Emotional Labor and Stress in the Workplace: A Case Study of American Express

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Module 2 Assignment 3: Case Study – Getting Emotional – The Case of American Express
Overview: For this assignment, you will look at a case study titled Getting Emotional: The Case of American Express. Prepare a written response to the prompt below using a word processor. Please save your file in .doc or .docx format. Your paper should be complete and should comply with APA writing requirements.For more guidance about APA formatting, please visit the  APA Resources folder in the Student Resources course menu tab.*To view the grading rubric for this assignment, click on the name of the assignment and click “View Rubric”
Read the following case study. This study looks at emotional labor and stress:

The University of Minnesota. (n.d.). 7.7 Getting emotional: The case of American Express. In Organizational Behavior. https://open.lib.umn.edu/organizationalbehavior/chapter/7-7-getting-emotional-the-case-of-american-express/

Answer the following questions in detail:

What are some other jobs that deal with relatively negative or unfavorable emotions daily?
In what type of job might American Express’s open emotion policy not be acceptable?
How can understanding emotional labor help with this situation for employees and managers?
What would you suggest that they do at American Express to help their employees better manage stress?

Make sure to outline how your solution can specifically help this problem.
Explain the impact of stress and emotional labor on the individuals and the organization.


Introduction In the case study “Getting Emotional: The Case of American Express,” the authors discuss the emotional labor involved in working at American Express’s customer service call centers. They focus on the impact of the company’s “open emotion” policy on its employees’ emotional well-being and job satisfaction. This essay will address some of the questions raised by the case study and provide recommendations for how American Express can improve its employees’ emotional health.

Jobs that deal with negative emotions daily There are many jobs that deal with negative or unfavorable emotions daily. Some examples include healthcare workers who must provide care to patients who are in pain or distress, police officers who face dangerous and violent situations, and social workers who work with individuals and families facing difficult life circumstances. These jobs require workers to manage their emotions carefully and maintain a professional demeanor, despite the stressful and emotionally taxing situations they face.

Jobs where an open emotion policy is not acceptable While American Express’s open emotion policy may be appropriate for customer service call centers, it may not be acceptable in other types of jobs. For example, in jobs that require a high degree of emotional regulation and control, such as judges or air traffic controllers, displaying emotions could be seen as a sign of weakness or incompetence. In such jobs, workers are expected to maintain a calm and composed demeanor, even in high-pressure situations.

Understanding emotional labor Emotional labor refers to the effort required to manage one’s emotions in order to meet the expectations of others. In the case of American Express, customer service representatives are expected to display empathy and understanding towards customers, even when they are difficult or unreasonable. This can be emotionally taxing for employees, leading to burnout, stress, and job dissatisfaction. However, by understanding the concept of emotional labor, employees and managers can develop strategies to better manage their emotions and reduce the negative impact of emotional labor on their well-being.

Recommendations for improving employee well-being To help its employees better manage stress and emotional labor, American Express could implement a number of strategies. First, the company could provide regular training and support for employees to help them develop effective emotional regulation skills. This could include techniques such as mindfulness meditation, deep breathing, or cognitive-behavioral therapy. Second, the company could offer flexible work arrangements, such as telecommuting or job sharing, to help employees manage their work-life balance. Finally, American Express could implement a comprehensive wellness program that includes physical fitness, healthy eating, and stress management resources.

Impact of stress and emotional labor Stress and emotional labor can have a significant impact on both individuals and organizations. For individuals, prolonged exposure to stress and emotional labor can lead to burnout, depression, anxiety, and other mental health problems. This can affect their job performance, job satisfaction, and overall well-being. For organizations, high levels of employee stress and burnout can lead to decreased productivity, increased absenteeism, and higher turnover rates. This can have a negative impact on the company’s bottom line, as well as its reputation and employee morale.

Conclusion In conclusion, emotional labor is a complex and challenging issue that affects many workers in a variety of industries. By understanding the concept of emotional labor and implementing strategies to help employees manage stress and emotional labor, companies like American Express can improve the well-being of their employees and the overall health of their organization.

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