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Trolley dolly or skilled emotion manager? Moving on from Hochschild's managed heart

Bolton, S.C. and Boyd, C. (2003) Trolley dolly or skilled emotion manager? Moving on from Hochschild's managed heart. Work, Employment and Society, 17 (6). pp. 289-308. ISSN 0959-0170

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Abstract

This article examines emotion in organizations and the emotion management skills organizational actors possess. While Hochschild's (1983) seminal work on emotional labour is perhaps one of the greatest contributions to our understanding of emotion in organizations, this article challenges key tenets of Hochschild's thesis and goes on to offer an evolved analysis of emotional labour and alternative conceptualizations of organizational emotionality. Using comparable data, this article depicts airline cabin crews as skilled emotion managers who are able to juggle and synthesize different types of emotion work dependent on situational demands. In addition, the capacity for cabin crews to resist and modify the demands of management and customers acts to further contradict Hochschild's claim regarding the 'transmutation' of feelings.