Skills, Knowledge and Organisational Performance

Emotional Labour and Skill: A Re-appraisal

A number of commentators have recently begun to ask whether many low waged service jobs, traditionally thought of as being low skilled in terms of their technical aspects, may actually constitute a form of highly skilled labour, since they require their holders to perform ‘skilled emotional labour’ in their dealings with customers. Such discourses hold out the possibility of progress not only in intellectual terms but also in terms of improving the status and pay of many low waged service workers. This issues paper critically reviews these arguments.

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