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Emotion work as a source of stress: The concept and the development of an instrument.


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Zapf, D., Vogt, C., Seifert, C., Mertini, H., & Isic, A. (1999). Emotion work as a source of stress: The …

Zapf, D., Vogt, C., Seifert, C., Mertini, H., & Isic, A. (1999). Emotion work as a source of stress: The
concept and the development of an instrument.European Journal of Work and Organizational
Psychology, 8, 371 - 400

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  • 1. This article was downloaded by: [University of Barcelona]On: 19 February 2012, At: 06:13Publisher: Psychology PressInforma Ltd Registered in England and Wales RegisteredNumber: 1072954 Registered office: Mortimer House, 37-41Mortimer Street, London W1T 3JH, UK European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology Publication details, including instructions for authors and subscription information: pewo20 Emotion Work as a Source of Stress: The Concept and Development of an Instrument Dieter Zapf, Christoph Vogt, Claudia Seifert, Heidrun Mertini & Amela Isic Available online: 10 Sep 2010To cite this article: Dieter Zapf, Christoph Vogt, Claudia Seifert,Heidrun Mertini & Amela Isic (1999): Emotion Work as a Source ofStress: The Concept and Development of an Instrument, EuropeanJournal of Work and Organizational Psychology, 8:3, 371-400To link to this article: SCROLL DOWN FOR ARTICLE
  • 2. Full terms and conditions of use: page/terms-and-conditions This article may be used for research, teaching, and private study purposes. Any substantial or systematic reproduction, redistribution, reselling, loan, sub-licensing, systematic supply, or distribution in any form to anyone is expressly forbidden. The publisher does not give any warranty express or implied or make any representation that the contents will be complete or accurate or up to date. The accuracy of any instructions, formulae, and drug doses should be independently verified withDownloaded by [University of Barcelona] at 06:13 19 February 2012 primary sources. The publisher shall not be liable for any loss, actions, claims, proceedings, demand, or costs or damages whatsoever or howsoever caused arising directly or indirectly in connection with or arising out of the use of this material.
  • 3. EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF WORK AND ORGANIZATIONAL PSYCHOLOGY, 1999, 8 (3), 371–400 EMOTION WORK 371 Emotion Work as a Source of Stress: The Concept and Development of an Instrument Dieter Zapf, Christoph Vogt, Claudia Seifert, Heidrun Mertini, and Amela Isic J.W. Goethe-University Frankfurt, GermanyDownloaded by [University of Barcelona] at 06:13 19 February 2012 This article discussed emotion work as a neglected area in organizational stress research. Emotion work (emotional labour) was defined as the emotional regulation required of the employees in the display of organizationally desired emotions. Based on the existing literature on emotion work and action theory, emotional regulation requirements (sub-scales: the requirement to express positive emotions; the requirement to express and handle negative emotions, the requirement to be sensitive to clients’ emotions, and the requirement to show sympathy), emotional regulation possibilities (control), and emotional regulation problems (emotional dissonance) were differentiated. Questionnaires were developed and applied in a sample of employees in a handicapped children’s home (N = 83), in the hotel business (N = 175) and employees working in call-centres (N = 250). Scales showed satisfactory reliabilities. Exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses revealed minor problems with discriminant validity of the scales. Construct validation showed that the emotion work scales were both positively and negatively related with psychological health. Psychological stress research in organizations comprises a substantial body of research spanning the last 20 years, and demonstrating significant relations between psychological stressors and strains. In 1989 the European Council passed various laws to improve the protection of workers’ health and promote measures of health and well-being. In many European countries, these laws still have to be translated into national law. In Germany, this was achieved in 1996 by passing a new law for occupational health and safety (“Arbeitsschutzgesetz”). The new law addressed physical stressors such as carrying heavy weights or one- sided and unusual body positions, environmental stressors such as noise or temperature, which have been investigated in the human factors literature, and Requests for reprints should be addressed to D. Zapf, Department of Psychology, J.W. Goethe- University Frankfurt, Mertonstr. 17, D-60054 Frankfurt, Germany. Email: D.Zapf@psych.uni- The hotel study was supported by the Berufsgenossenschaft Nahrung. Special thanks are due to P. Bärenz and A. Landgraf. © 1999 Psychology Press Ltd
  • 4. 372 ZAPF ET AL. psychological stressors. Although the former were explicitly mentioned, the aspects these psychological stressors should comprise were not. Most studies on psychological stressors at work measure stressors that are related to the work tasks and to the organization of work (cf. Kahn & Byosiere, 1992; Zapf, Dormann, & Frese, 1996). Typical examples are quantitative and qualitative overload or time pressure. There are only a few approaches that try to systematize psychological job stressors based on a general framework. The most prominent approaches use role theory to link different role demands such as role conflict, role ambiguity and role overload to psychological stress (Kahn, Wolfe, Quinn, Snoek, & Rosenthal, 1964). Another approach is the differentiation of job stressors according to their effect on action regulation (Frese & Zapf, 1994;Downloaded by [University of Barcelona] at 06:13 19 February 2012 Greiner & Leitner, 1989; Semmer, 