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Overall justice and emotion regulation: combining surface acting with unfairness talk for greater satisfaction and less exhaustion

Jeffrey Joseph Haynie (Department of Management, College of Business, Louisiana Tech University, Ruston, Louisiana, USA)
Bryan Fuller (Department of Management, College of Business, Louisiana Tech University, Ruston, Louisiana, USA)
Christopher L. Martin (Department of Dean's Office, College of Business, Louisiana Tech University, Ruston, Louisiana, USA)
Joe Story (Department of Management, College of Business, Louisiana Tech University, Ruston, Louisiana, USA)

Management Decision

ISSN: 0025-1747

Article publication date: 18 April 2023

Issue publication date: 22 May 2023

189

Abstract

Purpose

This study examined the dual roles of supervisor-directed surface acting (SDSA) and unfairness talk emerging from low overall justice judgments and the impact of these variables on subordinates' job satisfaction and emotional exhaustion.

Design/methodology/approach

Working professionals (n = 203) were sampled from online panel services in a time-separated data collection design.

Findings

SDSA was found to mediate the relationships of overall justice with emotional exhaustion and job satisfaction. Additionally, unfairness talk reduced the debilitating effect of SDSA on emotional exhaustion, not job satisfaction.

Practical implications

The paper highlights the importance of supervisors understanding the problematic nature of ongoing interactions with subordinates after unjust events occur.

Originality/value

This study helps to better explain why overall justice assessments influence subordinates' job satisfaction and emotional exhaustion. Additionally, the findings show that unfairness talk may not be as detrimental as suggested in recent studies, and it acts as a coping mechanism when contending with high SDSA, especially when emotional exhaustion is considered.

Keywords

Citation

Haynie, J.J., Fuller, B., Martin, C.L. and Story, J. (2023), "Overall justice and emotion regulation: combining surface acting with unfairness talk for greater satisfaction and less exhaustion", Management Decision, Vol. 61 No. 6, pp. 1517-1534. https://doi.org/10.1108/MD-02-2022-0250

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2023, Emerald Publishing Limited

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