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Gender and emotional labor in public organizations: An empirical examination of the link to performance

By Kenneth John Meier, Sharon H. Mastracci and Kristin Wilson


Scholars of public organizations have begun to emphasize emotional labor in studies of gender in the workplace, finding that the skills women bring to organizations are often overlooked and undercompensated even though they play a vital role in the organization. Emotional labor is an individual’s effort to present emotions in a way that is desired by the organization. The authors hypothesize that employers with greater emotional labor expectations of their employees will have more effective interactions with clients, better internal relationships, and superior program performance. This article tests the effects of emotional labor in a bureaucratic workforce over time. Multiple regression results show that organizations with more women at the street level have higher overall organizational performance. Additionally, emotional labor contributes to organizational productivity over and above its role in employee turnover and client satisfaction

Topics: H1, HD, HD28
Publisher: Wiley Blackwell
Year: 2006
DOI identifier: 10.1111/j.1540-6210.2006.00657.x
OAI identifier: oai:
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