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Testing the stress‐strain‐outcome model in Philippines‐based call centers

Felicito Angeles Jabutay (Department of Management, BBA (International Program), Kasem Bundit University, Bangkok, Thailand and Department of Psychology, Mindanao State University, Marawi City, Philippines)
Sasithorn Suwandee (Department of MBA (International Program), Kasem Bundit University, Bangkok, Thailand)
Jerwin Angeles Jabutay (Department of English, Horwang School, Bangkok, Thailand)

Journal of Asia Business Studies

ISSN: 1558-7894

Article publication date: 5 May 2022

Issue publication date: 28 February 2023




The purpose of this paper is to examine the relationships between perceived customer unfriendliness, emotional exhaustion, emotional dissonance and turnover intent using the stress–strain–outcome model in the call center industry in the Philippines. In addition, this paper also investigates the mediating effects of leader–member exchange (LMX) and emotional exhaustion.


This paper proposed a theoretical model hypothesizing the linkages between the abovementioned variables. Structural equation modeling was used to test the hypotheses using a data set from a sample of 605 Filipino call service representatives.


The results indicate that perceived customer unfriendliness as a stressor is a positive predictor of emotional exhaustion and emotional dissonance as strains. In turn, emotional exhaustion and emotional dissonance positively influence turnover intent. The results also reveal that LMX mediates the impact of perceived customer unfriendliness on emotional exhaustion. Further, the exhaustion variable mediates the effect of emotional dissonance on turnover intent.

Practical implications

The results suggest that contact with unfriendly customers has negative emotional implications and highlight the need for training or intervention programs to help service agents develop coping mechanisms. The results also imply that leader-initiated high-quality LMX could help attenuate perceived customer unfriendliness's impact on emotional exhaustion.


To the best of the authors’ knowledge,this paper is the first to examine and confirm the causal relationships of the proposed model’s variables using the stress–strain–outcome model.



Jabutay, F.A., Suwandee, S. and Jabutay, J.A. (2023), "Testing the stress‐strain‐outcome model in Philippines‐based call centers", Journal of Asia Business Studies, Vol. 17 No. 2, pp. 404-423.



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