Exploring The Theory And Practice Of Emotional Labour In Workplaces And Management

2320 words - 10 pages

The key success to any business transaction is customer satisfaction. A customer always demands the best service and in return offers the company their loyalty. The key to this; great customer service. Smile at the customer, speak to them with a polite tone, and adjust your body language to make it friendly and approachable; all these are related to the concept of emotional labour. Emotional labour proposes that in order to ensure customer satisfaction is achieved, it is vital for “managers or employers to regulate or manage employee’s behaviour or emotional expressions to ensure service quality” (Chu 2002). The concept of emotional labour was first developed by Arlie Hochschild, who was an organizational sociologist. Hochschild stated that if an employee was employed in a service field, then it would be required from the employee to “to display specific sets of emotions (both verbal and non-verbal) with the aim of inducing particular feelings and responses among those for whom the service is being provided”(Hochschild 1983).
The concept of emotional labour has often been referred to as being the performance of emotionally acting. Emotional acting can be split into two different categories; surface acting and deep acting. Surface acting is described as being the act of expressing an emotion without actually feeling that emotion (Hochschild 1983), which includes actions that are used to cover any negative emotions with positive actions. An example of this would be a bank teller who smiles continuously at a customer even though the customer has been very rude. Deep acting is another form of emotional labour which can be further split into two different types of emotional actions; the first is to exhibit the actual emotion that you feel (Hochschild 1983), while the second is referred to as true method acting. True method acting is the idea of using past emotional experiences to display real emotions that you would not have potentially felt. Both surface acting and deep acting require the control of emotions to cater to the conditions of the workplace.
The aim of this essay is to explore the theory and practise of emotional labour in workplaces and management. It will consider the difference between the theory and the practise and analyse the discord that exists between the theory and the practise by illustrating its effects on the long term viability of the company, with emphasis on the ANZ Company. It will also explore the affect that the discord has on the relationship with the staff and customer base of a company, once more focusing on the ANZ banking company. Taking into account that the main focus of the essay is on emotional labour, the essay will use ANZ as an example of a company that has the practise of emotional labour applied, and analyse whether improving customer service leads to higher profit margins for ANZ. The final part of the essay will be an analysis of the effect of emotional labour on the staff, and whether the stress that...

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