Emotional Labour

Emotional Labour

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  • Created on: 23-04-12 22:08

Emotional Labour

Arlie Hochschild (1983)

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What is emotional labour?

Emotional labour is defined as when a person "manages his or her own feelings and emotions in the interests of maintaining a sympathetic and friendly relationship with the customer (verbal or nonverbal) (Hochschild 1983)". 

Surface acting -

This is defined as when a person "hides their inner feelings and forgoing emotional expressions in response to display rules".

Deep acting -

This is defined as when a person "tries to modify their true inner feelings based on display rules".

Occupations in which this emotional labour exists -

Occupations considered to be high in demand for emotional labour include nurses, physicians, therapists, protective service workers, and health service workers (Othman, Abdullah et al. 2008). 

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The benefits of emotional labour -

According to Kornelia Lazanyi (2009), the definition of emotional labour suggests that it is primarily beneficial to the employer and organisation. A uniform behaviour by all employees will result in efficient fulfilment of duties, provision of high-quality services, and regular customers.

Ashforth and Lee (1990) state that emotional labour enhances the efficiency of working, reduces the necessity of direct control, and lessens interpersonal problems.

Negative effects of emotional labour -

A higher relative incidence rate of psychosomatic diseases among professionals performing emotional labour is a fact supported by data from clinical studies. Schaubroeck and Jones state that the root cause of higher rates of tumours and cardio-vascular diseases is due to the suppression of emotions caused by emotional labour.

Ashford and Humphrey (1993) state that alienation is one of the typical responses to burdens deriving from emotional labour.

Ashford and Mael (1989) state that excessive identification with emotional requirements foes hand in hand with burnout.

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