ABSTRACT

Introduction In this chapter, I seek to establish the character of emotional labour as it relates to leadership, and contrast this with our understanding of the construct as it has been explicated in service industry roles. In doing so, I will draw upon those authors who have already made this leap of faith, but also put forward my own proposals as to how these two important constructs mesh together. In particular, I will focus on the complexity of the emotion work required to be performed by practising leaders and the contribution it makes to the accomplishment of leadership as an ongoing activity. At the same time, I will suggest the importance of value congruence in relation to leadership as emotional labour, and set out my views on the implications of this for such things as deep versus surface acting and the issue of who we are really trying to convince when we perform emotional labour as leaders. In support of these propositions, the chapter draws on two empirical studies of the nature of leadership as emotional labour, thus helping to fi ll what I believe remains an underexplored area in the literature to date.