Title: ''Out there, you're on a stage'': complaints and the management of emotion work in nursing

Authors: Hannah Cooke

Addresses: School of Nursing, Midwifery and Health Visiting, University of Manchester, Coupland 3 Building, Coupland St., M13 9PL, Manchester, UK

Abstract: This paper considers the emotion work/emotional labour distinction in |The Managed Heart| and its implications for understanding the control of emotion work in nursing. It examines new forms of control in contemporary service work particularly the use of consumer feedback as a management control strategy. The paper draws on data from organisational case studies of three Healthcare Trusts and compares managers| and nurses| experiences of complaints management. It argues that the focus on complaints management constrains nurses to perform emotional labour which they experience as both inauthentic and alienating. The paper revisits Goffman and Hochschild to explain why this is so.

Keywords: emotional labour; emotion work; complaints management; nursing work; Goffman; sacred realm; Hochschild; management control; services; consumer feedback; healthcare trusts; UK; United Kingdom; conduct; competence; patient complaints.

DOI: 10.1504/IJWOE.2007.017015

International Journal of Work Organisation and Emotion, 2007 Vol.2 No.2, pp.145 - 160

Published online: 04 Feb 2008 *

Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article