Sunday, July 21, 2019
Personality traits Emotional Labor
Personality traits Emotional Labor Emotions are a natural part of an individuals makeup and their management is a routine task. Emotions are best judged in the workplace which is considered as the rational environment for individuals (A. Grandy, 2000). In past emotions were totally ignored as a study of behavior (Arvey, Renz, Watson, 1998; Putnam Mumby, 1993). Research findings have proved that management of workplace emotions are a good predictor of individual as well as organizational outcomes. But the gap lies how organization and personal characteristics are related to managing emotions. One of the terms used for managing fake emotions at job for a particular amount is termed as emotional labor (Hochschild, 1983). The focus of the present article is to find an exact relationship between individual characteristics (personality and the need for achievement) with emotional labor. Grandey (2000) has defined emotional labor as the process of regulating both feelings and expressions for organizational goals (p. 97). In lay man term it is basically defined as artificial or displayed emotions that employee may not privately feel (Ekman Friesen, 1975; Goffman, 1959; Hochschild, 1983; James 1989). Qualitative research shows that all employees find their true feelings do not always conform to their roles (Ashforth Toumiuk, 2000). As feelings do not erupt spontaneously or automatically employees modify their display of emotions either by deep acting or by surface acting (Ashforth Humphrey, 1993; Hochschild, 1979, 2003). Both deep acting and surface acting represent different intentions. When engaged in deep acting, an actor attempts to modify feelings to match the required display rules whereas in surface acting employees modify their displays without shaping inner feelings (Ashforth Humprey, 1993; Hochschild, 2003). Increased competition between service providers has forced organizations to give attention to quality of service, which is directly proportional to employee interaction with customers (Bowen Schneider, 1988). For example an air hostess has to greet with smile each and every passenger on board in order to provide quality customer service regardless of her bad mood, family problems, responsibilities etc. Research findings have proved certain antecedents of emotional labor (surface acting deep acting) which are Social Factors; Hochschild (1979) argued that individuals may learn to feel according to the situation cues. Secondly Occupational Factors; the display of positive emotions is required in many service occupations, including restaurant workers and flight attendants. Funeral directors in contrast are required to display negative emotions (i.e. sadness). Some job requires display of neutrality i.e. those of the judges (Rafaeli Sutton, 1987). Finally Organizational Factors; The service employees represent the organization to the public. Therefore organizations have vested interest being managed well by the service employee. Thus, organizations increasingly offer display rules for the employees. Several researches state that individuals regulate their emotions according to situations in which they are able to create emotion ((Freud, 1936/1961; Frijda, 1986). This regulation of emotions mainly results in job burnout, stress, dissatisfaction and other negative job outcomes as proposed by Hochschild (1983) and others. But these outcomes and emotion regulation are somewhat subjected to different personality traits which is not studied in past. The current study extends the research in two ways. First we examine one of the most critical variables i.e. personality dimensions to see how extraverted, openness to experience, agreeableness, conscientiousness and neurotic (Costa McRae, 1992; Goldberg, 1992) individuals will regulate their emotions in a certain situation, whether they tend to behave as a deep actor or surface actor. Secondly we will see how need for achievement which is the need of an individual to accomplish significant task, will define persons display of emotions at job. Literature Review Understanding the concept of emotional labor is very important as it might affect the employees in certain ways which can either be useful or useless. As the research has already proven that the emotional labor excites pressures for the person to recognize with their service roles (Black E. Ashforth; Ronald H.humphery, 1993). Emotional labor is an invisible mask that the employees have to wear as the job requirement. But this display of emotions is totally dependant on the personality of the employees. Personality is defined as a mix of persons psychological as well as biological traits that makes him unique from others and persists over a certain period of time (Phares, 1991: 4). Each personality trait has its own depth and significance some of them are determined by birth and some are determined by situational factors ( Cattell, 1950). Emotional labor is basically related to the situational side of personality. Five broad dimensions of personality have been identified by analyzing, observing, seeking responses from thousands of people. These five factors are independent variables, and are studied with many other factors such as job performance, org commitment, job burnout, positive negative affectivity (Costa McCrae 1980), job stress, emotional intelligence, emotional expressions, self efficacy, self esteem and many more. Dimensions include; Neuroticism which is basically how much a person has control over his/her emotions? It can be high or low. People with low levels of neuroticism are confident, secure and calm which indicate emotional stability whereas high levels of neuroticism increase the probability of occurring negative emotions like stress, burnout, dissatisfaction etc. Persons with high levels of neuroticism are reactive and more easily troubled by stimuli in their environment. They are prone to moodiness. Persons having strong control over emotions on the other hand need strong stimuli to be aggravated (Howard Howard, 1995). Person with high neu roticism are not at all psychologically defected. A more proper term could be negative affectivity or nervousness (McCrae John, 1992). Extraversion, extraverts tend to be more physically and verbally active. They are gregarious, outgoing, assertive and high spirited. As they have excellent social skills they are best at jobs which require interaction. In contrast introverts may be described as quiet, reserved, shy and unsociable ( Costa McCrae, 1992: 49). Openness to experience is a measure of how much a person is creative and thinks out of the box. People with a high openness to experience have broad interests, are liberal, curious and are artistically sensitive whereas people with low openness to experience are predictable, conservative and prefer familiarity (Howard Howard, 1995). The agreeableness scale is linked to compassionate, self-sacrifice, trust, eager to cooperate, caring versus competitiveness, aggression, indifference, self-centeredness, unkindness and envy (Howard Howard, 1995). People who rate high on agreeableness are more compliant, rule abiding and interpersonally strong and are best fitted at jobs which require interaction for e.g. customer service. So their relation with emotions seems to be positive due to their social skills. Conscientiousness determines goal-directed actions and amount of control over desires. The more conscientious a person is the