ABSTRACT

The two scenarios above illustrate a typical set of interactions in the day of a professional nurse-manager in an operational leadership position in a hospital setting. In the cases highlighted in the scenarios, the setting was a for-profi t private hospital where commercial considerations are important as well as patient care. As we will show shortly, Helen’s behavior can be interpreted from three perspectives: (1) authentic emotional expression, (2) emotional labour, and/or (3) emotional intelligence. Although there is a signifi cant body of research supporting emotional intelligence as a prerequisite of successful leadership (e.g., see Prati, Douglas, Ferris, Ammeter and Buckley, 2003); the role of emotional labour among leaders is still controversial and often misunderstood. In this chapter, we will return to our

opening scenarios to explore the role of authentic emotional expression and emotional intelligence in leaders’ performance of emotional labour.