Special Issue of the Journal of Service Management Research

Emotional Labor and Service

Guest Editors: Andrea Fischbach & Benjamin Schneider

Deadline: 29 November 2020

When Arlie Hochschild introduced the concept of emotional labor in her seminal book “The Managed Heart” (Hochschild 1983), she connected the construct to service work with two key observations. First, service organizations manage their service workers to engage in emotional labor in order to benefit customers’ service experiences, satisfaction, and retention. Second, while emotional labor is beneficial for customers it may be costly for service workers. Since then, emotional labor has been an area of expanding research interest in organizational psychology and organizational behavior, as illustrated by recent reviews and meta-analyses (e.g., Grandey & Melloy 2017; Hülsheger & Schewe 2011). Current research has focused on the theoretical perspective on emotional labor as emotion regulation, which is defined as “the process by which individuals influence which emotions they have, when they have them and how they experience and express these emotions” (Gross 1998, p. 275). The core of emotional labor as emotion regulation is that service workers regulate their own emotions in order to display appropriate emotions in service encounters. Obviously, appropriate emotions are those emotions in line with the customer service role.

However, the emotional labor as emotion regulation perspective vis a vis customers may overlook other aspects involved in emotional labor in service work (Bowen & Schneider 2014; Zapf 2002), specifically the dissonance created for workers between their own inner feelings and the positive behaviors (emotionrule dissonance) in pursuit of appropriate service behavior. That dissonance may yield detrimental negative felt emotions as a source of stress (Semmer, Messerli, & Tschan 2016). Those emotions may be triggered by negative customer behaviors (Fischbach & Zapf 2004; Rupp & Spencer 2006) but context variables like the service climate and the internal service quality emphases may also be a source of service workers’

negative feelings (Bowen & Schneider 2014; Hong, Liao, Hu, & Jiang 2013). Unfortunately, little is known to date about the effects of a service organization’s service climate and internal service on emotional labor and its effects on either customers or service workers. In order to broaden our understanding of emotional labor research beyond the emotional labor as emotion regulation focus, this special issue seeks to explore the role of emotional labor with a particular focus on the service context in which it occurs.

We welcome interdisciplinary contributions from disciplines like service management, organizational behavior, and occupational health psychology that consider emotional labor in context. Thus, exploration of issues such as the following are welcome: automatization (Paluch & Wirtz 2020), demographic changes (Dormann, Brod, & Engler 2017; Lichtenthaler & Fischbach 2016), proactive service behaviors (Lichtenthaler & Fischbach 2018), detangling negative affect from the surface acting concept (Semmer et al. 2016), low-cost service industries (Rajaguru 2016), violence, aggression and lack of respect in service encounters (Rupp & Spencer 2006), or customers’ roles and activities in service delivery coproduction and cocreation (Anderson & Ostrom 2015).

We seek contributions that approach these kinds of issues vis a vis emotional labor in context:
–  Theory development (e.g., models and conceptual frameworks that integrate emotional labor in the service context, like integrating emotional labor in the service climate research framework).
–  Methodological advancements (e.g., studies that vali- date advanced measures of emotional labor task characteristics and emotion regulation strategies).
–  Interplay between service climate characteristics/internal service characteristics and emotional labor (e.g. studies that demonstrate how service oriented leadership, HR practices, and system support affect emotional labor antecedents and consequences).
–  Simultaneous effects of service work design and redesign on service workers and customers (e.g., studies that demonstrate how service characteristics affect service worker health and well-being and in turn emotional displays in service encounters).
–  Expanding emotional labor research on unit-levels, organizational-levels and occupational levels (e.g., determinants and consequences of unit-level emotional labor; explaining emotional labor characteristics and consequences across occupations).
–  Expanding emotional labor concepts (e.g., determinants and consequences of detachment strategies in emotional labor; external emotion regulation and sensitivity as an emotional labor requirement).
–  Exploring the possible effects of context to mitigate the potential negative consequences of emotion regulation.

All manuscripts submitted must not have been published, accepted for publication, or be currently under consideration elsewhere. Manuscripts should be submitted in accordance with the author guidelines available on the journal homepage.
All submissions should be made via https://www.openconf.org/smr/.
Submission Deadline: 29 Nov. 2020
Expected Publication: Issue 4–2021

Please direct any further inquiries to the editors:
– Andrea Fischbach, German Police University, Muenster, Germany ([email protected])
– Benjamin Schneider, University of Maryland ([email protected])

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Dormann, C., Brod, S., & Engler, S. (2017). Demographic Change and Job Satisfaction in Service Industries – The Role of Age and Gender on the Effects of Customer-Related Social Stressors on Affective Well-Being. Journal of Service Management Research1(1), 57–70.
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Rupp, D. E. & Spencer, S. (2006). When customers lash out: The effects of customer interactional injustice on emotional labor and the mediating role of discrete emotions. Journal of Applied Psychology91, 971–978.
Semmer, N. K., Messerli, L., & Tschan, F. (2016). Disentangling the components of surface acting in emotion work: Experiencing emotions may be as important as regulating them. Journal of Applied Social Psychology46(1), 46–64.
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