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Title: An Exploratory Study of Stress, Emotional Labour and coping of Hotel Employees in the UK, the Netherlands and Germany
Author: Connor-Elinav, Oshrat
Awarding Body: The University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 2009
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Abstract:
This study is an investigation of the impact of coping resources and strategies on the relationship between emotional labour (herein EL) and strain outcomes for employees in the hotel industry in the UK, the Netherlands, and the former East Germany. A mixed-methods research design was incorporated. Results are based on 79 in-depth interviews with employees from hotels in the investigated countries, and 124 questionnaires (36% response rate). The questionnaires utilised the Visual Analogue Scale (herein VAS), a graphic statistical measure not commonly used in management research, in addition to the commonly used Likert-scales. The utility of the VAS is discussed. Findings corroborate unmeasured claims that hotel employees suffer high stress, but show that they are also highly motivated by their jobs. The specific sources of stress for the industry are identified. No differences in stressors or motivators were found across national cultures and this is discussed. An important contribution of this research was in establishing that EL is identified by participants as an independent source of stress in the context of other workplace . stressors. Employees reported they are under persistent high demand to perform emotional management. EL was assessed in the context of workplace stressors and motivators. Demands for emotional regulation were significant predictors of strain, and mediated the relationship between the stressor 'work conditions' and strain. EL also reversed the effect of a job-motivator to a source of stress. Distinct differences were found between 'Front' and 'Back' facing roles, and by hierarchical positions, in perceived experience of EL. Thus, partial support was given to Hochschild's (1983) claim that frequent and prolonged customer interaction determined consequences of EL. However, after controlling for customer contact, deep acting was the best predictor of general stress, suggesting that a simple classification of 'EL-jobs' or 'no EL- jobs' is not adequate when measuring the relationship between EL and stress. Finding support existing literature regarding the adverse effects of performing emotion regulation, but do not substantiate potential positive effects of EL. Another significant contribution was the investigation of the impact coping has on the relationship between EL and strain. Important differences were identified between national cultures in the availability of coping resources and structures. Possible reasons are discussed, including cultural differences in approaches to social support, locus of control, perceived financial and job stability, and national-characteristic based on Hofstede's (1980) dimensions. Implications for international organisations are suggested. The interaction between individual coping styles and EL has not been investigated previously. Coping strategies were found to moderate the EL-strain relationship. As expected task oriented coping was found more adaptive at reducing strain caused by EL demands. Findings from both qualitative and quantitative stages are integrated and are demonstrated to act in a similar manner as suggested in Cote's (2005) Social Interaction Model. Based on these findings recommendations for the employer are suggested.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Faculty of Humanities Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.516435  DOI: Not available
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