Is emotional labour a minimum requirement in the workplace, or a behaviour that both male and female employees are motivated to engage in and earn a reward for in Western businesses? Illustrate your answer with examples and issues drawn from the real-life Case study of the President’s Club scandal in 2018. Look at the document ‘question’, please.
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Context
Organisations increasingly demand various forms of ‘emotional labour’. The recent
fascination with emotional intelligence (EQ) is focussed on bringing emotions into the
‘service’ of the organisation, as an added value that the organisation can appropriate.
But emotional labour may have its costs for those who cannot reconcile how they
privately feel about the ‘public performance’ required of them, especially in jobs
where it is a requirement but no training is provided, and where there is a positive bias
towards certain people—gender based—doing it.
Case Study
Marriage, M. (2018) Men Only: Inside the charity fundraiser where hostesses are put
on show. Financial Times 23 January. Available at:
https://www.ft.com/content/075d679e-0033-11e8-9650-9c0ad2d7c5b5
Final Assignment Question
Is emotional labour a minimum requirement in the workplace, or a behaviour that
both male and female employees are motivated to engage in and earn a reward for in
Western businesses? Illustrate your answer with examples and issues drawn from the
real-life Case study of the President’s Club scandal in 2018.
Guidance ( Note: Don’t copy the point!)
Does ‘service with a smile’ fall disproportionately on women in a work context?
Are women ‘just better’ at emotional labour?
Does this essentialist view hold up in relation to the literature?
What would a more critical approach to the study of emotions as a formal workplace
issue look like?
Further Reading
Bryman, A. (2004) The Disneyization of Society. London: Sage. Ch. 5 looks at
emotional labour.
Callahan, J.L., & McCollum, E.E., (2002) Obscured Variability: The Distinction
Between Emotion Work and Emotional Labour. In. N. M. Ashkanasy., W. J. Zerbe., &
C.E.J. Hartel (Eds.), Managing Emotions in the Workplace, pp. 219-231. New York:
ME Sharpe.
Linstead, S., L. Fulop and S. Lilley (2009) Management and Organization: A Critical
Text. 2nd ed. Basingstoke: Palgrave. Ch. 9 provides an introduction to emotions and
identity.
Morris, J.A., & Feldman, D.C. (1996) The Dimensions, Antecedents, and
Consequences of Emotional Labour. Academy of Management Review 21/4:
986-1010.
Ward, J. and R. McMurray (2015) The Dark Side of Emotional Labour. London:
Routledge. This book includes studies of emotional labour in different professions.
Here is the point of our class tutor to explain Guidance:
( Note: Don’t copy the point!)
I have had several requests for more information about the final assignment. I have
nothing “formal” to offer but would reiterate the points I made at the end of last
week’s lecture.
In a nutshell, the question is prompting you to explain how much you agree that
bringing emotions into the “service” of the organisation may have its costs for those
who cannot reconcile how they privately feel about the “public performance”
required of them, especially in jobs where there is a gender bias.
The question invites you to pick a point of view (either for or against) from the start
and continue this throughout. So, you should think about the points or ideas that may
prompt what you want to discuss. To get you started, here are some examples of what
I mean:
Does Hochschild’s “service with a smile” fall disproportionately on women in a
work context?
Were the emotional qualities and the more appearance-bound and and
sexually-commodified roles the hostesses were asked to display and play something
“bought” by the Presidents Club organisers as part of the wages paid?
Is it a too high standard to say that no one should risk (sexual) assault and harassment
at work?
Is turning down risky work in service and leisure organisations an option for young
women on low incomes?
Should we make the prevention of sleazy male behaviour the responsibility of women,
because they are “just better” at emotion management? Does this essentialist view
hold up in relation to the literature?
What does the case study of the President’s Club scandal tell us about the current
climate of gender power relationships?
Did the case offer the chance for a grim minority of men to do and say things to
women that they can no longer do and say in everyday life?
What would a more critical approach to the study of emotions as a formal workplace
issue look like?
To what extent is the case predicated on the disconnect between felt and performed
emotion?
What does the critical management literature say about the organisation of work in
this case, in the context of institutionalised structures of domination and control?
I hope and trust this helps your deliberations
Context
Organisations increasingly demand various forms of ‘emotional labour’. The recent
fascination with emotional intelligence (EQ) is focussed on bringing emotions into the
‘service’ of the organisation, as an added value that the organisation can appropriate.
But emotional labour may have its costs for those who cannot reconcile how they
privately feel about the ‘public performance’ required of them, especially in jobs
where it is a requirement but no training is provided, and where there is a positive bias
towards certain people—gender based—doing it.
Case Study
Marriage, M. (2018) Men Only: Inside the charity fundraiser where hostesses are put
on show. Financial Times 23 January. Available at:
https://www.ft.com/content/075d679e-0033-11e8-9650-9c0ad2d7c5b5
Final Assignment Question
Is emotional labour a minimum requirement in the workplace, or a behaviour that
both male and female employees are motivated to engage in and earn a reward for in
Western businesses? Illustrate your answer with examples and issues drawn from the
real-life Case study of the President’s Club scandal in 2018.
