour has been managed by the Jamaican Tourist Board and critically analyses these efforts. Findings suggest that while there has been a sustained effort over the years it has not been successful because little attention has been paid to the intrinsic motivation for performing emotional labour.

The Effects of Emotional Labor on Employee Work Outcomes - Kay Hei-Lin Chu
Emotional labor can be defined as the degree of manipulation of one’s inner feelings or outward behavior to display the appropriate emotion in response to display rules or occupational norms. This study concerns the development of an emotional labor model for the hospitality industry that aims at identifying the antecedents and consequences of emotional labor. The study investigates the impact of individual characteristics on the way emotional labor is performed; it investigates the relationships among the different ways of enacting emotional labor and their consequences, and addresses the question of whether organizational characteristics and job characteristics have buffering effects on the perceived consequences of emotional labor, which are emotional exhaustion and job satisfaction.

This study involves the rigorous development of a 10-item scale, the Hospitality Emotional Labor Scale, to measure the emotional labor that employees perform. The results of the study conformed to a two-factor structure of emotional labor: emotive dissonance and emotive effort. These two dimensions tap three types of service-acting that employees perform: surface acting, deep acting, and genuine acting. The scale was used to survey 285 hotel employees. Structural equation modeling (SEM) and moderated multiple regression (MMR) were employed to examine the proposed model, as well as to test the hypotheses. 

It was found that both surface acting and deep acting associate positively with job satisfaction and negatively with emotional exhaustion. Genuine acting was found to associate positively with emotional exhaustion and negatively with job satisfaction. This study did not find strong relationships among the antecedents and emotional labor factors. Similarly, the proposed moderators were not found to moderate the relations between emotional labor and its consequences.