1984; Semmer, Zapf, & Dunckel, 1995, 1999; Zapf, 1993). Basically, these stressors are of a cognitive nature, that is, working conditions are considered to be stressful because they negatively affect various aspects of information processing during task execution and because they require mental effort. Examples are time pressure, interruptions, concentration necessities or uncertainty at work. Another perspective examines psychological stressors associated with social relations at work. Scales addressing social stressors (Frese & Zapf, 1987) or interpersonal conflict scales (Spector, 1987) measure conflicts, animosities, verbal aggression and unjust behaviour at work. The theories underlying these kinds of stressors typically relate to conflict and aggression. Burnout is yet another research area that points to job requirements not included in the concepts of psychological job stressors mentioned so far. Burnout was first investigated in the helping professions (Maslach, 1982; Maslach & Leiter, 1997; Schaufeli & Buunk, 1996; Schaufeli & Enzmann, 1998; Schaufeli, Maslach, & Marek, 1993). It is argued that the personal relationships with patients, clients, or children are very demanding and require a high amount of empathy and emotional involvement. This is usually combined with a high aspiration level to build up personal relationships and avoid treating other people like objects. In these professions, the management of emotions is considered a central part of work. Burnout is then an indication that employees are no longer able to adequately manage their emotions when interacting with clients. It is a syndrome consisting of three aspects: emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and reduced personal accomplishment (Maslach & Jackson, 1986). It is argued that, in the long run, burnout leads to psychosomatic complaints, depression, and other long-term stress effects. A recent meta-analysis (Lee & Ashforth, 1996) of the existing literature found role stress to be one of the best predictors of burnout variables. Interestingly, studies on burnout did not try to directly measure the emotional aspects at work. Rather, these aspects were taken as a given by doing research with samples where emotional job requirements could be taken for granted. Instead, various job stressors, such as role conflict, role ambiguity, time pressure, and lack of job control were measured.
  • 5. EMOTION WORK 373 It is only recently that authors tried to investigate the relationships between more direct measures of emotional aspects at work and psychological strain (e.g. Abraham, 1998; Adelmann, 1995; Brotheridge & Lee, 1998; Grandey, 1998; Morris & Feldman, 1997). These authors referred to the concept of emotional labour introduced by Arlie Russell Hochschild (1983). This concept refers to the quality of interactions between employees and clients. The term “clients” is used to refer to any person who interacts with an employee, for example, clients, patients, children, customers, or guests. During face-to-face interactions with clients many employees are required to express appropriate emotions as a job requirement, for example, waiters or flight attendants are required to be friendly even to arrogant or aggressive customers. Hochschild drew upon the work ofDownloaded by [University of Barcelona] at 06:13 19 February 2012 Goffman (1959) to argue that people in social interactions tend to play roles and try to create certain impressions. Impressions include the display of normatively appropriate emotions following certain display rules. In this respect, Morris and Feldman (1996, p. 987) defined emotional labour as the “effort, planning, and control needed to express organizationally desired emotions during interpersonal transactions”. It was our intention to investigate whether job requirements that refer to the regulation of emotions could supplement the concepts of psychological job stressors mentioned previously that refer to the regulation of cognition or information processing. Hochschild, as a sociologist, differentiated between emotional labour as the exchange value of work and emotional work as the use value. In the present context, the psychological processes, for example, the regulation processes of work actions rather than societal and economic aspects of labour are considered. In psychology, the term “labour” is used to describe the division of labour, labour–management relations, conflict resolution, and collective bargaining. The term is not used when individual behaviour and intrapsychic concepts are involved as in the concepts of physical and mental work demands, work motivation, work involvement, work design, etc. To be compatible with these research areas, the term “emotion work” is preferred. In sum, emotion work possesses the following characteristics (Hochschild, 1983; Morris & Feldman, 1997): (1) It is a significant component of jobs that require either face-to-face or voice-to voice interactions with clients. This refers to the service sector, in particular human services, but also to teachers, police, correctional workers, debt collectors, and others. It should be noted that not all jobs that require face-to-face interactions with clients belong to the service sector and that defining service is problematic (Nerdinger, 1994). We will use the term “person-related work” as an umbrella term for all jobs that require face-to-face or voice-to-voice interactions with clients. (2) Emotions in these jobs are displayed to influence other people’s attitudes and behaviours, usually by influencing their emotional state. For example, a child nurse may show sympathy and talk to a hurt child in a soft calming voice to make the child stop crying and cheer her up. (3) The display of emotions has to follow certain rules. At present, many
