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Title: Managing emotional labour consequences during aggressive customers' interactions : a study of the Cyprus hospitality industry
Author: Simillidou, Aspasia
ISNI:       0000 0004 6353 347X
Awarding Body: University of Gloucestershire
Current Institution: University of Gloucestershire
Date of Award: 2016
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This doctoral investigation explores the area of emotional labour in relation to aggressive customers’ behaviours. In more detail, it is focussing on the way employees engage in emotional labour, which can be done either by surface acting or deep acting, when they are interacting with aggressive customers and the consequences that may arise due to this method. The thematic and narrative literature review conducted by the researcher on the initial stages of this thesis provided the basis and foundations of the creation of the initial conceptual framework on managing the negative consequences of surface acting when interacting with aggressive customers and achieving the desired deep acting during those interactions. The researcher follows the constructivist / interpretivist philosophical approach in her study, and adopts the methodological triangulation for conducting her primary research by using a combination of two qualitative methods, semi-structured interviews and focus groups. The semi-structured interviews were contacted first, and the focus groups, as an additional method, had the purpose of either validating the results or adding to them accordingly. This study revealed that employees are only engaging in surface acting when they are interacting with aggressive customers. This results in a number of negative consequences. The current research has focussed on how to overcome those negative consequences. It further explored the ways that would engage employees in deep acting during those challenging interactions with aggressive customers and the positive effects. The results were presented in the empirically validated conceptual framework that has been created. The findings of this doctoral investigation have contributed both in theory as well as practice. The theoretical contributions include innovative additions to the existing theoretical gaps in the area of emotional labour in terms of how to overcome the negative consequences of surface acting and enhance the use of deep acting during interactions with aggressive customers. Further on, there are also contributions in the literature of the hospitality industry that has been under-researched in regards to this area. In addition, this research is adding to the existing knowledge of how to handle aggressive customers since it is including important findings on how to handle employees’ emotions so that aggressive customers are being treated more effectively. This also benefits the theory of marketing by offering the opportunity for further researchers to use the current empirically tested theoretical framework in order to test the relationship between engaging in deep acting and eliminating customer dissatisfaction. In terms of practical contributions, this research is adding knowledge to the hospitality industry employees, the management and the industry as a whole. While utilising this framework, both management and employees will be able to offer more genuine emotions to their aggressive customers and therefore be able to achieve the best possible results for the organisations they are working for.
Supervisor: Vrontis, Demetris ; Constanti, Panayiotis Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: HF5549 Personnel management. Employment management ; TX901-946.5 Hospitality Industry