Hochschild's (1983) seminal work The Managed Heart: Commercialization of Human Feeling has inspired a body of research that is yet to reach consensus upon the definition, conceptualisation and operationalisation of emotional labour (Bono & Vey 2005; Glomb & Tews 2004). Even though there is widespread divergence in opinion on the nature of emotional labour, agreement generally prevails that emotional labour calls for the management of emotions and emotional expression in order to conform with organisational requirements and expectations (Diefendorff, Croyle & Gosserand 2005; Glomb & Tews 2004; Grandey 2003; Mann 2004).
It is clear, however, that work needs to continue in elucidating the conceptualisation and the operationalisation of the construct (Bono & Vey 2005; Copranzano, Weiss & Elias 2004; Grandey 2000). Further examination of the links between emotional labour and burnout is also required due to conflicting empirical results in studies examining the construct's association with affective work outcomes. In particular, clarification is needed in regard to the proposed causal relationship between emotional labour and negative work outcomes such as emotional exhaustion (Brotheridge & Grandey 2002; Härtel, Hsu & Boyle 2002; Wharton 1993; Wharton & Erickson 1993).
This article will begin with a review of the construct of emotional labour and the role of organisational display rules. This will be followed by an evaluation of research literature on the construct of emotional dissonance, including limitations inherent in current measures of the phenomenon. It is the identification and consequence of emotional dissonance that is the central focus of the present study. It will be argued in this article that inconclusive results in previous studies linking emotional labour with negative job outcomes is partly due to an incomplete understanding of the nature and function of emotional dissonance, reflected in the limitations inherent in current measures of the...
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