  • 6. 374 ZAPF ET AL. companies do not have explicit display rules as a part of the organizational culture or as part of their job descriptions, in particular not in Continental Europe. However, mission statements of companies sometimes incorporate display rules and there may be implicit display rules taught in one’s occupational education or as part of one’s professional ethos, for example, in the case of a nurse (Briner, 1995). In other cases, it may be the professional experience that you can’t sell anything if you are not polite, friendly, and helpful. Employers differ in their attempts to control and direct how employees display emotions to clients. In some cases, it is part of the supervisors’ jobs to take care that display rules are observed. Increasingly, companies ask customers to evaluate whether they were treated in a friendly manner.Downloaded by [University of Barcelona] at 06:13 19 February 2012 A number of studies operationalized emotion work as a dichotomous variable indicating the presence or absence of emotion work in an occupation (Hochschild, 1983; Wharton, 1993). Hochschild suggested that emotion work depends on the frequency of interpersonal contact between employee and client, thus conceiving emotion work as an unidimensional construct negatively correlated with employees’ health. Accordingly, some authors (e.g. Adelmann, 1995) operationalized one scale for emotion work. However, these studies could not find the expected negative relations between emotion work and psychological strain, suggesting that more differentiated concepts should be used. Other authors have worked on the differentiation of various aspects of emotion work, many of them referring to the seminal work of Morris and Feldman (1996). Some started with Hochschild’s (1983) concept of emotion management to differentiate various dimensions of emotion work (e.g. Grandy, 1998; Kruml & Geddes, 1998). Other authors focused on determinants of emotion work in the sense of “objective” job requirements: This emphasizes that it is not in the discretion of the employee whether or not to express certain emotions in a job. Rather, independent of a particular worker, it is required by the organization and may be an explicit or implicit rule. Approaches referring to the concept of emotion management differentiated it based on how emotion work is done. One aspect differentiates between surface acting and deep acting. Based on Goffman (1959), Hochschild (1983) argued that individuals permanently manage their outer demeanour to conform with situational requirements. Most emotion theorists propose that emotions consist of several sub-systems (see Scherer, 1997): subjective feeling, physiological reaction patterns, and expressive behaviour, the latter including facial expression, voice and gesture. With reference to these concepts, surface acting means that employees try to manage the visible aspects of emotions that appear on the “surface” to bring them in line with the organizational display rules, while the inner feelings remain unchanged. Another concept of Hochschild is “active deep acting” when individuals try to influence what they feel in order to “become” the role they are asked to display. In this case, not only the expressive behaviour but also the inner feelings are regulated. Active deep acting refers to
  • 7. EMOTION WORK 375 the case where an employee has to spend effort to regulate emotions. In other cases, an employee may automatically feel the emotion required in a particular situation. Hochschild called such forms “passive deep acting”. Most studies of emotion work include the concept of emotional dissonance (e.g. Abraham, 1998; Brotheridge & Lee, 1998; Grandey, 1998; Morris & Feldman, 1996, 1997). Emotional dissonance occurs when an employee is required to express emotions that are not genuinely felt in the particular situation. A person may feel nothing when a certain emotion display is required, or the display rule may require the suppression of undesired emotions and the expression of neutrality or a positive emotion instead of a negative one. Emotional dissonance may originate from “faking in good faith” when theDownloaded by [University of Barcelona] at 06:13 19 February 2012 employee accepts the underlying display rule or from “faking in bad faith” when the feeling rule is not accepted (Hochschild. 1983; Rafaeli & Sutton, 1987). Various authors (e.g. Abraham, 1998; Adelmann, 1995) propose that faking in bad faith has the most negative consequences. Based on this, Grandey (1998) and Kruml and Geddes (1998) identified two dimensions: emotional dissonance and emotional effort. Emotional dissonance refers to Hochschild’s concept of surface acting and passive deep acting (automatic emotion regulation), which are considered to be the opposite ends of a continuum. If an employee spontaneously feels the emotion, emotional dissonance is low; if he or she feels nothing or the opposite emotion, emotional dissonance is high. Emotional effort refers to the degree to which employees actively try to change their inner feelings to match the feelings they are expected to express. According to Kruml and Geddes, this dimension incorporates Hochschild’s (1983) active deep acting. Both dimensions showed a high correlation in the studies of Grandey. In conceptualizing emotion work as the behavioural response to variations in the frequency, variety, intensity, and duration of interactions, Brotheridge and Lee (1998, p. 7) used the term “emotional labour” to refer to “actions undertaken as a means of addressing role demands”. In this sense, operationalizations of emotion work come close to the concept of coping in stress research (Lazarus & Folkman,1984; Semmer, 1996). The authors operationalized surface acting and deep acting as the key constructs for emotion work. Deep acting refers to the active attempts to align one’s felt and displayed emotion, which means that the inner feelings have to be adapted to the emotions that have to be displayed. In contrast, surface acting means pretending to have the emotions expected to be displayed. In this case, employees do not try to feel the emotions they have to display. Brotheridge and Lee considered surface acting as the manifestation and even a proxy for emotional dissonance. Morris and Feldman (1996) concentrated on what they called dimensions of emotion work: the frequency of emotion display, the attentiveness to display rules required (referring to the intensity and duration of emotion display), the variety of emotions to be expressed, and emotional dissonance. They argued that
