Events at UOWD
Sharing the pain? Comparing the enactment and consequences of emotional labour between frontline hotel workers in the Philippines and Australia
This study compares the enactment and consequences of emotional labour between service workers in hotels in Manila, the Philippines with those in Melbourne and Sydney, Australia, and is the first empirical study to make such a cross-cultural comparison. More than 700 guest contact employees completed a survey comprising INDCOL, the Emotional Labour Scale and the Maslach Burnout Inventory. Treating the constructs as orthogonal, Filipino respondents reported themselves as both more collectivist and individualist than the Australian sample. Individualists in both countries reported using more surface acting than others, whereas there were no significant differences in how deep acting was reported. Respondents in both countries who used more surface acting reported higher levels of emotional exhaustion and depersonalisation than others and conversely, respondents who reported using more deep acting reported significantly lower levels of emotional exhaustion and depersonalisation. Service workers who reported using high levels of both surface and deep acting, reported higher levels of emotional exhaustion and depersonalisation than others. These findings add to the literature by suggesting that coping and support mechanisms in the literature may be equally beneficial for service workers in the Philippines sample, adapted to and benefitting from their distinctive cultural orientation. This study also identifies that in order to maximise the benefits and minimise the harm of emotional labour in the Philippines, individual differences must be considered, rather than relying on generalised descriptions of so-called collectivist Filipino culture.