This article is about the relationship between displayed emotions and organisational sales. It addresses emotions that employees display at the workplace, and the effects those emotions have on organisational sales. Sutton and Rafaeli provide that emotions that employees display at the workplace are caused by factors such as job characteristics, stress, compensation and/or relationship with supervisors.
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Furthermore, they provide a variety of forces that explain emotional variations that employees display within organisations. For instance, internal feelings of employees influence certain behaviours. This means that satisfied employees may show genuine smiles and laughter when they interact with customers or co-workers.
On the other hand, dissatisfied employees may frown and grunt during such interactions. However, there are distinct differences between emotions that employees feel and that they display on the job. This is because employers expect employees to express emotions that contradict with their true feelings for the good of their organisation.
Furthermore, the article provides different practices that organisations use to ensure that employees express pleasant emotions at workplace. Those practices include recruitment and selection, socialisation, rewards, and punishments. They are also called display rules. Organisations enforce display rules because they believe that displayed emotions operate as control moves.
Moreover, this article provides that emotions displayed by employees influence consumers’ or colleagues’ behaviours. It also provides that expressed emotions can be the employees’ descriptors as well as the organisational attributes. Finally, the article provides a research study of 576 Convenience Stores to ascertain whether displayed employee emotions influence the customers’ buying behaviours.
What Sutton and Rafaeli (1988) are trying to find out in their Study
Sutton and Rafaeli (1988) are trying to find out the impact of expressed individual emotions on other people’s behaviours. They hypothesized that displayed emotions can act as “control moves” and can influence the reactions of customers towards the services that various organisations offer.
Moreover, they are trying to investigate the relationship between employee expressed emotions and sales in retail stores. Furthermore, they are focused on studying the effects of two social amenities, greetings and thanking, and two forms of nonverbal behaviour, smiling and establishing eye contact, on customer behaviour and organisational sales.
In addition, Sutton and Rafaeli are interested in studying the employee courtesy and the impact it creates in the customers’ mind concerning shopping from the store once again. In summary, the researchers are focused on studying the relationship between displayed organisational emotions and the impact it creates on its overall sales.
The Findings of this Study
The researchers had hypothesized that, employees’ positive emotions influence the behaviour of customers and contributes to more organisational sales. However, after carrying out quantitative study of 576 Convenience Stores, they found a negative relationship between positive emotions that employees displayed and the total store sales. In fact, they found that high levels of expressed positive emotions led to lower levels of overall store sales.
They also found that there was a relationship between the line length in the store and the display of positive emotions. This led them to conduct a qualitative study about busy and slow settings to understand why quantitative evidence contradicted with their fundamental hypothesis.
Qualitative study led the researchers to conclude that employees’ positive emotions may not be a control move that influences the customers’ buying behaviour. Furthermore, they found that store sales reflected the store pace and the amount of pressure put on clerks and customers.
They found that, slow and busy store times determine whether the clerks’ positive emotions are significant in influencing the customers’ buying behaviours from the store or not. In addition, they discovered that store pace is the cure that determines the norms of emotional expressions that should be applied at given moments.
During busy times, an expression of positive employee emotions is not essential while during slow times, an expression of pleasant emotions is vital. Lastly, they found that for Convenience Stores, clerks were less likely to display warm emotions such as keeping eye contact, smiling, and thanking customers during busy times than they were during slow times.
The Implications of this Study for Convenience Stores
This study implies that the relationship between Convenience Stores clerks and the customers’ buying behaviour may not be influenced by displayed positive emotions. Therefore, convenience stores managers should be careful when implementing policies that require employees to display pleasant emotions to customers.
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When the managers are setting up organisational norms, they should specify when and how the clerks/employees should display pleasant emotions to avoid compromising the efficiency of the customer service.
Moreover, it has been discovered that busy stores put pressure on customers and employees that make the display of positive emotions insignificant. This implies that managers should introduce single lines for multiple clerks to reduce stress on the clerks and customers. This will promote display of pleasant emotions and make them significant in determining the organisational sales.