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Emotional labor is an important aspect of what people do in their jobs, as Grandey rightly points out. Also considered, though, is the regulation of emotion within the workplace, because there have been workplace shootings, cases of rage, rapes, killings, and all kinds of problems. These are rare, but they do happen, and it is believed that they will become more common in the future because society is going more global and workers are under increasing pressures today.
Grandey, a., Fisk, G.M., & Steiner, D.D. (2005). Must "service with a smile" be stressful? The moderating role of personal control for American and French employees. The Journal of Applied Psychology, 90, 893-904.
Having control is an important concept in the business world. People must be able to maintain control over themselves when they deal with other employees and with customers that may or may not be happy. As Grandey, Fisk, and Steiner accurately point out, even agreeable customers and employees can be problematic if they are emotionally needy, because they take up a lot of a person's time. Employees are taught to smile and to always be courteous in their dealings with others, but this can be extremely difficult at times, which does cause stress. Most people assume that a smiling employee is a happy employee, which can be very far from the truth.
Humphrey, R.H. (2006). Promising research opportunities in emotions and coping with conflict. Journal of Management and Organization, 12, 179-186. Retrieved February, 18, 2008, from Proquest database.
Conflict. It is something that no person or business can completely avoid. Society is full of emotions, and conflict is one of them. This is very important, because people who are just starting out in the business world might not be prepared for the level of conflict that they will be experiencing. Humphrey, however, points out that there are a lot of up and coming research opportunities that can be used to study ways to cope with conflict and the issues that arise with emotions in the workplace. There have been a lot of ways to cope with conflict addressed in literature in the past, but the new research opportunities are vital for continued research in the future. Since society is changing and the business environment is changing with it, it is not a surprise that research opportunities and methods are also being adjusted.
Johnson, I.W., Pearce, C.G., Tuten, T.L., & Sinclair, L. (2003). Self-imposed silence and perceived listening effectiveness. Business Communication Quarterly, 66(2), 23+. Retrieved February 10, 2008, from Questia database.
For Johnson, Pearce, Tuten, and Sinclair the issue of study was listening. When a person speaks to someone else, that person hears him or her, but most people do not really listen. There is a vast difference between the two activities. When a person learns to be silent as an activity, he or she can also learn how to make listening an activity, instead of a reflex action that takes place because someone is speaking. The perception of listening is different from a person who is deliberately being silent than it is from a person who feels forced to be silent because another person is talking. This perception can drastically affect not only how the person feels about the interaction, but how dedicated that person is to listening to the other individual.
Kotchemidova, C. (2005). From good cheer to "drive-by smiling": A social history of cheerfulness. Journal of Social History, 39(1), 5+. Retrieved February 14, 2008, from Questia database.
Whether someone is cheerful and what that really means has changed throughout history, says Kotchemidova. Cheerfulness used to be something that came from inside a person and was a conscious choice, regardless of circumstances. Today it seems more as though cheerfulness, or what passes for it, is an act that is put on so that there are fewer questions asked. This is understandable in some situations, but it is not seen by many to be a good overall choice - mostly because the people who do this have apparently lost the cheer that they used to have. They have instead become involved with societal conditioning, which is not actually cheer. It is only a masquerade, and looking at cheer throughout time shows this progression.
Liu, Y. (2006). Dispositional antecedents and consequences of emotional labor at work. Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies, 67-76, Retrieved February 14, 2008, from Questa database.
When it comes to work, Liu has studied emotions quite extensively. Emotional labor is fast becoming a significant issue, because society is changing and the business world is changing. One of the main considerations today is what kind of consequences emotional labor will have, and how a person's emotions at work could lead that person to succeed or fail. Emotions were originally believed to have no place in the workplace, but researchers today know that this is not the case. People have emotions that they cannot simply turn off when they arrive at their place of work, but learning to control them is very important, because many companies still pretend as though their employees have no emotions, and there are often severe consequences when those emotions appear.
Newman, M.A., & Guy, M.E. (2007, May 31) Leading the future of the public sector: The third transatlantic dialogue. Retrieved February 14, 2008, from University of Delaware Web site: http://www.ipa.udel.edu/.pdf
Having a dialogue with other countries and other businesses is very important today. Society is much more global than it used to be, and because of that there are many differences that businesses have to address - things that they would not have needed to think about twenty or even ten years ago. In the public sector, people are often noticed much more in a global context than they are in the private sector, which means that Newman and Guy appear to be right in indicating that the public sector will be helpful in leading the rest of the world in a dialogue of change for businesses around the globe.
Mann, S. (1999). Hiding what we feel, faking what we don't: Understanding the role of your emotions at work. Melbourne: Australia. Element Books.
According to Mann, there are a lot of different ways that employees hide things at work. This can be something as simple as telling a co-worker that they are happy when they are actually not, to stronger lying when there is something really wrong but the employee does not feel comfortable discussing it. This could be either business or personal, but would generally be something that would likely affect the job to some degree. On the other hand, employees often fake interest in and enthusiasm for what others have to say because it helps them to keep their jobs. Whether this is done with customers or other employees it is very common, and it takes its toll on the well-being of workers everywhere.
Meier, K.J., Mastracci, S.H., & Wilson, K. (2006). Gender and emotional labor in public organizations: An empirical examination of the links to performance. Public Administration Review, 66, 6. Retrieved February 17, 2008, from Proquest database.
Does gender play a role in emotional labor issues? Meier, Mastracci, and Wilson think that it may. Women have different ways of leading than men do, and they also react differently to criticism and other issues, both in their personal lives and in the workplace. This is a significant issue where businesses are concerned, because employees of both genders must be able to effectively address any problems that are taking place within their work environment. There is no implication that women are incapable of doing this, but only that they perform differently than men, and that the emotional labor that they are involved in with their chosen professions is handled somewhat differently than it would be handled by a man. Being aware of these kinds of issues can help to make a workplace much more harmonious.
Miller, K.I., Considine, J., & Garner, J. (2007). Let me tell you about my job. Management Communication Quarterly, 20(3), 231-260. Retrieved February 18, 2008, from Proquest database.
Being able to talk about one's job relieves much of the stress that may be involved in performing that job, says Miller, Considine, and Garner. The idea is that people who are not allowed to talk much about their jobs - or who do not have people that they can talk to about their jobs - get less satisfaction from their work and have more stress than people who can chat with others about their jobs whenever they choose to. Keeping emotions bottled up has not been found to be healthy, but emotions are part of the working world, like it or not. People who are not able to talk about their jobs, therefore, must also suppress some of their emotions, which can leave them vulnerable to emotional upset, anger, depression, and other similar problems.
Morris, J.A., & Feldman, D.C. (1997). Managing emotions in the workplace. Journal of Managerial Issues, 9 (3), 257-274.…[continue]
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