Edited by Neal M. Ashkanasy and Cary L. Cooper
Chapter 20: Doing Emotion in Service Encounters: Service Agents’ Perceptions of Emotional Labor and Emotional Contagion
Blake E. Ashforth, Marc A. Tomiuk and Carol T. Kulik* All salesmen are quite emotional . . . To sell, you have to use your emotions rather than your rationale. Some of the sales pitch is rational, obviously, because it’s mathematics. But when you come to sell yourself – because it’s not the product you’re selling, it’s yourself . . . you have to use your emotions and click on the right button that will light up the customer. (Mortgage broker) Introduction Research on emotions in organizational life has greatly increased during the last decade and a half (e.g., Lord et al., 2002; Härtel et al., 2005). This interest appears to be fueled, in part, by a growing recognition of the integral role that emotions play in everyday work, and by disenchantment with the rational and behavioral paradigms that have held sway in psychological studies in general and organizational studies in particular. Over the same period and for somewhat similar reasons, a stream of research on emotion in marketing has also appeared (Bagozzi et al., 1999). It is now evident that aﬀect is an integral part of the consumption experience (Richins, 1997), that emotions are evoked during the service encounter (Arnould and Price, 1993), and that emotions contribute to service evaluation (Oliver, 1997). In addition, research on services management has also greatly increased in recent years (Frenkel et al., 1999; Fitzsimmons and Fitzsimmons, 2000). This interest parallels the proportional growth of service industries and occupations in developed economies, and the growing recognition that interpersonal interactions...
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