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Emotional Labour

In: Business and Management

Submitted By akswell
Words 1589
Pages 7
Emotional work is the control of feelings and emotions to create an observable facial and bodily display (Hochschild 1983). This means that workers evokes or suppresses certain emotions to allow their visible behaviours to conform to social norms as required by the situation. Given the growth of the service sector (Lovelock et al. 2008), the importance of emotional work is critical in achieving service excellence and customer loyalty. The service sector, which includes sales jobs for the purpose of this essay, is defined as economic activities where customers expect to obtain value by accessing labour, professional skills and goods (Lovelock et al. 2008). This essay will examine the term emotional work and its relevance to the service sector.
Arlie Hochschild (1983) first introduced the term emotional work in her book called “The Managed Heart”. She argues that emotional work is a gesture in everyday social exchanges that applies both socially and professionally. The term emotional work is further described in the book as the management of emotions with an underlying motive to make profit by organizations in a ‘service-producing society’ (Hochschild 1983). It can, therefore, play an important role in the delivery of service.
Through their study of hospitality organizations, Johansson and Woods (2002) showed that emotions play a critical role in the delivery of service excellence and customer loyalty. The importance of emotional work in the service sector can also be understood by comparing skills required in the manufacturing sector to the service sector. In manufacturing, workers use mental and physical strength and skill to craft tangible products while the service sector’s products are generally intangible and only come into existence when bought and consumed.
Emotional interaction between customers and workers are generally involved in the provision of...

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