  • 8. 376 ZAPF ET AL. all these dimensions of emotion work would increase emotional exhaustion, the core variable of burnout. To conclude: Most authors consider the frequency, variety, duration, and attentiveness of emotions as dimensions of emotion work. Emotional dissonance is viewed somewhat differently. Several authors consider it to be a result of the determinants of emotion work (e.g. Adelmann, 1995); some authors even place it close to the dependent variables (e.g. Ashforth & Humphrey, 1993). However, there is some agreement to define emotional dissonance as the discrepancy between displayed and felt emotions (Brotheridge & Lee, 1998; Morris & Feldman, 1996, 1997) and to consider it as one of the key predictors of emotional exhaustion. Brotheridge and Lee (1998) proposed that the emotionalDownloaded by [University of Barcelona] at 06:13 19 February 2012 requirements at work do not directly lead to emotional exhaustion but may do so through their relation with emotional dissonance. Several attempts have been made to operationalize aspects of emotion work. Morris and Feldman (1997) operationalized three aspects of emotion work: the frequency of emotion work, the duration of emotion work, and emotional dissonance. For the frequency and duration scales they did not directly refer to emotion display but referred to the frequency and time interacting with clients, whereas emotional dissonance items directly referred to the match between displayed behaviour and felt emotions. Brotheridge and Lee (1998) and Grandey (1998) followed the model proposed by Morris and Feldman (1996) and operationalized scales for the dimensions of emotion work as frequency, variety, attentiveness, and duration (single item), and emotional dissonance, surface acting, and deep acting as the core variables of emotion work. In the first study of Brotheridge and Lee (1998), a factor analysis produced four factors collapsing emotional dissonance and surface acting into one factor, and intensity, variety, and duration into another. The two other factors were deep acting and frequency of emotional display. In a second study, the authors were able to distinguish frequency, variety, intensity, and duration, and surface acting and deep acting. Best, Downey, and Jones (1997) measured how often different emotions were expected on the job. Using factor analyses, they found three factors representing the expression of positive emotions, suppressing negative emotions and expressing negative emotions, whereby the latter showed a low reliability and a low response frequency. Abraham (1998) operationalized emotional dissonance using items from Adelmann (1995) that referred to display rules in the organization. She then developed identical items rephrased to reflect the degree to which the respondents would actually show the corresponding emotions. Difference scores of the respective items were then computed to reflect emotional dissonance. For the present studies we combined the literature on emotion work described previously with action theory-based approaches in stress research (Frese & Zapf, 1994; Greiner & Leitner, 1989; Zapf, 1993). “Work” or “labour” is a multidisciplinary concept. Hacker (1973, 1998) and Volpert (1974) argued that
  • 9. EMOTION WORK 377 the psychological component of work is the work activity and from the perspective of action theory it is the psychic regulation of work actions. Through various cognitive processes, action theory links the objective work environment to behaviour. To describe job requirements, three aspects are distinguished: the regulation requirements of a task, regulation possibilities, and regulation problems (for details, see Frese & Zapf, 1994; Zapf, 1993). From an action-oriented perspective, regulation requirements are related to properties of the hierarchic-sequential organization of action and comprise the complexity of decisions, the number and connectedness of goals and sub-goals, and the extent of conscious vs. automatic regulation processes. Regulation possibilities refer to the concept of control. Control means having an impact onDownloaded by [University of Barcelona] at 06:13 19 February 2012 one’s conditions and on one’s activities in correspondence with some goal. Decision possibilities exist with regard to the sequence of the action steps, the timeframe, and the content of goals and plans (Frese, 1987). Several authors have operationalized various aspects of control, such as task control referring to decision possibilities regarding the goals to be carried out, the sequence of plans to be performed, and the sequence of feedback information processing. Time control, for example, refers to both when and for how long a certain task is performed (e.g. Frese & Zapf, 1994, Semmer, et al. 1995; Wall, Jackson, Mullarkey, & Parker, 1996; Zapf, 1993). Regulation problems are an action theory conceptualization of work stressors. The stressors are differentiated according to how they disturb the regulation of actions (Frese & Zapf, 1994; Greiner & Leitner, 1989; Semmer, 1984). There is evidence that regulation requirements, regulation possibilities, and regulation problems are differentially related to health and well-being and that this differentiation helps to overcome a stimulus-response framework where every characteristic of the job has negative consequences and where “doing nothing” would be the best concept to avoid stress at work. In contrast, action theory proposes that human beings usually try to actively cope with their environment. In this sense, job