“Fake it til you make it” : - en kvalitativ studie om butiksmedarbetares upplevelser av emotionellt arbete

Detta är en Kandidat-uppsats från Örebro universitet/Institutionen för humaniora, utbildnings- och samhällsvetenskap

Sammanfattning: The purpose of this study is to increase the understanding of how retail employees experience the organizational conditions in the workplace in order to be able to perform emotional work in relation to customers. The study is conducted through six qualitative semi-structured interviews with retail employees who are employed in different companies in the retail industry in Sweden. Based on the perspective of Arlie Hochschild's sociology of emotions and the concept of social support, the empirical material has been analyzed. The study's research questions are the following: ● How do retail employees relate to emotional labor? ● How are the organizational conditions at the workplace perceived for performing emotional labor? The result of the study shows that in their work role, retail employees manage and influence both their own and the customers' emotions in order to achieve customer trust. The varying expectations of expressed emotions in different situations can be described through Hochschild's concept of emotion rules and take place on the basis of both informal and formal emotion rules. Retail employees are constantly exposed to managing a distance between perceived and expressed emotions at work, which can be explained through two more of Hochschild's concepts: surface acting and deep acting. To manage emotional work, retail employees express the importance of social support from the environment. On the other hand, the study shows that social support from managers and supervisors was lacking in all interviewees' workplaces, which affects the perception of the organizational conditions for performing work. Time constraints, staff shortages and unreasonable demands from management are perceived as factors that affect the ability to perform emotional labor and risk resulting in unwanted emotions with negative attributes. In contrast to previous research, the results of this study show that retail employees' approach to emotional labor is influenced by more factors than interaction with the customer.

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