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Marketplace morality and consumers’ emotional labour in extended service encounters

Borghei Razavi, N. (2021) Marketplace morality and consumers’ emotional labour in extended service encounters. PhD thesis, University of Reading

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To link to this item DOI: 10.48683/1926.00105590


Marketplace experiences that happen over extended service encounters are often conceptualised as positive, pleasurable, and transformative commercial occurences that produce enduring positive memories and emotions for consumers. However, experiences can also be conflict-laden, subject to high negative emotionality and incorporate challenging encounters that generate negative emotions that require active emotional regulation and management. Commercial experiences with high negative emotionality, the emotions that are induced because of the nature of such experiences and the way these emotions are managed by consumers over the course of an extended encounter remain understudied in the marketing literature. By drawing on the ethnographic data collected from two private hospitals in Iran, and by demonstrating that marketplace encounters are innately emotional and the negative valence of this emotionality is shaped by the moral structure of the market, this thesis extends our understanding of those experiences that produce negative emotions and require consumers’ emotion work and emotional labour. This thesis demonstrates that in extended service encounters, the moral structure of the market produces self-conscious emotions such as humiliation, shame, and other negative emotions such as despair for consumers. By drawing upon ethnographic data collected from private hospitals, this thesis demonstrates that rather than dealing with negative emotions that are induced as a result of and within the market structure, negative emotions are managed away, often through consumers’ active emotion work and emotional labour, allowing the marketplace to deny the consequences of its emotionality, which is shaped by its structure - and especially the negative emotions that it generates - in order to sustain the legitimacy of its existence. Through an ethnographic study of consumer emotions and emotion management in a nonWestern context and by investigating the interplay between marketplace morality, consumer emotions, and emotion work and labour, this thesis expands our understanding of experiences with negative emotionality that induce negative emotions for consumers even in the absence of a service failure. Further, this thesis expand our understanding of how the moral structure of the market shapes the emotionality of the experience and the negative emotions that consumers experience in extended service encounters. This thesis also expands our understanding of how discrete negative emotions are regulated by consumers over the course of the encounter.

Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Thesis Supervisor:Lages, C., Perez Vega, R. and Molesworth, M.
Thesis/Report Department:Henley Business School
Identification Number/DOI:
Divisions:Henley Business School > Marketing and Reputation
ID Code:105590
Date on Title Page:2020
Additional Information:Thesis permanently restricted

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