This study uses the concept of emotional labour to illuminate areas of pressure and strain for teachers in English primary and secondary schools. It explores the impact of aspects of new public management reform on the nature and differences in the emotional labour experienced by teachers. The aim of this research was to help us understand the difficulties and tensions that this group of public sector professionals may be experiencing in the current environment. This research investigates the emotional side of teaching as a source of both job satisfaction and stress, in a performance-driven education sector. Findings show that the emotional labour presented differs in terms of its source, severity and impact on educational and personal goals and also that prescriptive and bureaucratically driven teaching frustrates teachers. The study contributes to the growing literature on emotional labour distinctive to public institutions. Theoretical and practical implications for recruitment, selection and training are discussed concluding with a research agenda.
Public services worldwide have been subject to externally imposed reforms utilizing tools such as financial incentives and performance targets. The adverse impact of such reforms on a public service ethos has been claimed, but rarely demonstrated. Individuals within organizations work beyond their formal contracts of employment, described as Organizational Citizenship Behavior (OCB), to further organizational interests. Given New Public Management reform and the subsequent contextual changes in the way in which public sector organizations are managed and funded, the present study theorizes that OCB directed towards the organization may be ‘crowded-out’. This article tests the relationships between public service ethos and OCB and it presents empirical evidence from a study in England (n = 433) of the ability of each dimension of this ethos to predict OCB.