Wise emotion regulation and the power of resilience in experienced hospitality leaders
The purpose of this study is to examine how experienced general managers regulate their emotions in response to demanding leadership duties. This study has a qualitative research design and was informed by nine experienced hotel general managers, through semi-structured interviews. A three-step content analysis was performed using NVivo. Five themes emerged from the analysis: (1) positive emotions and a mindset of positivity as an antecedent to emotion regulation, (2) modifying or changing mindsets through reappraisal and deep acting, (3) putting the mask on: faking and hiding by using surface acting and suppression, (4) displaying naturally felt emotions, and (5) deep acting as a consequence of social awareness. The study suggests that wise emotion regulation implies applying a wide range of emotion regulation strategies, depending on the situation at hand. As the interviews reflect a Scandinavian perspective, further research is required to replicate this exploratory study internationally, employing both quantitative and qualitative research methods in order to triangulate the findings. Comparative studies with non-Scandinavian countries are therefore of importance. This study provides knowledge about how experienced general managers have developed resilience through extensive experience and wise emotion regulation. Results may be useful for improving hospitality management education and should be used to prepare hospitality students for handling their future jobs. To our knowledge, this is the first study of hospitality managers' emotion regulation strategies.