Sociology Index


Emotional labor is the process of managing feelings and expressions to fulfill the emotional requirements of a job. Emotional labor refers to the invisible and often undervalued work involved in keeping other people comfortable and happy. Emotional labour is the projection of certain emotions during the context of a job performance, in the medical field, and also in many service industries including tourism. Emotional labor is also a job stressor that leads to burnout. Expecting people to work in teams, and also show positive team behaviors with their colleagues, is also emotional labor.

"Emotion regulation in the workplace: A new way to conceptualize emotional labor". Journal of Occupational Health Psychology. The term emotional labour can be applied where emotion is faked. According to 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 - Tourism is 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. Little attention has been paid to the intrinsic motivation for performing emotional labour.

Emotional Labor and Burnout: A Review of the Literature
Da-Yee Jeung, Changsoo Kim, and Sei-Jin Chang, Yonsei Med J. 2018 Mar 1; 59(2): 187–193.
Abstract: This literature review was conducted to investigate the association between emotional labor and burnout and to explore the role of personality in this relationship. The results of this review indicate that emotional labor is a job stressor that leads to burnout. Further examination of personality traits, such as self-efficacy and type A behavior pattern, is needed to understand the relationships between emotional labor and health outcomes, such as burnout, psychological distress, and depression. The results also emphasized the importance of stress management programs to reduce the adverse outcomes of emotional labor, as well as coping repertories to strengthen the personal potential suitable to organizational goals. Moreover, enhancing employees' capacities and competence and encouraging a positive personality through behavior modification are also necessary.

The Effects of Emotional Labour 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 labour. 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 labour. This study did not find strong relationships among the antecedents and emotional labour factors. Similarly, the proposed moderators were not found to moderate the relations between emotional labour and its consequences.

Emotional labour in organizations
Sandi Mann, Leadership & Organization Development Journal, Volume 18 Issue 1.
Abstract: Emotion and rationality are considered by many practitioners to be mutually exclusive concepts as encapsulated in the generally held belief that there is no place for emotions in today’s rational, task-oriented work environments. Illustrates that emotions and their expression are, in fact, controlled and managed in organizations by a wide range of formal and informal means, ensuring that certain emotions are expressed while others are suppressed. Very often, employees are expected to conform to these expectations about emotional display even when they conflict with inner feeling. When this conflict results in individuals suppressing genuine emotion or expressing fake emotion, the work or effort involved in doing so is termed “emotional labour”. Demonstrates how emotional labour, which can have both functional and dysfunctional consequences for the individual and their organizations, is not restricted to interactions at the customer and organization interface, but is becoming increasingly prevalent within all organizational communications.