design should support this active approach by providing challenging (i.e. sufficiently complex) tasks (regulation requirements) and control (regulation possibilities), but at the same time, reducing the stressors (regulation problems). Regulation requirements are relevant to the concept of personality enhancement (Hacker, 1973, 1998; see also Frese & Zapf, 1994). This means that they enable one to develop cognitive and social skills, and further satisfaction and self-esteem. They follow the person–environment fit model (Edwards & van Harrison, 1993): They are positive as long as they are matched by personal prerequisites and they become negative when they exceed them. Research shows that regulation possibilities (control) typically show a direct positive effect as well as a moderating effect between stressors and strains (e.g. Kahn & Byosiere, 1992). In contrast, regulation problems (stressors) have negative health effects. Stressors are in a sense independent of the person– environment fit, because people want challenging tasks, but they do not need a
  • 10. 378 ZAPF ET AL. minimal amount of conflicts, time pressure or superfluous organizational problems to feel happy. Using an action theory framework, the psychological focus of the present study was on the regulation of emotion display according to a goal given by the organization. In this sense, emotion work is part of intentional and goal-directed behaviour. From the organization, an employee receives an order to carry out a certain task in a certain way. This includes behaving according to the emotional display rules of the organization. The order is then redefined into a subjective goal (Hackman, 1970). Emotion work usually refers to a sub-goal of a higher order goal and requires certain emotion display during an interaction with a client. Ideally, emotion work is done in the automatic mode, that is, the emotionDownloaded by [University of Barcelona] at 06:13 19 February 2012 is automatically shown in the social interaction as required (cf. Scherer & Wallbott, 1990). In this sense, the concept of emotion work differs from approaches that investigate emotions as a response to a variety of organizational conditions (e.g. Basch & Fisher, 1998). Emotion work poses various demands on the worker. This view considers the job requirement aspects of emotion work and is congruent with the idea that objective job characteristics or job stressors created by the organization affect the workers in various ways (Frese & Zapf, 1988, 1994; Spector, 1992). This approach conforms to the behaviour requirement approach in job analysis research (Hackman, 1970). Because our goal was to develop an instrument that should be used in addition to other instruments in the analysis of stress at work, we did not intend to operationalize all aspects of emotion work separately, but we used these concepts for the development of items. However, because of the empirical findings of Best et al. (1997), Brotheridge and Lee (1998), and Grandey (1998) we expected that the items of emotional requirements would represent at least two factors, namely the frequency and the variety/intensity of emotion work. We did not model the duration aspect. The reason is that the emotion work components were developed in the context of stress research where the frequency of emotion work seems to be most relevant. If intensity only is measured there should not necessarily be a strong relation with variables such as burnout, because the more intense emotions could be more seldom. Similarly, if variety of emotions is measured, the problem occurs that a high variety in general might be more stressful than a low variety but it may not occur very often. In the present study we partly tried to circumvent this problem by asking, for example, how often both positive and negative emotions have to be displayed. In addition to the work of Hochschild (1983), we drew upon concepts of emotion work that put the influence and management of clients’ emotions into the foreground (e.g. Brucks, 1998; Strauss, Farahaugh, Suczek, & Wiener, 1980; Strazdins, 1998). To be able to manage clients emotions, the accurate perception of the clients’ emotions is an important prerequisite. This is also in accord with communication psychology (Riggio, 1986) and the literature on emotional intelligence (Goleman, 1995, 1998). Riggio operationalized basic social skills
  • 11. EMOTION WORK 379 that are related to the regulation of emotions and differentiated sensitivity, expression, and control of emotions. Expression and control refer to the emotional requirements described previously. In addition, we operationalized “sensitivity requirements” as the necessity to be sensitive and consider the emotions of clients. It can be expected that sensitivity requirements are positively correlated with emotional requirements because the expression of an emotion during an interaction usually is dependent on the emotion of the interaction partner. Only in short script-like interactions might a person express emotions without trying to sense the emotion of others. In his qualitative study on supermarket clerks’ performance, Tolich (1993) argued that the presence or absence of control over one’s emotion display is oneDownloaded by [University of Barcelona] at 06:13 19 February 2012 of the important issues of emotion work. He differentiated regulated emotion management from autonomous emotion management. Referring to the dif- ferentiation of various aspects of job control (regulation possibilities) mentioned earlier, emotion work control was operationalized as a special case of job control with regard to the display of emotions (in the sense of Tolich’s autonomous emotion management) and interaction control as a special case with regard to the underlying social interactions where emotions have to be displayed. Emotion work control refers to the extent to which an employee can decide whether or not to show a desired emotion. Emotion work control