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

by Ute R Hülsheger, Anna F Schewe
Journal of occupational health psychology ()

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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