Managing emotions while managing crises Article

cited authors

  • Guy, ME; Newman, MA; Emel Ganapati, N

fiu authors


  • Purpose – Using the July 2012 massacre at a midnight showing of a Batman movie as a case study, the paper aims to demonstrate how emotional labor is required of responders and spokespersons and then enumerates the human resource functions that can enhance emotion work skills. Design/methodology/approach – Using the massacre as a case in point, the authors demonstrate how emergency responders are called upon to manage their own emotions as well as those of victims and other constituencies. The authors then discuss human resource functions that can legitimize, enhance, and develop emotion work skills. Findings – This case demonstrates multiple facets of emotional labor in emergency response. Special attention is paid to the case of public information spokespersons because they are the bridge between the event, the response, and the image of competency that is created in the eyes of the public. Recommendations are enumerated for how the human resource function can facilitate emotion work skills. Practical implications – This paper provides practical guidance in how human resource practices can be used to hire, train, and retain first responders who are skilled in performing the emotive aspects of response work. Originality/value – Despite the emotional intensity that accompanies crises, rarely so explicitly discussed is how emotional labor is a required aspect of the work. Also less known is what measures can be implemented to develop emotion work skills. © 2013, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

publication date

  • July 12, 2013

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

start page

  • 6

end page

  • 20


  • 2


  • 1