Bibliometric Mapping of Emotional Labor Studies in Public Administration

Chih-Wei Hsieh, Mary E. Guy, Daan Wang


Although emotional labor is increasingly recognized as an essential element in public service delivery (and more generally in the citizen–state encounter), research into emotional labor is at an incipient stage. Therefore, to aid theory development and empirical testing, in this article we use bibliometric mapping to reveal the intellectual networks and paths that emotional labor research has followed in its early diffusion into the field. Four network maps are drawn: one showing the co-authorship network of emotional labor studies, one showing the co-citation network, one showing the network of co-cited scholars, and one showing keyword co-occurrence. These maps reveal gaps that enable and encourage future researchers to move forward with further investigation and theory building. Additionally, this article serves as a model for how other subfields of inquiry can be similarly mapped and how this technique can be used to reflect the diffusion of knowledge within and across disciplines.


Emotional Labor; Bibliometric Mapping; Knowledge Diffusion; Network Analysis

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