Title: Learning to be a competent paramedic: emotional management in emotional work

Authors: Cathrine Filstad

Addresses: The Norwegian School of Management (BI), Inst. for Leadership and Organization, Nydalsveien 37, 0404 Oslo, Norway

Abstract: The aim of this paper is to understand emotion in organisational learning, by exploring how newly-appointed emergency paramedics in an ambulance service are socialised and learn emotional management. Our research highlights the importance of trust among partners in emotional management and how emotional management is learned through informal debriefing and informal communities of coping. We find that emotional management is learned on the job, through practice and knowledge sharing among colleagues, and in informal learning arenas that provide debriefing among colleagues. Adjusting to hierarchical order is crucial. Emotional management also involves black humour and jokes as an important neutralisation strategy which creates a strong family feeling among colleagues.

Keywords: organisational learning; knowledge sharing; informal learning; newly-appointed paramedics; emotional management; emotional work; emotional labour; trust; paramedic competencies; emotion; emergency paramedics; ambulance services; informal debriefing; informal communities of coping; black humour; jokes; neutralisation strategy; family feeling.

DOI: 10.1504/IJWOE.2010.035325

International Journal of Work Organisation and Emotion, 2010 Vol.3 No.4, pp.368 - 383

Published online: 21 Sep 2010 *

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