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Emotional labour, emotional exhaustion and job satisfaction in the hospitality industry

Eunice Fay Amissah (Hospitality and Tourism Management, University of Cape Coast, Cape Coast, Ghana)
Sarah Blankson-Stiles-Ocran (Hospitality and Tourism Management, Ho Technical University, Ho, Ghana)
Ishmael Mensah (Hospitality and Tourism Management, University of Cape Coast, Cape Coast, Ghana) (Hunan City University, Yiyang, China)

Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Insights

ISSN: 2514-9792

Article publication date: 20 August 2021

Issue publication date: 7 December 2022




The purpose of this paper is to investigate the effect of emotional labour on frontline employees' emotional exhaustion and job satisfaction within the hotel industry.


The quantitative research approach was employed by administering questionnaires to 205 frontline employees from 16 luxury hotels in the Accra Metropolis, out of which 194 questionnaires were retrieved and analysed.


The results showed that surface acting was positively associated with emotional exhaustion, while deep and genuine acting were negatively associated with emotional exhaustion. In addition, both deep and genuine acting related positively with job satisfaction, while surface acting was negatively associated with job satisfaction.

Research limitations/implications

A lackadaisical attitude from hotel management and employees towards data collection was encountered. Also, the study area had very few upscale hotels, making the sample for the study relatively small. Further, since this study was taken from the African perspective, readers should be mindful of generalisation of the results.


This paper is one of the pioneers to have assessed the relationships between emotional labour, job satisfaction and emotional exhaustion in the African hospitality context. The study contributes to hospitality management literature by explaining how the acting strategies of emotional labour affect frontline employees in the hotel industry. A better understanding of emotional labour will help both management and frontline employees to employ the appropriate acting strategy in any given situation they encounter in the course of their service delivery, to reduce the emotional drain they face in handling especially difficult customers and to increase frontline employees' job satisfaction.



Amissah, E.F., Blankson-Stiles-Ocran, S. and Mensah, I. (2022), "Emotional labour, emotional exhaustion and job satisfaction in the hospitality industry", Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Insights, Vol. 5 No. 5, pp. 805-821.



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