Article

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

ABSTRACT 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.

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    • "According to most descriptions of emotional labor , the purpose of emotion regulation is to produce effective emotional displays . Consistent with meta - analytic work ( Hülsheger & Schewe , 2011 ) and the idea that deep acting aligns felt emotions with expectations to produce appropriate displays ( Grandey , 2000 ; Hochschild , 1983 ) , we theorized that deep acting would positively relate to vocal tone . For surface acting , the relation with vocal tone is less clear . "
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    • "One analysis found that deep acting was positively related to work, task, and emotion performance (Mesmer-Magnus et al., 2012). Another meta-analysis concluded that deep acting was positively related to customer satisfaction but not to task or emotional performance (Hülsheger & Schewe, 2011). Once again, we suggest that a meso-level approach may be more appropriate for detecting the relationship between deep acting and performance. "
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    • "Further, employees' felt emotions and displayed affect are anteceded by employee traits and predispositions, including negative affectivity (Tan, Foo, & Kwek, 2004), extraversion, neuroticism (Tan, Foo, Chong, & Ng, 2003), emotional expressiveness (Pugh, 2001), and emotional competence (Giardini & Frese, 2008); and situational factors, such as transaction busyness (Pugh, 2001), display rules (Gosserand & Diefendoff, 2005), and climate for service friendliness (Tsai, 2001). On the output side, deep acting has been found to be significantly associated with customer satisfaction and related outcomes (Chi, Grandey, Diamond, & Krimmel, 2011; Groth, Hennig-Thurau, & Walsh, 2009), while surface acting tends to have a small negative effect on customer satisfaction (Hülsheger & Schewe, 2011) and predicts employees' emotional exhaustion (Grandey, 2003). These studies also suggest that the effects of emotional labor on both customers and employees can be driven by customers' reactions. "
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Ute Hülsheger