Assessing emotional labour practices amongst lecturers in private higher education institutions in KwaZulu-Natal.
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The purpose of this study is to assess emotional labour practices amongst lecturers in private higher education institutes. This study focuses on private higher education institutes in Kwa Zulu natal, specifically lecturers that are exposed to an environment which is emotionally demanding .Private higher education institutions are the main interest in which academics may experience emotional labour. For this reason the various private higher education institutions is the focus of this study. Literature on emotional labour was discussed. This terms plays an important role in higher education institutions, where lecturers are seen to be providing more of a service in this profession rather than just playing the role of an academic. Both the private higher education sector and emotional labour is discussed extensively and reviewed in relation to one another. Thereafter emotional regulation processes and concepts, coping mechanisms and management support is discussed as part of the literature. The research methodology applied was qualitative research. Qualitative research allows the researcher to make sense of people experiences and interacting with them, thereafter making use of qualitative research techniques to collect and analyse information (Blanche, Durrheim &Painter, 2006). A case study was used. This case study focused on the academic staff at private higher education colleges. Given that the research undertaken in this study is qualitative; a case study is also the most appropriate research design considering the contextual, iterative and phenomenological nature of the study. This study used in- depth interviews as a data collection instrument. Interviews are used to elicit imperative information during research, interviewing is more natural form of interacting with people rather than making them fill out a questionnaire, this is the reason as to why interviews fit well with the interpretive approach to research (Blanche et al., 2006) .In- depth interview allows the interviewer to extract maximum information needed from participants.The findings were that academics need to constantly regulate emotions in order to function effectively at work. There is a high degree of emotion suppression in individuals that work in private higher education institutions. Most individuals feel that there are no support structures to able them to cope better within this service related work environment. Stress and exhaustion was evident within this environment. For future studies, the researcher recommends a support structure for lecturers within private institutes and additional management support towards employee mental wellbeing including emotional support programmes.