Research Hypotheses and Questions
- Customer service/care employees are more often required to suppress negative outcomes;
- Displaying positive emotions may involve either surface or genuine acting. If it is a surface acting, the service worker should suppress his/her emotions and express the ones that are appropriate for a particular situation, which may cause stress and have a negative impact on the workers’ emotional state. In contrast, genuine acting implies that positive emotions expressed by service workers may generate positive feelings among the customers and provide a positive impact on the employees.
- The job-role requirement is the major factor in determining the influence of emotional labor on job satisfaction.
With regard to the above-presented hypotheses, the research questions given below will promote a deeper comprehension of those statements as well as explain their essence:
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- How often are customer service employees required to suppress negative emotions while communicating the clients’ returns/complaints?
- Our general sales employees more often required to display positive emotions such as happiness and enthusiasm while dealing with customers?
- Does the process of displaying positive emotions mainly involve surface, genuine, or deep acting technique?
Research Survey questions
In order to find out the answers to the above-stipulated questions, the proposed survey questionnaire will contribute to a better understanding of the connection between the emotional state of the employees as well as the consequences of surface and genuine acting.
The following questionnaire will help determine the relations between job requirements and the type of services performed as well as the emotional state and stress level of the employees that will have either to express or to suppress emotions depending on those requirements (Chu, 2002). In this respect, the independent variable here will be job-role requirements that are identified by the employers, the acting techniques used by the employees, and the type of work to be accomplished whereas the dependent variables will be the stress-level of the identified work, job satisfaction, and emotional state of the employees.
The presented questionnaire is based on the questionnaire worked out by Chu (2002). It involves the measurement of a response statement in accordance with the Likert scale. There will be six-section involving interaction between service workers and customers, workers’ ability to experience other emotions, the extent to which the supervisor controls the work, evaluation of stress levels, and identification of background information about the workers.
The question design and content itself are changed to fit the current research. In Appendix 1, Chu (2002) provides the list of pretesting questions that can be referred to as the analysis of the impact of emotional labor on services workers to define whether it is positive or negative with regard to job role requirements.
Choosing a research strategy
While examining the core questions of the research, particular reference will be made to predictive, analytical, and critical research strategies because they fully correspond to the objectives of the study (Bryman & Bell, 2007). In particular, using a predictive method, the study will focus on measuring the existing variables to identify specific causal relationships and variations between the dependent and independent variables.
In this respect, Brotheridge and Lee (2003) identify the measurable variable to provide findings and answer the questions. Specifically, the researchers apply to confirmatory factor analysis that supports the existence of six identified subscales. More importantly, the research has been enhanced by evidence that provides convergent validity.
Analytical assessment will be crucial for classifying the factors and variables that constitute the basis of the investigated concept. To prove the relevance of the selected research strategy, Grandley (2000) presents the study of emotional labor that addresses the problem of managing emotions when the job role requires particular expressions to be shown to the clients. Due to the absence of a consistent theoretical framework for conducting the study, the researchers have resorted to the analysis of previously conducted studies to compare the existing definitions and concepts related to emotional labor and to discuss emotion regulation (Grandley, 2000, p. 108). The given analytical approach has enabled scholars to present an emotional labor model that involves individual peculiarities and organizational factors.
Finally, a critical approach is indispensable to the given research due to the urge to define the existing gaps, inconsistencies, and biases connected with the concept of emotional labor as well as its impact on service workers. To justify this scientific strategy, it is imperative to present the studies conducted by Brotheridge et al. (2002) who performed a number of observations to develop a model for workers to manage the role demands while resorting to surface or deep acting. The researchers apply cross-survey responses to analyze the workers’ emotional state and attitude to the working process.
On whole, while working on my research stance, I have resorted to a mixture of epistemological and ontological positions while conducting research. Epistemological position prevails while performing the interview and testing the employees. In this respect, Zembylas (2004) provides an epistemological system as the basis for studying the influence of emotional labor on the effect of an educational process. In fact, an epistemological frame will enable one to consider gender, race, and ethnicity issues to define the connection of those aspects to the concept of emotional labor. The ontological position dominates in comparing and analyzing the causal relations between the presented variables, including the job role-demands and stress levels of the employees (Morris and Feldman, 1006, p. 1001).
The research design
The research design creates a framework for data collection and analysis. Therefore, it is essential to identify the research areas and frames and define the major priorities of the research process. Hence, the given research design refers to a case study of Air New Zealand, the airline company offering flight services (Air New Zealand, 2011). The identified group will be flight attendants from different flights to make the research more valid and objective. As presented earlier, the frame of the study is based on the research model presented by Chu (2002). Using a survey questionnaire, the studies will examine the cause of relations between emotional labor and job role demands (Kruml & Geddes, 2000).
Choosing a sampling approach
The identified population is the flight attendants from Air New Zealand that will be tested and interviewed. Though the research has limited access to the sampling frame, it is still possible to test some attendants on a voluntary basis. Alternatively, it is possible to employ theoretical sampling together with the identified one to provide accurate results. To support the choice, it is necessary to refer to the studies provided by Totterdell and Holman (2003) who have resorted to time-design models for analyzing and measuring the separate items of emotion regulation.
