Skip to content
Journal article

Leading with emotional labor

Humphrey R, Pollack J, Hawver T ...see all

Journal of Managerial Psychology, vol. 23, issue 2 (2008) pp. 151-168

  • 214


    Mendeley users who have this article in their library.
  • 87


    Citations of this article.
  • N/A


    ScienceDirect users who have downloaded this article.
Sign in to save reference


Purpose – This paper seeks to argue that leaders perform emotional labor whenever they display emotions in an attempt to influence their subordinates’ moods and motivations. Design/methodology/approach – This is a conceptual paper that integrates the literature on leadership with the research on emotional labor. Findings – This paper develops 15 propositions that distinguish emotional labor performed by leaders from that performed by front-line service workers. Research limitations/implications – The paper suggests that leading with emotional labor is a fruitful research topic, and that considerable research could be done in this area. Practical implications – Instead of conducting business in a non-emotional, “business-like manner”, leaders would benefit by expressing their emotions in the workplace. Emotionally expressive leaders are more charismatic and are better motivators. Originality/value – This is the first paper to develop a theoretical model that describes how leaders perform emotional labor; thus the propositions are original.

Author-supplied keywords

  • administrative
  • advice to keep emotions
  • emotional intelligence
  • executives follow weber
  • for decades
  • leadership
  • management scholars recommended that
  • out of the work
  • paper type conceptual paper
  • place and to practice
  • s

Find this document

Get full text


  • Ronald H. Humphrey

  • Jeffrey M. Pollack

  • Thomas Hawver

Cite this document

Choose a citation style from the tabs below