is probably lower when display rules have been made explicit in an organization, but this should not be necessarily so. Waitresses in restaurants may have to follow certain display rules, but there may be differences in how often and in what cases the waitresses are empowered to deviate from the rules. As described previously, some authors have operationalized emotion work by operationalizing aspects of the underlying social situation (e.g Adelmann, 1995; Morris & Feldman, 1997). In a similar way we operationalized the control of the social interaction, that is the degree of influence an employee has in social interactions with clients. An example is whether an employee can decide when to stop an interaction with a client. There are several reasons why we included the concepts of emotion work control and interaction control. First, they are part of the action theory framework we applied to emotion work. Second, qualitative research done by Hochschild (1983), Rafaeli (1989) and Tolich (1993) pointed to the importance of this concept. Third, the study of Erickson (1991, cited in Abraham, 1998) showed some evidence that the moderating effect of job control applied when emotional dissonance is involved and that this effect might be even stronger when the control concept is matched to the stressor (cf. the analogy of the match- hypothesis of stressors and social support of Cohen & Wills, 1985). Finally, emotional dissonance was considered as an emotion regulation problem. As in most of the other approaches, it is defined as the mismatch between felt emotions and the organizationally desired expression of these emotions. We considered emotional dissonance as an external demand rather than a reaction to emotion display or a behavioural strategy. One could argue
  • 12. 380 ZAPF ET AL. that, given a certain requirement for frequency and content (positive or negative emotion), it should then depend on the employee and his or her personality to what extent he or she feels in line with the required emotions. In this sense, emotional dissonance would be a stress reaction and a first sign of emotional exhaustion. However, there are qualitative differences in social situations that are not sufficiently described by the parameters for display rules. This is because the display rules describe the desired state of emotion display, but they do not comprise anything about how often individuals are exposed to situations where they have to show the required emotions. Moreover, they do not reflect other factors, namely how positive or negative the social interaction is, which may influence what people feel and whether this fits to the emotion required by theDownloaded by [University of Barcelona] at 06:13 19 February 2012 display rule for this particular situation. Compare, for example, a nurse in a children’s hospital and a nurse in a retirement home. The display rules of showing friendliness and empathy may be the same, and frequency and duration of interactions may be similar, leading to similar required display rates of positive emotions, but the nurse in the retirement home may encounter many more situations where an average person feels disgust or anger. Similarly, cashiers of a supermarket chain may all have the same requirements to display positive emotions to customers, and the number of customers determining the frequency of emotional requirements may be similar. However, depending on where a supermarket is located, there may be differing frequencies of encounters with complaining or otherwise negatively behaving customers, which is a good predictor of negative emotions of the employee (Doucet, 1998). Consequently, the number of situations where gaps between felt and desired emotions appear may differ considerably. The discrepancy between what an average person is likely to feel and what the respective display rule is, varies from situation to situation. Therefore, the aspects covered by the concept of emotional dissonance are not covered by the frequency and other parameters of emotional requirements because they all refer to the display rules and to more formal characteristics of social interaction, such as frequency and duration, and not to the quality of the actual situations and the resulting differing discrepancies between display rules and average emotions in a given situation. Two more issues should be mentioned with regard to emotional dissonance. First, some authors focus on the display of emotions required by the organization, no matter what a person feels (e.g. Ashforth & Humphrey, 1993). Display of emotion refers to facial expression, bodily behaviour, and voice. These are the visible aspects of the emotional system (Scherer, 1997; Scherer & Wallbott, 1990). If this is so, could then the display of emotions not be described by sensorimotor processes? The regulation of sensorimotor processes is, for example, a part of the action theory approach mentioned previously (Frese & Zapf, 1994; Hacker, 1998). According to action theory, sensorimotor processes are highly automatized. They are usually carried out in the automatic mode, that
