On the costs and benefits of emotional labor: a meta-analysis of three decades of research

U.R. Hülsheger, A.F. Schewe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

180 Citations (Scopus)

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 (ps between .39 and.48) and job attitudes (ps between -.24 and -.40) and a small negative relationship with performance outcomes (ps 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 (ps .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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)361-389
Number of pages29
JournalJournal of Occupational Health Psychology
Volume16
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2011

Keywords

  • meta-analysis
  • emotional labor
  • emotion regulation
  • well-being
  • job attitudes
  • performance
  • JOB-PERFORMANCE RATINGS
  • EGO-DEPLETION
  • ORGANIZATIONAL COMMITMENT
  • INDIVIDUAL-DIFFERENCES
  • SERVICE RELATIONSHIPS
  • GENDER-DIFFERENCES
  • TASK-PERFORMANCE
  • LIMITED RESOURCE
  • META-ANALYSIS
  • WORK

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