Given the worked-out research questions design and the sample frame identified for the research, margin error will be about 5 % and the confidence level will amount to 95 %. The population size will be 20 flight attendants from the company. The responsible distribution will be about 14 %.
Analysis of results
Judging from the chosen research strategy and design, sampling frame, and research questions, the presented study is prevailingly based on qualitative analysis of the collected data. This is explained by the fact that the research is mostly based on analytic induction and grounded theory. This means, the received data has been examined, analyzed, conceptualized, and classified into specific categories to define the influence of emotional labor on job role requirements. However, qualitative methods are used to count the answers received during the interview.
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The pre-test questions results, as well as theoretical finding, have revealed that in most cases the flight attendant suppresses their negative emotions and display the positive ones, such as happiness and enthusiasm while dealing with the customers to minimize the stress and encourage the client, specifically those who are afraid of traveling by air. However, the questionnaire has also shown that emotional suppression does not positively influence the psychological state of flight attendants. These studies turn out to contradict the theoretical frames and other research studies.
Air New Zealand (2011). Welcome to Air New Zealand. Web.
Brotheridge, C. M, and Lee, R. T. (2002). Testing a Conservation of Resources Model of the Dynamics of Emotional Labor. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology. 7(1), 57-67.
Brotheridge, C. M., and Lee, R. T. (2003). Development and Validation of the Emotional Labour Scale. Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology. 76(3), 365-379. Print.
Bryman, A. & Bell, E. (2007) Business Research Methods, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Chu, K. H. (2002). The Effects of Emotional Labor on Employee Work Outcomes: Hospitality and Tourism Management Review, 1, 1–188.
Grandley, A. A. (2000). Emotional Regulation in the Workplace: A New Way to Conceptualize Emotional Labor. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology. 5(1), 95-100. Print.
Kruml, S., & Geddes, D. (2000). Exploring the dimensions of emotional labor: The heart of Hochschild’s work. Management Communication Quarterly, 14(1), 8−49.
Morris, J. A. and D. C. Feldman. (1996). The Dimensions, Antecedents, and Consequences of Emotional Labor. The Academy of Management Review. 21(4), 986-1010.
Totterdell, P. and D. Holman, D. (2003). Emotion Regulation in Customer Service Roles: Testing a Model of Emotional Labor. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology. 8(1), 55-73.
Zembylas, M. (2004). Emotion Metaphors and Emotional Labor in Science Teaching. Science Education, 88(3), 301-324.
This section is to identify interaction of service providers and customers (Chu, 2002). Please circle the number that you would like engage where (1) is rarely and (7) is always.
- I actually feel the emotions that I need to show when doing my job……… 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
- The emotions I show to clients are truly what I feel……………………………. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
- I display sincere hospitality when interacting with my clients……………….. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
- I try talking myself out what I really feel when helping clients …………….1 2 3 4 5 6 7
This section identifies ones ability to experience others’ emotions (Chu, 2002). Please circle the number that you would like engage where (1) is strongly disagree and (7) is strongly agree
Strongly Disagree Strongly Agree
- I often find that I can remain calm in spite of the excitements I feel………. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
- I am able to stay calm even though those around me are worried…….. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
- I cannot feel fine when people around me feel depressed………………… 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
- People around me greatly influence my moods………………………………..1 2 3 4 5 6 7
This section tries to identify whether a supervisor and co-workers’ support will control how one works (Chu, 2002). Please circle the number that you would like engage where (1) is strongly disagree and (7) is strongly agree
Strongly Disagree Strongly Agree
- My supervisor can be relied during challenges at work …………………….. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
- My supervisor is there for me when I have personal problems…………….1 2 3 4 5 6 7
- My co-workers can be relied during challenges at work………………………. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
- My co-workers are there for me when I have personal problems………… 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
This section will identify an individual’s stress levels at work and if one gets job satisfaction at work (Chu, 2002). Please circle the number that you would like engage where (1) is strongly disagree and (7) is strongly agree
Strongly Disagree Strongly Agree
- I feel emotionally drained when I get from work……………………………….. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
- Working with people the whole day really strains me…………………………1 2 3 4 5 6 7
- Working directly with people puts too much pressure on me……………….1 2 3 4 5 6 7
- I am satisfied with my job description ……………………………………………1 2 3 4 5 6 7
- I frequently think of getting a new job……………………………………………….1 2 3 4 5 6 7
- In overall, I love my job because am very satisfied……………………………. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
This section identifies more information about an individual and their job (Chu, 2002).
(This information is very confident)
- What is your current position: ____________________
- For how long have you worked in this position? Years_______ Months ________
- How many positions have you held at this organization? ______________
- How long have you been in this organization? Years________ Months ________
- During your career, how long have you worked in total? ————————-
- How long have you worked in customer-contact positions?
- Years_______ Months ________
- Year of birth: __________________
- Your gender:
- Female (Tick the correct one)
- Your race/ethnicity: (Tick the correct one)
- Native American
- Other (Please specify ____________________) (Chu, 2002).