Title: Emotion work in the public sector: a focus on the essence of public service

Authors: Myung Hun Jin; Jaehee Park; HyeonUk Bak

Addresses: L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs, Virginia Commonwealth University, 921 W. Franklin Street, Richmond, VA 23284-2028, USA ' L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs, Virginia Commonwealth University, 921 W. Franklin Street, Richmond, VA 23284-2028, USA ' L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs, Virginia Commonwealth University, 921 W. Franklin Street, Richmond, VA 23284-2028, USA

Abstract: For public sector administrators to facilitate discourse, mediate acrimony, and de-escalate volatile situations, emotional awareness and skilful control of emotions are a necessary yet often neglected part of the job. After more than a decade of research, it is not clear as to whether public sector employees' ability to regulate their emotions leads to producing positive consequences for themselves and the services they provide. This prompts for comparative perspectives and analysis from the public sector. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the relationship between individual characteristics of emotion work, emotion work requirements, and false face acting, and their impact on pride in work and burnout. Findings reject the argument that emotional exhaustion, or burnout, is a result of the emotional labour process, and instead suggest that emotional labour is a rewarding process in which individuals can improve their social skills and bring self-awareness about the nature of their work.

Keywords: emotional labour; public service; emotional exhaustion; burnout; pride; job satisfaction; emotion work; emotions; public sector employees; emotional awareness; emotional control; false face acting; social skills; self-awareness.

DOI: 10.1504/IJPSPM.2015.067813

International Journal of Public Sector Performance Management, 2015 Vol.2 No.3, pp.221 - 236

Published online: 27 Feb 2015 *

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