Bibliometric Mapping of Emotional Labor Studies in Public Administration




Emotional Labor, Bibliometric Mapping, Knowledge Diffusion, Network Analysis


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.

Author Biographies

  • Chih-Wei Hsieh, City University of Hong Kong

    Chih-Wei Hsieh is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Public Policy at City University of Hong Kong. His research focuses on the management of human resources in public service as well as related equality and morality challenges. He has published articles on emotional labor, public service motivation, workplace diversity, and employee well-being.

  • Mary E. Guy, University of Colorado Denver

    Mary E. Guy is a Professor in the School of Public Affairs at the University of Colorado Denver. Her research focuses on the human processes involved in public service delivery with a special emphasis on emotional labor. Recent books include The Palgrave handbook of global perspectives on emotional labor in public service (with Sharon H. Mastracci and Seung-Bum Yang) and Essentials of public service: An introduction to public administration (with Todd Ely). She is past president of the American Society for Public Administration (ASPA) and a fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA).

  • Daan Wang, City University of Hong Kong

    Daan Wang is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Public Policy at City University of Hong Kong. He has multiple years of work experience as a policy researcher in Chinese local government. His research interests focus on public sector human resource management, public management innovation, and collaborative governance. He is currently working on a research project focusing on civil service selection in China.






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