Authentic performance?:Leader rationales for the performance of emotional labour in the context of authenticity

Iszatt-White, Marian and Stead, Valerie and Elliott, Carole (2017) Authentic performance?:Leader rationales for the performance of emotional labour in the context of authenticity. In: UNSPECIFIED.

Full text not available from this repository.


Leadership as emotional labour (Humphrey, 2008; Iszatt-White, 2009) is now a recognised strand within the leadership literature, with the emotion work required of leaders being discussed as part of the ‘practice turn’ (Schatzki, Knorr-Cetina and von Savigny, 2001). This comes at a time when authentic (Avolio and Gardner, 2005) and other forms of positive (Cameron, 2008) leadership are also receiving significant attention. The juxtaposition of these two aspects of leadership work is typically viewed as problematic for the practicing leader, needing to perform the required professional ‘display rules’(Ekman, 1973) and ‘emotion work’ (Bolton and Boyd, 2003) of modern leadership at the same time as appearing (and feeling) authentic. In the writing on leadership identity work (Sinclair, 2011) which is starting to emerge around these issues, little consideration has therefore been given regarding whether emotional labour can be a productive force in the production and maintenance of authentic leader identities. Conceptualising the productive potential of emotional labour challenges understandings that position it as predominantly generative of dissonance and stress (Morris and Feldman, 1996). In this paper we examine the potential for a more nuanced view of these tensions and dissonances by the inclusion of the productive potential of emotional labour. We do this by exploring the different forms of emotional labour undertaken by practicing leaders and how they might signal authenticity. In thus presenting an empirical exploration of leaders’ articulation of emotional labour as a productive force, the paper seeks to draw attention to the ways in which emotional labour is performed in different ways in the construction of an authentic leader identity.

Item Type:
Contribution to Conference (Paper)
ID Code:
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
23 Jul 2021 12:40
Last Modified:
22 Nov 2022 14:49