International Education Journal

Educational Research Conference 2003 Special Issue


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Emotional Labour and the Permanent Casual Lecturer: Ideas for a Research Project

Steven Barrett
University of South Australia




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Like most other parts of the Australian public sector, Australian universities have been required to do more with less over the past decade. A key strategy in reducing costs has been the increased casualisation of teaching. This paper uses a hard/soft model of Human Resource Management as a framework within which to argue that increased casualisation of university teaching has increased the emotional labour associated with casual teaching. The intensification of emotional labour is usually accompanied by increased workplace stress. Furthermore, this emotional labour is neither recognised nor valued by university managers, hence it is unremunerated. This paper briefly reviews the concept of emotional labour and then identifies a range of issues that are contributing to the intensification of the emotional labour that is being performed by casual teaching staff. The paper concludes with a call for a more systematic investigation of the issues identified here.

emotional labour, psychological contract, human resource management


 Barrett, S. (2004) Emotional Labour and the Permanent Casual Lecturer: Ideas for a Research Project. International Education Journal, 4 (4), 92-101.

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