Courtesy or Sensibility: The Regulating Processes of Emotional Labor and the Performance of Deep and Surface Acting for Hotel Receptionists
Although emotional labor in workplace has been of increasing interest to researchers, the complete regulating process of emotional labor has seldom been systematically analyzed. Hochschild (1983) defined emotional labor as the management of feeling to create a visible facial and bodily display with a focus on showing appropriate desired behavior. Therefore, service employees perform deep acting and surface acting strategies to accomplish organizational expectations. Surface acting refers to suppressing inner feelings to sincerely show organizational displayed rules; however, deep acting is adjusting inner feelings to sincerely show desirable emotional displays. Positive emotional delivery is believed to be important to customers’ evaluations of service experiences, but how can service providers maintain positive emotions in workplace and manage, regulate, and control their felt emotions effectively? The purpose of this paper is to examine the managing emotional labor experience of hotel’s receptions. A narrative inquiry was chosen because it is committed to explore the living experience from the perspective of the people being studied. The study findings reveal that the living experience of the hotel receptions is suffused with emotions and the participants engage in management of negative emotions by role identity, show business, putting oneself in someone’ shoes to express their courtesy during service encounters. Meanwhile, empathy in work and abundant working experiences are crucial of maintaining positive emotions. In sum, this study concludes with a consideration of three important directions for future research on emotional labor.