  • 13. EMOTION WORK 381 is, without conscious attention. This is also so with respect to the sensorimotor processes in the expression of emotion (Ekman, 1984; Izard, 1977; Scherer & Wallbott, 1990). If a certain emotion is felt, then the expression of this emotion automatically occurs whereby social competence may play a moderator role. If an emotion that has to be displayed, is not felt, then problems occur. In highly standardized situations it may be easy to fake. If this is not the case, then the true feelings may show through and may be recognized by other people (cf. Ekman & Friesen, 1982 who investigated the differences between true and faked smiling). In some cases, authenticity, that is not faking, may even be a key variable, for example, for therapists in encounter therapy (Rogers, 1951). Hochschild (1983) also raised the problems of surface acting and discussed that even in servicesDownloaded by [University of Barcelona] at 06:13 19 February 2012 such as airlines deep acting is required. Employees are required to feel the emotions they should feel because otherwise there is the danger that it would not work. Findings in social psychology showed that people can sometimes tell when someone is faking a friendly face (Ekman & Friesen, 1982). Therefore, emotional dissonance as a job stressor should lead to both surface acting and deep acting as a reaction, implying that emotion work cannot be reduced to the sensorimotor regulation of emotional expression. This also shows the difference between emotional dissonance as a stressor and as a reaction. If deep acting was successful there is no internal state of emotional dissonance (emotional dissonance as a reaction or dimension of emotion work). However, deep acting can be a strategy to deal with the job stressor of emotional dissonance. Finally, emotional dissonance has to be discussed with reference to the differentiation of use value and exchange value of work (Hochschild, 1983; Marx, 1867/1977; Nerdinger, 1994). Hochschild (1983), who coined the term “emotional labour”, pointed out that “emotional labour is sold for a wage and therefore has exchange value” (p. 7). Nerdinger discussed in detail that, from the economic point of view, the work of the service provider is exchanged for money. However, in many cases the full service requires an interaction as if there were not an economic but a family-like relation. A therapist is expected to be truly interested in the client and not just because he or she is paid for it. Similarly, parents know that child nursing is a job and that the nurses work for money. Nevertheless they wish that the nurses really love their children. Nerdinger pointed out that the social interaction is not only a means to deliver the service but is part of the service product. Thus, a service employee may face contradictory expectations given by the personal interaction with the client (who, for example, may want advice) and the economic interests of his or her employer (who may insist on high sales). Moreover, the requirements of the organization itself may be ambiguous. A computer hot-liner may be required to be customer friendly, but, at the same time limit talks with customers to 5 minutes. One can hypothesize that such contradictory job requirements are a source of emotional dissonance in any kind of person-related work.
  • 14. 382 ZAPF ET AL. In sum, applying the concept of action theory to emotion work first leads to integrating the special control concepts described earlier. Second, it helps to understand that emotion work is not necessarily negative but has also positive implications. To explore the construct validity of the instruments developed for the present studies, we developed several hypotheses. Hypothesis 1: Emotion work is a multidimensional construct Within emotion work, emotional requirements, emotion control, and emotional dissonance can be distinguished. The differences in these concepts have beenDownloaded by [University of Barcelona] at 06:13 19 February 2012 described previously. Empirically, this hypothesis is supported by most findings in the literature so far with regard to emotional requirements and emotional dissonance (e.g. Brotheridge & Lee, 1998; Grandey, 1998; Morris & Feldman, 1997). We are not aware of studies that operationalized a concept equivalent to emotion work control or interaction control. Also, the fact that studies that did not differentiate between various aspects of emotion work did not find the expected results (Adelmann, 1995), supports the view that emotion work is not a homogeneous construct. Hypothesis 2(a): Emotional requirement scales are positively correlated It is expected that the various aspects of emotional requirements are highly correlated, whereas emotional requirements and emotional dissonance should show a positive but lower correlation. The reason is that all emotional requirements are a function of the interaction time with clients and the existence of display rules. In contrast to Morris and Feldman (1996), most of the items of the present study have a frequency component. The more interactions a person has with a client, the more this person is supposed to show positive and negative emotions. In addition, the sensitivity requirements should also be high. Sensitivity requirements should be positively correlated with the other scales because the expression of emotion should in most cases be dependent on the emotions of the interaction partner,which have to be adequately perceived. Hypothesis 2(b): Emotional requirement scales are also positively correlated with emotional dissonance The frequency of emotional dissonance also depends on the frequency of interactions. Therefore, emotional dissonance should be positively correlated with the emotional requirement scales. However, because emotional dissonance is also a function of how pleasant or unpleasant the social interactions are, the correlations are expected to be lower than the correlations amongst the emotional requirement scales, which all mainly depend on the interaction frequency. In
