Accepted Paper:

American emotions meet with Polish emotions  


Pawel Krzyworzeka (Kozminski University)

Paper short abstract:

In my paper I would like to show what happens when American emotions meet with Polish emotions. My contribution investigates how emotional patterns imposed by the organizational culture are interpreted and negotiated among Mary Kay Beauty Consultants in Poland.

Paper long abstract:

Mary Kay Cosmetics was founded in 1963 in Dallas, Texas. Now it is one of the biggest direct selling organization in the world with branches in more than 30 markets worldwide. The way of conducting Mary Kay business is supposed to be the same regardless of the country of operation. But, as I would like to show using an example of Poland where Mary Kay has been present since 2003, in practice the American way of conducting business can, indeed, be negotiated. I would like to focus on one aspect of direct selling - emotional labor. Feeling rules laid down by the organization are interpreted by Polish Beauty Consultants as distinctively American. Expressing outright joy and happiness in interactions with customers is the attitude heavily promoted by organization. It is also beings imposed on Consultants in several ways. However, Polish women who start working as Beauty Consultants in their first impulse reject this emotions labeling them as "artificial" and "unnatural". As their socialization into new workplace progresses, they, nonetheless, learn to exercise their emotional labor in a "proper way". An important role in implementing American emotional and cultural patterns is played by Polish immigrants working as Mary Kay Consultants in USA. The Corporation employs them not only for finding and recruiting saleswomen in Poland, but also sends them abroad for conducting business training.

Panel W120
'America' abroad: the good, the bad and the ugly (MAC workshop II)