+ Site Statistics
+ Search Articles
+ PDF Full Text Service
How our service works
Request PDF Full Text
+ Follow Us
Follow on Facebook
Follow on Twitter
Follow on LinkedIn
+ Subscribe to Site Feeds
Most Shared
PDF Full Text
+ Translate
+ Recently Requested

Buffering the negative effects of employee surface acting: the moderating role of employee-customer relationship strength and personalized services



Buffering the negative effects of employee surface acting: the moderating role of employee-customer relationship strength and personalized services



Journal of Applied Psychology 99(2): 341-350



The impact of emotional labor on customer outcomes is gaining considerable attention in the literature, with research suggesting that the authenticity of emotional displays may positively impact customer outcomes. However, research investigating the impact of more inauthentic emotions on service delivery outcomes is mixed (see Chi, Grandey, Diamond, & Krimmel, 2011). This study explores 2 potential reasons for why the service outcomes of inauthentic emotions are largely inconsistent: the impact of distinct surface acting strategies and the role of service delivery context. Drawing on social-functional theories of emotions, we surveyed 243 dyads of employees and customers from a wide variety of services to examine the links between employee surface acting and customer service satisfaction, and whether this relationship is moderated by relationship strength and service personalization. Our findings suggest that faking positive emotions has no bearing on service satisfaction, but suppressing negative emotions interacts with contextual factors to predict customers' service satisfaction, in line with social-functional theories of emotions. Specifically, customers who know the employee well are less sensitive to the negative effects of suppressed negative emotions, and customers in highly personalized service encounters are more sensitive to the negative effects of suppressed negative emotions. We conclude with a discussion of theoretical and practical implications.

Please choose payment method:






(PDF emailed within 0-6 h: $19.90)

Accession: 051875766

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 24079672

DOI: 10.1037/a0034428


Related references

Employee self-enhancement motives and job performance behaviors: investigating the moderating effects of employee role ambiguity and managerial perceptions of employee commitment. Journal of Applied Psychology 92(3): 745-756, 2007

Service employee dress: Effects on employee-customer interactions and customer-brand relationship at full-service restaurants. Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services 50: 1-9, 2019

The Impact of Service Scripts on Customer Citizenship Behavior and the Moderating Role of Employee Customer Orientation. Psychology and Marketing 31(12): 1096-1109, 2014

Exploring the effects of individual customer incivility encounters on employee incivility: the moderating roles of entity (in)civility and negative affectivity. Journal of Applied Psychology 99(1): 151-161, 2014

The moderating effect of employee hostility on the association of long-term elderly care unit's negative resident characteristics to employee stress and well-being. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology 11(2): 157-168, 2006

An examination of the role of perceived support and employee commitment in employee-customer encounters. Journal of Applied Psychology 92(4): 1177-1187, 2007

Getting even for customer mistreatment: the role of moral identity in the relationship between customer interpersonal injustice and employee sabotage. Journal of Applied Psychology 93(6): 1335-1347, 2008

To act out, to withdraw, or to constructively resist? Employee reactions to supervisor abuse of customers and the moderating role of employee moral identity. Human Relations 66(7): 925-950, 2013

The employee/customer interface: an empirical investigation of employee behaviors and customer perceptions. Journal of Sport Management 4(1): 1-20, 1990

Moderating effects of perceived control and need for clarity on the relationship between role stressors and employee affective reactions. Journal of Social Psychology 140(2): 151-159, 2000

Negative feedback and employee job performance: Moderating role of the Big Five. Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal 45(10): 1735-1744, 2017

Surface Acting, Emotional Exhaustion, and Employee Sabotage to Customers: Moderating Roles of Quality of Social Exchanges. Frontiers in Psychology 9: 2197, 2018

Perceived organizational support and organizational identification: joint moderating effects of employee exchange ideology and employee investment. International Journal of Human Resource Management  25(20): 2772-2795, 2014

Quality of the Execution of Corporate Safety Policies and Employee Safety Outcomes: Assessing the Moderating Role of Supervisor Safety Support and the Mediating Role of Employee Safety Control. Journal of Business and Psychology 18(4): 483-506, 2004

Mediating Role of Employee Emotions in the Relationship Between Authentic Leadership and Employee Innovation. Social Behavior and Personality An International Journal 42(8): 1267-1278, 2014