Consequences of emotional labor
Nabring, Richard Lewis
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Current theory and research fails to articulate and explain fully the simultaneous oppressive and liberating aspects of emotional labor. Originally conceptualized by Hochschild (1983), employees experience emotional labor when their organization dictates how they are to feel and express emotions in return for a wage. While the original conceptualization recognized emotional labor could be either oppressive or liberating, it did not theorize emotional labor as having simultaneous oppressive and liberating qualities. This study investigates the antecedent conditions, display rules, management strategies and consequences of emotional labor in a hotel by utilizing a qualitatively driven interview method that solicited recalled conversational episodes. Results show that antecedent conditions and display rules created controlled employees who managed episodes by suppressing emotions. The consequences shared this theme of control by benefiting the organization and harming the employee. Implications for future emotional labor research and limitations of the present study are also detailed.