Thesis Chapter 1

Topics: Emotional intelligence, Stress, Psychology Pages: 11 (3373 words) Published: August 27, 2013
CHAPTER I

INTRODUCTION

   The call center industry is considered as one of the newest blooming industry in the Philippines, earning around US$1 billion in 2005 alone. Although there has been a worldwide recession during the start of their industry, they have managed to grow notably and make a name. Presently, it has provided employment for 96,000 Filipinos. In fact, the Philippines is now considered the call center capital of the world (DOST-ICTO, 2012). Call center employees are required to display patience and empathy in dealing with their customer's demands thus, employees who can manage their emotions more effectively is much likely to perform better (Huang, Chan, Lam & Nan, 2010). This type of job requires telephone contact with the public and call center employees are expected to provide or perform emotional labor (Hochschild; as cited in Deery, Iverson, & Walsh 2002).  They are expected to convey emotions based on what the organization expects from them and these emotions were intended to create the desired reaction from the customer. Erickson and Wharton (as cited in Deery, Iverson & Walsh, 2002) stated that the employees are expected to “appear happy”, nice and glad to be able to serve the customer even if they are experiencing negative emotions at the moment.  The key feature of this type of work is conveying the emotions that were specified by the organization together with the rules of employment. Hochschild (as cited in Deery, Iverson, & Walsh 2002) claimed that the most probable outcome of performing emotional labor is job-related burnout. The psychological health is crucial for good job performance; however, it is often neglected in the call center industry both by employers and employee. Job performance is conceptualized as the level wherein an individual does one’s role with consideration to the organization’s standards (Nayvar, as cited in Mishra & Mohapatra, 2010). Excessive job demands and continuous hassles may result in a chronic state of physical and emotional depletion or the experience of emotional exhaustion.  Emotional exhaustion is the core component of burnout and it has significant implications with the quality of one’s work life and to the optimal functioning of an organization (Zohar, 1997; Shirom, as cited in Byrne, Cropanzano, and Mohler, n.d.). The nature of call center jobs which involves spending all day on the phone, dealing with people one after another is the primary source of stress to the employees because the nature of the job is difficult (Rizvi & Suri, 2008). Aside from the emotional exhaustion experienced by employees, this study also covers three possible factors, which might predict job performance: emotional intelligence, civil status and job routinization. Salovey and Mayer (1990) provided definitions of emotional intelligence (EI) : as the ability to perceive accurately, appraise, and express emotion; the ability to access and/or generate feelings when they facilitate thought; the ability to understand emotion and emotional knowledge; and the ability to regulate emotions to promote emotional and intellectual growth. Emotional intelligence is important for employees because it is essential for them to be able to manage their emotions so that they can be able to display the emotions desired by the organization (Hur & Moon, 2011). The variable civil status in this study refers specifically on the marital aspect of the individual; married or single. The last possible predictor of job performance is routinization. Routinization refers to the repetition of the tasks performed in the job which will be represented by customer support representatives and technical support representatives. Call center agents within Metro Manila are asked to take part in the study. The participants are divided with equal representation for civil status and routinization of their job. There are a total of 320 participants. Non-discriminative snowball sampling is used...
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