Before you begin, read through this entire procedure. Then, follow these steps to complete your project:

  1. Create your own working definition of emotional labor. Your  definition should include likely effects of emotional labor, such as  fatigue, workplace stress, anxiety, and alienation. Use your definition  to guide your field research and clarify your thinking prior to  beginning work on your term paper.
  2. Use the following sources to conduct background research. Note: You must use all of these sources for your project. 
    1. Your textbook, Organizational Behavior, page 82
    2. Online sources 
    3. At least one source of your own from the Internet, a library source,  or elsewhere. Here’s a place to start for information on resources,  citations, and references for this assignment. Visit the Organizational  Behavior Page in the Penn Foster Virtual Library.
  3. Prepare a survey for interviewing people in various work settings.  On the survey, leave room for notes you take during or immediately  following your interview with any subject. Although you may add  questions of your own, include the following questions on your survey: 
    1. On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate your satisfaction with your job?
    2. On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate your satisfaction with your present workplace environment?
    3. Are you expected to present yourself in certain ways to customers (patients, passengers, clients, and so on)?
    4. If so, how are you expected to present yourself? To help the  interviewee answer this question, you may ask one or more of the  following questions: 
      • Are you expected to follow a sales script?
      • Are you expected to “up-sell” special offers?
      • Are you instructed to always be polite?
      • Are you expected to encourage and support patients?
      • Are you supposed to smile when you would prefer to scream or frown?
    5. Do you feel stress when you feel one way and have to pretend you feel another way? Can you give me examples?
    6. When you feel some kind of work stress, can you tell me how you feel  about it? (If interviewees need help answering this question, you may  ask, “Does stress make you feel tired? Frustrated? Amused? Irritable?  Sad?”)
  4. Follow these guidelines for conducting your research: 
    1. Interview people in at least three different work settings. Your  subjects might include fast-food workers, bus or taxi drivers,  firefighters, law enforcement officers, sanitation workers, bank  tellers, airline flight attendants, public school teachers, paramedics,  and social workers—to offer some examples.
    2. Interview at least two people from each work setting.
    3. To find individuals to interview, begin making contacts through people you know.
    4. During the interview, complete the surveys yourself. Don’t ask the subjects to fill out the forms.
    5. Before beginning an interview, tell each subject that his or her  responses will be anonymous. Indeed, it’s advisable to create fictitious  names for particular work venues, for the subjects themselves, and for  any persons mentioned by the subjects. Also, inform each subject that  your written report is for a course and that it won’t be published  anywhere.
    6. Allow your respondents to speak freely. Don’t allow your survey form  to keep you from taking notes on unexpected comments, observations, and  information provided by the subjects. In other words, keep an open  mind.
    7. Don’t record an interview on any electronic device, such as a tape  recorder, cell phone, or camcorder, without the express permission of  the subject. If you do record any interview, destroy or delete any such  information upon completion of your research project.
  5. Prepare a five-to eight-page term paper based on your research.  Draft your paper on the basis of your background reading and your field  research. Edit and revise your draft prior to submitting it to your  instructor.

Paper Specifications

  1. Prepare your paper for electronic submission in a word-processing program.
  2. Prepare a title page with the following information: 
    1. Title: Emotional Labor in the Workplace
    2. Your name
    3. Your student number
    4. Course title: Organizational Behavior
    5. Project number
    6. Current date
  3. Double-space your paper, with left and right margins of 1 to 1.25 inches, flush left and ragged right.
  4. Provide adequate source citations.
  5. Include a header on each page except the title page. In the header, include your name, student number, and the page number.
  6. Do not plagiarize. The direct usage of materials from any source without proper and accurate credit is plagiarism. Be  sure to properly attribute direct quotes and paraphrases. If you  plagiarize in any way or to any degree, your term paper will receive a  failing grade.
  7. Use the following outline as a suggested guide for the structure of your paper: 
    1. Introduction. Summarize your paper. Briefly describe what the paper is about and how you went about writing it.
    2. Emotional Labor: Psychological Stress in the Workplace.  Describe emotional labor, including various perspectives on its nature  and its psychological costs. The material for this section should come  mainly from your background research.
    3. Interviews. Explain what you learned from your interviews.  Include anecdotal material to engage the reader and, to a limited  extent, offer your interpretations and impressions.
    4. Summary and conclusion. Discuss your overall impressions, your view on the causes of emotional labor, and perhaps, how it might be managed or reduced.
  8. Submit the final draft of your paper to your instructor.

Grading Criteria

Your project will be graded on the following criteria:

  • Presentation style (20 percent). The student uses a  consistent point of view throughout, employs accurate and appropriate  word and concept usage, and has few, if any, digressions. The paper is  easy to read.
  • Development of concepts and themes (40 percent). The  paper is developed accurately and coherently from background sources.  The Interviews section is coherently related to the background sources.
  • Organization of writing (20 percent). The material proceeds logically, topic sentences are well placed, and paragraph breaks are appropriate.
  • Grammar and usage (20 percent). The student uses  complete and grammatically correct sentences with no spelling errors.  Descriptions, explanations, and assertions are clearly worded.

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