Research suggests that “front‐line” service jobs typically require emotional labour owing to the high levels of interpersonal interaction inherent in such work. Although emotional labour can be performed face‐to‐face (in person) or voice‐to‐voice (on the telephone), little is known about whether the type of emotional demands and the relationships with strain outcomes differ according to mode of delivery. The purpose of this paper is to research these issues.
Relationships are assessed between three dimensions of emotional labour (emotional display rules, and the faking and suppression of emotions) and strain outcomes (psychological distress, work‐life conflict and job satisfaction) in a sample of 124‐cabin crew (face‐to‐face interaction) and 122 telesales agents (voice‐to‐voice interaction). The emotional labour dimensions that are significant predictors of strain outcomes for both groups are examined by multiple regression.
No significant differences were observed between groups in mean levels of emotional labour variables. A greater proportion of variance in all types of strain was explained by the emotional labour components for participants who interact with customers face‐to‐face but these differences did not reach statistical significance. The emotional labour dimensions that predicted each strain outcome varied according to mode of delivery.
Ways by which service sector organisations might counteract the potentially negative effects of performing emotional labour are discussed.
The study provides some initial evidence that the impact of mode of delivery in emotion work is worthy of further investigation.
Kinman, G. (2009), "Emotional labour and strain in “front‐line” service employees: Does mode of delivery matter?", Journal of Managerial Psychology, Vol. 24 No. 2, pp. 118-135. https://doi.org/10.1108/02683940910928847Download as .RIS
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