Link to the University of Pittsburgh Homepage
Link to the University Library System Homepage Link to the Contact Us Form

Emotional Display Rules For Clerical Workers, Teachers, Custodians, And Cafeteria Workers In Pennsylvania K-12 Public School Organizations

Pfister, Lindsay L (2015) Emotional Display Rules For Clerical Workers, Teachers, Custodians, And Cafeteria Workers In Pennsylvania K-12 Public School Organizations. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

Primary Text

Download (1MB)


Over the last century, the service industry became the greatest provider of jobs in the United States.
A key part of service professions are the interactions between employees and customers. During these interactions, employees are likely to express emotions (Rafaeli and Sutton, 1987). In 1983, Hochschild (1983/2012) researched these interactions and developed the theory of emotional labor. Understanding the importance of employee and customer interactions, research of the theory in the retail and hospitality industries developed. The same is beginning to occur in the field of K-12 education.

Schools now compete for students making customer service an important aspect of daily operations (Cucchiara, Gold, & Simon, 2011). Interactions between school employees, students, and parents affect retention and recruitment causing the need to provide employees with guidance
to ensure positive interactions. Display rules are an operational part of emotional labor, which guide emotional expressions by employees. While emotional display rules offer employees guidelines to do their jobs successfully (Diefendorff & Gosserand, 2003), existing research of K-12 teachers and administrators shows display rules are implied not explicit. The creation of display rules is the responsibility of the organization (Rafaeli and Sutton, 1987), but as of this time, there
is no known research of emotional display rules from the perspective of the K-12 organization.

This research began to address this by conducting a survey of the Pennsylvania Association of School Personnel Administrators membership, which explored the extent to which K-12 public school organizations in Pennsylvania provide and communicate emotional display rules to secretaries (administrative assistants), teachers, custodians, and cafeteria workers. The overall
findings indicate Pennsylvania K-12 public school organizations provide emotional display rules rarely to often depending upon employee group. The display rules were more likely to exist for expressions of concern and calmness than for anger and frustration. In addition, the personnel administrators identified individual conversations as the most commonly used method to
communicate display rules across employee groups. The findings provide implications for practice and future research for the employee groups individually and collectively.


Social Networking:
Share |


Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Pfister, Lindsay LLLP27@pitt.eduLLP27
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairKerr, Mary Margaretmmkerr@pitt.eduMMKERR
Committee MemberTrovato, Charlenetrovato@pitt.eduTROVATO
Committee MemberSutin, Stewartssutin@pitt.eduSSUTIN
Committee MemberLevin Brown,
Date: 14 September 2015
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 28 May 2015
Approval Date: 14 September 2015
Submission Date: 17 August 2015
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 173
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Education > Administrative and Policy Studies
Degree: EdD - Doctor of Education
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Emotional Labor, Emotional Display Rules, K-12 Public School Organizations
Date Deposited: 14 Sep 2015 14:21
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 14:30


Monthly Views for the past 3 years

Plum Analytics

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item