Guidance ( Note: Don’t copy the point!)
Does ‘service with a smile’ fall disproportionately on women in a work context?
Are women ‘just better’ at emotional labour?
Does this essentialist view hold up in relation to the literature?
What would a more critical approach to the study of emotions as a formal workplace
issue look like?
Further Reading
Bryman, A. (2004) The Disneyization of Society. London: Sage. Ch. 5 looks at
emotional labour.
Callahan, J.L., & McCollum, E.E., (2002) Obscured Variability: The Distinction
Between Emotion Work and Emotional Labour. In. N. M. Ashkanasy., W. J. Zerbe., &
C.E.J. Hartel (Eds.), Managing Emotions in the Workplace, pp. 219-231. New York:
ME Sharpe.
Linstead, S., L. Fulop and S. Lilley (2009) Management and Organization: A Critical
Text. 2nd ed. Basingstoke: Palgrave. Ch. 9 provides an introduction to emotions and
identity.
Morris, J.A., & Feldman, D.C. (1996) The Dimensions, Antecedents, and
Consequences of Emotional Labour. Academy of Management Review 21/4:
986-1010.
Ward, J. and R. McMurray (2015) The Dark Side of Emotional Labour. London:
Routledge. This book includes studies of emotional labour in different professions.
Here is the point of our class tutor to explain Guidance:
( Note: Don’t copy the point!)
I have had several requests for more information about the final assignment. I have
nothing “formal” to offer but would reiterate the points I made at the end of last
week’s lecture.
In a nutshell, the question is prompting you to explain how much you agree that
bringing emotions into the “service” of the organisation may have its costs for those
who cannot reconcile how they privately feel about the “public performance”
required of them, especially in jobs where there is a gender bias.
The question invites you to pick a point of view (either for or against) from the start
and continue this throughout. So, you should think about the points or ideas that may
prompt what you want to discuss. To get you started, here are some examples of what
I mean:
Does Hochschild’s “service with a smile” fall disproportionately on women in a
work context?
Were the emotional qualities and the more appearance-bound and and
sexually-commodified roles the hostesses were asked to display and play something
“bought” by the Presidents Club organisers as part of the wages paid?
Is it a too high standard to say that no one should risk (sexual) assault and harassment
at work?
Is turning down risky work in service and leisure organisations an option for young
women on low incomes?
Should we make the prevention of sleazy male behaviour the responsibility of women,
because they are “just better” at emotion management? Does this essentialist view
hold up in relation to the literature?
What does the case study of the President’s Club scandal tell us about the current
climate of gender power relationships?
Did the case offer the chance for a grim minority of men to do and say things to
women that they can no longer do and say in everyday life?
What would a more critical approach to the study of emotions as a formal workplace
issue look like?
To what extent is the case predicated on the disconnect between felt and performed
emotion?
What does the critical management literature say about the organisation of work in
this case, in the context of institutionalised structures of domination and control?
I hope and trust this helps your deliberations
Case Study Tips
Case studies provide you with real-life examples of issues and problems found in
particular workplaces or organisations.
Case study assignments give you the opportunity to relate theoretical concepts to
practical situations. Case studies require you to use analytical and problem solving
skills to examine:
• what has happened and
• why it has happened
There are three processes involved in successfully answering case studies:
• identification of issues and problems
• evaluate potential solutions for the issues and problems in terms of their
advantages and disadvantages
• explain how your solution brings a resolution to the issues and problems
(implications or recommendations)
Perhaps the most straightforward implications or recommendations are those
derived from a logical interpretation of a study’s issues, problems and solutions:




what do the results tell us about underlying theoretical constructs, principles,
and their relationships?
when do these patterns emerge in the specific situation at hand?
how do they refine appreciation of the underlying theory?
More interesting and valuable are insights that delve deeper into observed
relationships to address the question why?
In exploring this dimension, you begin to examine more fully underlying mechanisms
and processes that enrich understanding, concepts and theories, create an effective
means for dealing with the specific situation at hand, and allow readers to make
greater sense of complex organizational phenomena.
Critical here is a bridge between your insights and the larger literature. It is only
through a connection to a broader understanding that the “value added” – both
theoretical and practical – of a given analysis can be interpreted and, indeed,
appreciated.
Guide to Effective Assessment Document Preparation
An effective assessment document answers three sets of questions:
1. What is the topic or question? What is the problem and who cares?
Why should an audience pay attention to this problem? Why is it
interesting and important in theory or practice?
2. What do we know and what don’t we know about this problem? What
are the main issues, underlying principles and concepts that have
already informed the topic or question? What puzzle, controversy, or
paradox does this assessment document address, and why does it
need to be addressed?
