On the Costs and Benefits of Emotional Labor: A Meta-Analysis of Three Decades of Research

Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience, Maastricht University, Maastricht, the Netherlands.
Journal of Occupational Health Psychology (Impact Factor: 2.07). 07/2011; 16(3):361-89. DOI: 10.1037/a0022876
Source: PubMed


This article provides a quantitative review of the link of emotional labor (emotion-rule dissonance, surface acting, and deep acting) with well-being and performance outcomes. The meta-analysis is based on 494 individual correlations drawn from a final sample of 95 independent studies. Results revealed substantial relationships of emotion-rule dissonance and surface acting with indicators of impaired well-being (ρs between .39 and .48) and job attitudes (ρs between -.24 and -.40) and a small negative relationship with performance outcomes (ρs between -.20 and -.05). Overall, deep acting displayed weak relationships with indicators of impaired well-being and job attitudes but positive relationships with emotional performance and customer satisfaction (ρs .18 and .37). A meta-analytic regression analysis provides information on the unique contribution of emotion-rule dissonance, surface acting, and deep acting in statistically predicting well-being and performance outcomes. Furthermore, a mediation analysis confirms theoretical models of emotional labor which suggest that surface acting partially mediates the relationship of emotion-rule dissonance with well-being. Implications for future research as well as pragmatic ramifications for organizational practices are discussed in conclusion.

54 Reads
  • Source
    • "They do not make clear whether an employee is using reappraisal or attentional deployment. This may be the reason why data pertaining to deep acting and health outcomes remain inconclusive (Hülsheger & Schewe, 2011; Mikolajczak et al., 2009). Blau et al. (2010) propose a scale refinement for deep acting by making the distinction between attentional deployment and re-evaluation. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Our aim was to improve understanding of the relationship between emotional labour and health outcomes by developing an exploratory fine-grained scale based on previous research. With this measurement, we wished to clearly distinguish re-evaluation and attentional deployment (i.e., the 2 aspects defined as deep acting); amplification and suppression (i.e., the 2 emotion regulation directions of surface acting) and emotional dissonance. This scale was completed by 688 health care professionals and social workers along with the Maslach Burnout Inventory. Exploratory factor analyses were performed to assess the adequacy of a 5-factor solution. Links between emotional labour scores and burnout were investigated. The results contribute to the emotional labour literature in several ways. First, they provide further evidence of the negative health outcomes associated with emotional dissonance. Second, the study indicates that current measures of surface acting used in previous research can capture different processes, with suppression positively related to burnout and amplification negatively related to burnout. Third, cognitive change and attentional deployment, currently measured as composing a unidimensional factor, have different impacts on employee health outcomes: Cognitive change is associated with low levels of burnout while attentional deployment is positively related to burnout.
    Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science 10/2015; 47(4):321–332. DOI:10.1037/cbs0000024 · 1.02 Impact Factor
    • "Service interactions in which an employee perceives one's actions as having a positive impact on customers, and also that the positive impact is valued and appreciated by the customer, may be perceived as valuable resources that fulfill employees' need for esteem and approval (Copranzano & Mitchell, 2005; Hakannen & Roodt, 2014). However, studies in the retailservice sector have demonstrated that despite the presence of social job characteristics, customer-service employees report job dissatisfaction, stress, and poorer performance (Castanheira & Chambel, 2010a, 2010b, 2013; Dollard et al., 2003; Grandey, Rupp, & Brice, 2015; Hulsheger & Schewe, 2011). This suggests that the presence of social job characteristics is a necessary but insufficient condition for the occurrence of the expected psychological effects. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This study was designed to test the relationship between perceived social impact, social worth, supervisor-rated job performance (one month later), and mediating effects by commitment to customers and work engagement. The hypotheses were tested with SEM analysis in a field study with 370 customer service employees from bank, retail, and sales positions. Results confirm that perceived social impact is associated with better job performance and that this relationship is mediated by work engagement. Furthermore, results support a second mediating mechanism in which perceived social impact and social worth are associated with engagement through affective commitment to customers. Finally, it was found that engaged employees are rated as better performers by supervisors one month later. This study supports the motivational approach to performance and highlights the role that interactions with customers may play in motivating service employees. Practical implications are discussed highlighting the need to consider the social dynamics in service contexts.
    Journal of Organizational Behavior 09/2015; DOI:10.1002/job.2056 · 3.85 Impact Factor
  • Source
    • "Across the board, neither strategy (i.e., surface and deep acting) tends to bode particularly well for the individual, though exceptions exist. Overall, surface acting is strongly and consistently linked to a long list of negative outcomes, including emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, burnout, psychological and physiological distress, and lowered job satisfaction and organizational attachment (Hülsheger & Schewe, 2011). 2 Deep acting maintains the links to burnout and physiological complaints, but also seems to lead (weakly) to higher job satisfaction and feelings of accomplishment (Hülsheger & Schewe, 2011; Kammeyer-Mueller et al., 2013; Mesmer-Magnus, DeChurch, & Wax, 2011). "

    Handbook of Self-Regulation: Research, Theory, and Applications, 3rd edited by Roy Baumeister, Kathleen Vohs, 07/2015: chapter Focusing in on the emotion laborer: Emotion regulation at work.; Gilford.
Show more

Similar Publications