Emotional Labor

To complete this project, you must
1. Conduct research to
a. Define the concept of emotional labor
b. Describe, explain, and discuss perspectives on emotional labor in general as
well as in different workplace settings
2. Conduct limited field research aimed at assessing varying understandings and
experiences of emotional labor in at least three work settings
3. Analyze and summarize findings from your field research
4. Prepare a term paper on the topic of emotional labor in workplace settings, using
both your field research and your background research as you do so. Information
from other sources should have proper references and in-text citations formatted in
APA style.

1. Create your own working definition of emotional labor. Your definition should include
likely effects of emotional labor, such as fatigue, workplace stress, anxiety, and
alienation. Use your definition to guide your field research and clarify your thinking
prior to beginning work on your term paper.
2. Use the following sources to conduct background research. Note: You must use all
of these sources for your project.
a. Your textbook, Organizational Behavior, page 82
b. Online sources
■ Context Magazine, “Feeling around the World,” Arlie Hocschild, page 80
■ Wikipedia: Defining Emotional Labor
■ Emotional Labor, Burnout, and Inauthenticity: Does Gender Matter?
c. At least one source of your own from the Internet, a library source, or elsewhere. Here’s a place to start for information on resources, citations, and
references for this assignment. Visit the Organizational Behavior Page in the
Penn Foster Virtual Library:
3. Prepare a survey for interviewing people in various work settings. On the survey,
leave room for notes you take during or immediately following your interview with
any subject. Although you may add questions of your own, include the following
questions on your survey:
a. On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate your satisfaction with your job?
b. On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate your satisfaction with your present
workplace environment?
c. Are you expected to present yourself in certain ways to customers (patients,
passengers, clients, and so on)?
d. If so, how are you expected to present yourself? To help the interviewee
answer this question, you may ask one or more of the following questions:
n Are you expected to follow a sales script?
n Are you expected to “up-sell” special offers?
n Are you instructed to always be polite?
■ Are you expected to encourage and support patients?
n Are you supposed to smile when you would prefer to scream or frown?
e. Do you feel stress when you feel one way and have to pretend you feel
another way? Can you give me examples?
f. When you feel some kind of work stress, can you tell me how you feel about
it? (If interviewees need help answering this question, you may ask, “Does
stress make you feel tired? Frustrated? Amused? Irritable? Sad?”)
4. Follow these guidelines for conducting your research:
a. Interview people in at least three different work settings. Your subjects might
include fast-food workers, bus or taxi drivers, firefighters, law enforcement
officers, sanitation workers, bank tellers, airline flight attendants, public school
teachers, paramedics, and social workers—to offer some examples.
b. Interview at least two people from each work setting.
c. To find individuals to interview, begin making contacts through people you
d. During the interview, complete the surveys yourself. Don’t ask the subjects to
fill out the forms.
e. Before beginning an interview, tell each subject that his or her responses will
be anonymous. Indeed, it’s advisable to create fictitious names for particular
work venues, for the subjects themselves, and for any persons mentioned by
the subjects. Also, inform each subject that your written report is for a course,
and that it won’t be published anywhere.
f. Allow your respondents to speak freely. Don’t allow your survey form to keep
you from taking notes on unexpected comments, observations, and information provided by the subjects. In other words, keep an open mind.
g. Don’t record an interview on any electronic device, such as a tape recorder,
cell phone, or camcorder, without the express permission of the subject. If
you do record any interview, destroy or delete any such information upon
completion of your research project.
5. Prepare a five- to eight-page term paper based on your research. Draft your paper
on the basis of your back-ground reading and your field research. Edit and revise
your draft prior to submitting it to your instructor.
1. Prepare your paper for electronic submission in a word-processing program.
2. Prepare a title page with the following information:
a. Title: Emotional Labor in the Workplace
b. Your name
c. Your student number
d. Course title: Organizational Behavior
e. Project number: 50048200
f. Current date
3. Double-space your paper, with left and right margins of 1 to 1.25 inches, flush left
and ragged right.
4. Provide adequate source citations.

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