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NCJ Number: 229121 Find in a Library
Title: Emotional Labour in the Context of Policing in Victoria: A Preliminary Analysis
Journal: International Journal of Police Science & Management  Volume:11  Issue:4  Dated:Winter 2009  Pages:476-492
Author(s): David Chapman
Date Published: 2009
Page Count: 17
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: This study first reviews "emotional labor" theory and then reports on the findings of previous research on stress manifestations within the culture of the Victoria Police (Australia).
Abstract: For the purposes of this paper, the definition of "emotional labor" adopted is that developed by Grandey (2000a). Grandey's definition requires that "emotional labor" encompass three elements. First, it must involve face-to-face or voice-to-voice contact with members of the public. Second, the employee must maintain a certain emotional display and produce an emotional state in another person. Third, it must allow the employer, through training and supervision, to exercise a degree of control over the emotional activities of employees. Emotional labor has been studied across most industries and in many countries; it is universally linked to stress and employee burnout. Research also strongly supports the view that emotional dissonance is linked to emotional burnout and/or emotional exhaustion. Emotional dissonance occurs when an employee becomes overly involved in either face-to-face or person-to-person interactions within a work context and has little or no way to replenish the emotional resources expended. Clearly, police officers are involved in emotional labor, and this fact should be positively addressed by police departments so that emotional dissonance and associated stress and burnout do not occur. This paper discusses research that bears upon organizational change in the Victoria Police under the community policing paradigm, which is a possible source of emotional dissonance. The paper advises that a detailed study of emotional labor under current policing paradigms is warranted from both practical and theoretical perspectives. Police departments must be aware of the impact of emotional labor in order to maximize the effectiveness of police officers on the front line. Police departments must be proactive in learning how to manage and reduce the mental stress of their officers. 54 references
Main Term(s): Police occupational stress
Index Term(s): Australia; Behavior under stress; Police occupational stress; Police stress training; Stress management; Victoria
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