Even if we don’t realise it, most of us are now familiar with the idea of ‘emotional labour’; that ‘service with a smile’ which everyone from cabin crew to restaurant or call centre staff is expected to give, irrespective of what they actually feel or think.
This book considers the complex ways in which this need to show (or hide) particular emotions translates into job roles – specifically those of leaders or managers – where the relationships are lasting rather than transient, two-way rather than uni-directional and have complex, ongoing goals rather than straight-forward, one-off ones. The book contends that these differences contribute unique characteristics to the nature of the emotional labour required and expounds and explores this new genus within the ‘emotional labour’ species. The main theme of this book is the explication and exploration of emotional labour in the context of leadership and management. As such, it focuses both on how our understanding of emotional labour in this context enriches the original construct and where it deviates from it.
By exploring these issues at the level of situated practices and the real world, real time experiences of leaders, the book seeks to make an innovative and nuanced contribution to our understanding of the emotional element within ‘leadership work’.