In this study we explore the lived experience of emotional labour of ten hospitality employees and tries to get a deeper understanding of how they interpret it in their life world. In-depth interviews were conducted with the front-line employees 4,5-star hotels and high-end restaurants in the city of Pune in Western Indian state of Maharashtra. Using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) to analyse the data, the findings threw up some convergent as well as divergent themes about how the employees interpret the experience in their life world and how they feel about it. Emotional maneuverability, ambivalent disposition, spillover of emotions emerged as some of the key interpretations of emotional labour as a lived experience. It also emerged that a collective effort needs to be put in place to help the employees cope with the consequences of emotional labour. This study can help hospitality industry leaders with a fresh perspective about understanding and tackling the negative consequences of emotional labour amongst their employees.


emotional labour, lived experience, hospitality, Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA), presenteeism

Author Bio(s)

Sanjay Bhattacharya is an assistant professor at SCMHRD, Symbiosis International University, Pune, India. Please direct correspondence to sanjay_bhattacharya@scmhrd.edu.

Dr. Hirak Dasgupta is an associate professor at SIMS, Symbiosis International University, Pune, India. Please direct correspondence to hirak.dasgupta@sims.edu.

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