more responsive, well organized, dependable and persistent he is (Costa McCrae, 1992: 49), they have high standards and always strive hard to achieve goals. The personality traits which are not included in the above model may also serve as the basis for investigation of their relation with emotional labor for example in the present article we have taken; apart from the big five model a personality trait called the need for achievement. This is defined as the drive to excel, and strive to succeed. People who rate high on this need are more likely to set high challenging goals and as they are personally responsible so they are not good at managerial jobs instead entrepreneurial activities suit them the most. So regulation of emotions seems a difficult task for these people because they dont rely on others and does what they think is perfect. Figure: Theoretical framework conceptualizing personality traits with emotional labor. Deep Acting (felt expressions): Two of the dimensions of big five model, extraversion neuroticism are consistently linked with emotions and are expected to be positively related with felt expressions. Extraversion is related to positive affectivity which influences positive moods and more rewarding interpersonal relationships due to their strong social skills. In contrast neuroticism is totally opposite which is related to negative affectivity which influences negative moods and pessimistic approach. Costa McCrae (1980) found that extraversion relates to pleasant affect and neuroticism relates to unpleasant affect. Several studies support the relation between extraversion and neuroticism with emotions and different mood states. First, extraverts and neurotics have been found to react differently to a similar stimulus (Grey 1981), for example an extravert will behave positive when exposed to a stimuli due to positive affectivity whereas a neurotic person will develop negative behavi or when exposed to the similar stimuli due to its negative affectivity. Secondly extravert and neurotic persons have different affective experiences when encounter a certain situation. Now this theoretical link between emotional state and the two FFM personality dimensions predict that there might be a relation of these traits with deep acting (felt expressions). Hypothesis 1: Extraversion will be positively related to expressing felt emotions. Hypothesis 2: Neuroticism will be positively related to expressing felt emotions. Surface acting (fake emotions) Previous studies have found relation of displayed emotions with four of the personality dimensions; extraversion, neuroticism, agreeableness and conscientiousness (Tews Glomb 2003). Extraversion is said to have relation with display of positive fake emotions as they are inclined to positive emotions. Here extraverts are likely to display fake positive emotions for e.g. happiness because they do not need to, as they are by nature positive people and are very optimistic about things, situations, events etc. On the other hand extraverts are good self monitors and can adjust themselves according to the situation; due to their social skills they can easily display positive fake emotions. Similarly if an extravert is not feeling positive they will outwardly display positive emotions to others by suppressing their negative emotions. Hypothesis 3: Extraversion is positively related to expressing fake emotions. Now if we link neuroticism to expressing positive emotions we know that people who rate high on neuroticism experience negative emotions like stress, burnout, depression, anxiety and are more likely to display fake positive emotions in the workplace by suppressing their negative emotions. This is due to the reason that they want to compensate their inner negative feelings and want to be acceptable in front of others. Hypothesis 4: Neuroticism is positively related to expressing fake emotions. Conscientious individuals are very goal oriented, responsible and are high achievers. Once they are hired, conscientious people not only tend to perform well, but they also have higher levels of motivation to perform, lower levels of turnover, lower levels of absenteeism, and higher levels of safety performance at work. So we can say they are more likely to display positive fake emotions in order to fulfill their job responsibilities. Hypothesis 5: Conscientiousness is positively related to expressing fake emotions. But on the other hand it can be negatively related to expressing fake emotions because of the fact that a conscientious person is believed to possess qualities that reflect dependability (e.g., thorough, careful, organized, responsible) as well as volitional constructs such as need for achievement (Barrick Mount, 1991; Hough, 1992, Moon 2001). Non dependable persons make decisions on their own and they are more than happy to live by the desires of themselves not others. They have no difficulty expressing disagreement with others. They dont fear of those around them not accepting or approving of them. They are not at all sensitive to disapproval so they dont behave in a way others want them to (Olvera 2007). So we can say they are negatively related to expressing fake emotions. Hypothesis 6: Conscientiousness is negatively related to expressing fake emotions. Agreeableness is strongly related to expressing fake emotions as they are very good natured, helpful, and cooperative with others and for this they might put on a good face while making interactions with others. Secondly these individuals hardly retaliate when someone treat them unfairly so they might suppress their negative emotion at that time and express fake emotions to avoid conflict. Thirdly as these people are very nice, tolerant, sensitive, trustworthy, kind and warm they are liked by everyone and to maintain this impression they try to be as good with others as they can with the help of artificial display of emotions. Hypothesis 7: Agreeableness will be positively related to expressing fake positive Emotions. Openness to experience reflects persons curiousity, originality, intellect, creativity, and flexibility. McCrae Costa (1991) argued that these individuals have a very broader and deeper scope of awareness and they need to experience new things and ideas. They are not related to any kind of facial expression and any social interaction so no relationship is maintained between openness to experience individuals and emotional labor. Need for Achievement is the desire to do well at something. It is motivated by a want to achieve success, mastery, and fulfillment. People whose need for achievement is high know what they want and reject things which distract them from their goals. They do what needs to be done even when they dont want to so this means if they want to achieve something they can display positive fake emotions in order to excel. These people are highly emotionally stable, they have full control over their emotions and can regulate them where required. So whatever the situation may be they are likely to manage it and strive for success. Lastly they know and understand the principle of communication so they are very strong at communicating and articulating their thoughts in many ways and presenting them to others. And wherever social skills are strong means a no of relationships with others are involved which some way or the other requires an artificial display of emotions. Hypothesis 8: Need for achievement is positively related to expressing fake emotions.