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North Castle Books

Emotional Labor: Putting the Service in Public Service
Authored by: Mary E. Guy; Meredith A. Newman; Sharon H. Mastracci

Best Book Award, Public and Nonprofit Division, Academy of Management
Best Book Award, Section on Public Administration Research, American Society for Public Administration
Best Book Award, Section on Personnel and Labor Relations, American Society for Public Administration

Cloth ISBN: 978-0-7656-2116-0 Paper ISBN: 978-0-7656-2117-7
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USD: $98.95 USD: $39.95
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Available to all countries
Information: 256pp. Tables, figures, bibliographic references, index.
Publication Date: February 2008.  


Description: Most public service jobs require interpersonal contact that is either face-to-face or voice-to-voice--relational work that goes beyond testable job skills but is essential for job completion. This unique book focuses on this emotional labor and what it takes to perform it.

The authors weave a powerful narrative of stories from the trenches gleaned through interviews, focus groups, and survey data. They go beyond the veneer of service delivery to the real, live, person-to-person interactions that give meaning to public service.

For anyone who has ever felt apathetic toward government work, the words of caseworkers, investigators, administrators, attorneys, correctional staff, and 9/11 call-takers all show the human dimension of bureaucratic work and underscore what it means to work "with feeling."

Selected Contents:

List of Tables and Figures
Foreword, Steven Maynard-Moody

1. Emotional Labor and Public Service
2. The Disconnect Between Public Administration Theory and Practice
3. Governance, Demanding Publics, and Citizen Satisfaction
4. I'll Know It When I See It: Emotional Labor, Verbal Judo, and Artful Affect
5. Burnout Versus Making a Difference: The Costs and Benefits of Emotion Work
6. Do Human Resource Practices Recognize Emotional Labor?
7. Pay Inequity as the Penalty of Emotion Work
8. Emotion Work Present and Future: Trends in Relational Occupations
9. Implications for Theory, Research, and Practice

Appendix A. GNM Emotional Labor Questionnaire
Appendix B. Research Design
Appendix C. Variables for Regression Analysis
Appendix D. Emotional Labor Scales
Appendix E. Description of Job Occupants
Appendix F. Factors Used in Analysis
About the Authors

Comment(s): "Emotional labor is a crucial factor in public organizational performance. Exploring this long neglected topic, Guy, Newman and Mastracci illustrate how to do first-rate analysis on difficult-to-measure concepts. The book is a must read for all scholars of organizations." -- Kenneth J. Meier, Texas A&M University

"Although the performance of emotional labor is an integral part of many public service jobs, it seldom has been studied within public administration. After reading Emotional Labor, however, public administration scholars and students will no longer be able to overlook this important aspect of public service. This invaluable book is a theoretically and empirically rich study of the different dimensions of emotional labor as performed by both women and men in the public workplace." -- DeLysa Burnier, Ohio University

"Scholars have long recognized that the behavior of those in public organizations exceeds the sterile world of objective rationality that many once claimed. But Guy, Newman, and Mastracci go well beyond this insight to suggest that certain workers engage the emotions of their clients as a primary element of their work. These workers must understand the client's emotional tone and establish a sense of resonance with the client in order to act effectively and responsibly. Doing so is, of course, the essence of public service, making this book an important resource for all who would serve." -- Robert B. Denhardt, Arizona State University

Review(s): "The magnitude of this book's importance to reshaping our consideration of human capital concerns in public service should not be underestimated. Because of this, and the authors' careful attention to writing in a straightforward and accessible style, their work should undoubtedly be incorporated into future research, classrooms, and practice." -- Review of Public Personnel Administration

"...the first significant examination of emotional labor in the public administration field." -- Public Administration Review

"This book broadens our understanding of the complex concept of emotional labor and provides important insights into the consequences in the public service context. It is an interesting contribution to public administration theory and to the increasing body of literature on emotions in organizations. It should be of interest to a varied audience, ranging from scholars and practitioners in the areas of public administration, political science, social work, and sociology to policy makers and students of organizational behavior." -- Administrative Science Quarterly

"Emotional Labor is a slim volume that demands intense concentration. ... A comprehensive, readable, and useful overview of emotional labor. It is essential reading for anyone who believes caring is an important value-just as efficiency, effectiveness, economy, accountability, fairness, justice, and social equity are important values in public administration. Clearly this book will find a home in graduate level classrooms across the disciplines of public administration, sociology, management, nursing, and in any human resource management course-anywhere that nurturance, empathy and care are valued." -- Public Voices

"If you are involved in human resources in the public sector or are a student involved in public administration or public service, you should buy and hold onto this book. It provides an excellent overview of a number of topics. There are not enough books dealing with the human resource aspects of service jobs, and this book does an excellent job of introducing the issues and problem areas involves in studying, analyzing, and paying for public service jobs." -- HRLitehouse: Human Resource Management

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