Emotion Work: A Work Psychology Perspective

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Emotion work, the management of feelings and emotional displays in response
to emotion work requirements, can have both positive and negative
effects on well-being and performance. Adopting a work psychology perspective
and drawing on work stress and work design literatures, we outline
an expanded model of emotion work, regarding emotion work requirements
as job characteristics and as part of broader task requirements. The
challenge-hindrance stressors framework helps explain positive effects of
emotion work in terms of professional role fulfillment. We emphasize the
importance of negative events and negative emotions for outcomes of surface
acting conditions, and we highlight the often-neglected role of automatic
emotion regulation in emotion work. Research on culture suggests that existing
results are mostly valid for Western cultures. Practical and research
implications refer to a stronger emphasis on conditions at work in general,
including stressors and resources, which together determine the meaning of
emotion work conditions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)139-172
Number of pages34
JournalAnnual Review of Organizational Psychology and Organizational Behavior
Early online date16 Nov 2020
Publication statusPublished - 27 Jan 2021


  • challenge and hindrance stressors
  • clients
  • colleagues
  • consequences of emotion work
  • emotion management
  • emotion work
  • emotion work as secondary task
  • emotion work requirements
  • emotion-rule dissonance
  • job characteristics approach
  • job resources
  • job stressors


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