3. What will we learn? How will the way you write this assessment
document change or challenge readers’ understanding?
An effective assessment document contains five elements:
1.
The Question – “what exactly am I trying to find out?”
Different questions require different approaches to answer them. Here is an
example of a question that identifies a research problem:
Why do innovations not readily spread, even if backed by strong evidence? (Ferlie,
Fitzgerald, Wood and Hawkins, 2005)
The question creates a perspective, a certain way to interrogate empirical
phenomena or existing theories. Identifying what you are looking for is one of
the most important elements for guiding an enquiry.
2.
Outline – “what kind of focus on the topic do I want to achieve?”
The outline is a short, punchy, present-tense summary of your assessment
document’s topic or theme (can be broad or more focused). Writing an outline
provides a constructive framework for your assessment document, motivating
you, and making sure you stay on track as you develop your ideas.
Here is the outline for a highly rated academic publication: (Ferlie, Fitzgerald,
Wood and Hawkins, 2005)
The spread of innovations re-emerged as an important theme within the health care
sector with the rise of the evidence-based medicine movement, according to which
clinical practice should be based on rigorous evidence rather than on clinical opinion.
This premise implies a need for innovations to realign existing clinical practice with
evidence. The evidence-based medicine movement is evident in a number of health
care systems, including those of America and Canada, and it is a policy focus in the
U.K. National Health Service, whose policy makers and managers wish to understand
more about the diffusion of evidence-based innovations.
3.
Statement of Intent – “what will I do?”
Assessment documents often include one or more statements that provide a
focus and a clear rationale and that engage in a broader discussion about
contextual issues or ethics or research.
Here is a statement of intent from the above Academy of Management
Journal article (Ferlie, et al, 2005):
We here report evidence that adds to Van de Ven and colleagues’ model of “messy”
pathways: specifically, we argue that strong boundaries between professional groups
at the micro level of practice slow innovation spread.
We develop an alternative theory of the impact of high professionalization that
contrasts with the conventional theory in which high professionalization is seen as
enhancing innovation spread. This new theory of the retarding impact of conditions of
multiprofessionalization on the spread of innovations is useful in other settings, such
as global organizations, in which there is a wish to share innovations across
disciplines.
4.
Engagement with Prior Research – “what key theoretical
perspectives and empirical findings have already informed the
topic or question?”
Various ideas and research streams are included in plans to position the
assessment document in relation to related research, and engage the
underlying theoretical narrative that is the foundation and a motivation for the
enquiry.
Here are the research precedents motivating the aforementioned AMJ article
(Ferlie, et al, 2005):
The literature on organizational change is immense, but some prior work has focused
specifically on change in professionalized organizations. These organizations have
been described as “negotiated orders” (Weick, 1979) in which ambiguous
professional work is “enacted” in local groups.
Prior research has established distinctive features of change in the health care sector
(McNulty & Ferlie, 2002; Pettigrew, Ferlie, & McKee 1992). Professionals have the
power to block change in this sector, so they must be engaged in a change process
for it to succeed.
A second distinctive characteristic of the health care sector is collective rather than
individual leadership in change (Denis, Langley, & Cazale, 1996; Pettigrew et al,
1992). The distinct features noted in prior research led us to question rationalistic and
managerialist perspectives on evidence-based medicine implementation in highly
professionalized health care organizations.
5.
Conclusions and Implications – “so what?”
Your conclusions and implications are a forum in which to strengthen your
assessment document’s message, and in the process, convince readers of its
larger, underlying value. Another is the opportunity to embed your contribution
more fully in the existing literature.
This element is both an ending and a new beginning, realised concurrently.
It constitutes an ending in the sense that discussion of implications helps to
bring closure to an assessment document, illuminating its two or three most
critical insights in a broad and reflective fashion. It also represents a new
beginning in that it brings to light new and valuable ideas.
Critical here is a bridge between your assessment document and the larger
literature. For example, in the above AMJ article, the results reconceptualised
the nonspread of innovations within large, multiprofessional organisations:
Previous studies (Coleman et al, 1966; Rogers, 1995) contain the argument that
professional networks spread innovations but represent a uniprofessional
perspective. The dynamics are more complex in multiprofessional organizations.
Many global organizations in the public and the private sectors contain multiple
groups of professionals, specialists, and experts, so our results have implications
beyond health care. Developing the work of Van de Ven and colleagues (1999),
attention should now focus on the boundaries between professional groups,
individual professionals, and associated communities of practice in the local
enactment of innovations.
6.
Reference
Ferlie, E., L. Fitzgerald, M. Wood and C. Hawkins. The (Non) Spread of
Innovations: The Mediating Role of Professionals. Academy of Management
Journal 48/1: 117-134*.
*
This formative contribution was a rare non-US winner of the 2006 AMJ “Best Article”
and has been identified as a point of reference in an editorial series.

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