Do people prefer emotionally expressive or non-expressive service providers? | The Oxford Review

Do people prefer emotionally expressive or non-expressive service providers?

Research Briefing

Keywords: work psychology, emotion, emotional expression, perceptions, perceptions of emotion, emotional Labour

In many organisations and industries ranging from service organisations like the police through to businesses like hotels and call centres, the actions of the public facing employee can have a dramatic impact on the customer’s relationship with that organisation.

One important element is that of displays of emotion. Many organisations have strict procedures and regulations around emotional displays, such as always smiling when a customer approaches, or remaining passive and expressionless. These forms of emotional labour have been studied extensively, particularly in terms of the impact emotional labour has on employees.

A new (2019) study by a team of researchers have conducted extensive primary research on this issue to see what impact a wide range of emotional displays have on recipients, primarily in the hospitality (hotel and catering) industry.

This research briefing will be of particular interest to anyone involved or interested in work psychology, emotions in the workplace and emotional labour as well as anyone just curious about the impact of front-line emotional displays such as smiling etc on customers.

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