  • 15. EMOTION WORK 383 addition, Morris and Feldman (1996) proposed that the higher the frequency of emotion display, the higher is the chance that emotions have to be displayed that do not fit the emotions felt. A similar argument applies for the variety of emotions. For variety of emotions it can be added that it is more likely that employees have problems with negative emotions compared to positive emotions. With regard to the correlation between emotional requirement variables and emotional dissonance, the empirical findings are mixed. Grandey (1998) found a correlation between suppressing negative emotions and emotional dissonance, but not between expressing positive emotions and emotional dissonance. Also, Brotheridge and Lee (1998) found a correlation between frequency of emotion display and emotional dissonance.Downloaded by [University of Barcelona] at 06:13 19 February 2012 Hypothesis 2(c): Emotion control is negatively related with emotional dissonance There is evidence in the stress literature that control is negatively related to job stressors. Abraham (1998) was able to demonstrate such a relationship for job autonomy and emotional dissonance. This negative relation should also occur for specific control measures such as emotion work control and interaction control, especially if the specific control variables match the specific kinds of stressors, which should be the case in the present study. Hypothesis 3: There are both positive and negative relations between emotional requirements and strain and well-being Much of the literature addressed the negative effects of emotion work (e.g Adelmann, 1995; Hochschild, 1983). Most often scholars cited the negative relations with burnout, hypothesizing that emotion work would increase emotional exhaustion and depersonalization and would reduce personal accomplishment. Some authors discussed relationships with poor self-esteem and depression. Hochschild, in particular, referred to the problem of alienation from one’s true feelings. A few authors, however, also referred to potential positive effects such as job satisfaction, self-esteem, and self-efficacy (e.g. Ashforth & Humphrey, 1993; Morris & Feldman, 1997; Stenross & Kleinman, 1989; Tolich, 1993; Wharton, 1993). Drawing parallels with action theory-based concepts of work characteristics (Frese & Zapf, 1994; Hacker, 1998), it can be assumed that work in general is not either positive or negative. Rather, a challenging job may comprise positive job content variables such as job control, complexity, or variety at work, but challenging jobs often go along with high quantitative workload and uncertainty at work. Similarly, it is not assumed that emotion work is generally either negative or positive. On the one hand, emotion work is laborious and effortful. Therefore, if a high frequency of emotional display and a variety of emotions are
  • 16. 384 ZAPF ET AL. required this should lead to psychological strain, especially to emotional exhaustion (Morris & Feldman, 1996). When emotional requirements exceed certain limits the likelihood increases that the emotions that have to be expressed do not match the emotions that are felt at that moment. That is, in line with the person–environment fit model (e.g. Edwards & van Harrison, 1993), if emotional requirements are frequent and last for a long time, their effects on well-being should be negative. This assumption is supported by findings in the burnout literature. Maslach (1982) stated that frequent, intense, and charging face-to-face interactions were associated with higher levels of emotional exhaustion. Cordes and Dougherty (1993) in their review reported that longer interactions with clients were associated with higher levels of burnout. Morris and Feldman (1997)Downloaded by [University of Barcelona] at 06:13 19 February 2012 considered emotional exhaustion as the key consequence of emotion work. Reviewing the empirical literature, however, shows that the expected correla- tions between emotional requirements and emotional exhaustion were often not (Adelmann, 1995; Morris & Feldman, 1997) or only occasionally found (Brotheridge & Lee, 1998; Grandey, 1998). For Morris and Feldman, this may be due to the fact that they did not directly refer to the frequency or duration of emotional display but to the underlying social interaction. Although empirical findings are mixed here, it is assumed that variables representing emotional requirements are positively correlated with emotional exhaustion and other variables of psychological strain. Based on the literature on the affiliation motive it can be assumed that dealing with other people and expressing emotions when interacting with these people satisfies affiliation, status, and recognition needs, for example, by showing altruistic behaviour (e.g. Bierhoff, 1990; Hill, 1987). In many cases, the expression of emotion can be thought of as a spontaneous process experienced not to be effortful at all (cf. Ashforth & Humphrey, 1993; Scherer & Wallbott, 1990), but contributing to a social situation with positive consequences for the employee concerned. The intentional expression of positive emotions usually increases the probability of the interaction partner to show reciprocal positive emotions in return (Wiemann & Giles, 1997). This can be perceived as positive feedback contributing to the employee’s satisfaction and self-esteem. Adelmann (1995) referred to the facial feedback hypothesis to argue for positive effects of emotion work. There is at least some evidence for the weak form of this hypothesis: In an experiment, Strack, Stepper, and Martin (1988) showed that participants whose muscle groups necessary for laughing were stimulated found a movie more funny in comparison to a group whose laughing muscles were inhibited. There is, indeed, some evidence of the positive implications of emotion work. On a qualitative level, Tolich (1993) described supermarket clerks who enjoyed showing prescribed emotions in the form of jokes or entertainment of customers who chose their checkout lines. Stenross and Kleinman (1989) reported that detectives positively assessed interrogations with criminal suspects because this
  • 17. EMOTION WORK 385 played a central role for goal achievement, namely, solving a case. Wharton (1993) found a positive relation with job satisfaction and Grandey (1998) reported a positive correlation between expressing positive emotions and job satisfaction. Based on these considerations and empirical findings it was expected that emotional requirement variables are positively correlated with personal accomplishment, self-esteem, and job satisfaction. Hypothesis 4: Emotion work control and interaction control have a positive effect on health Emotion work-related control is conceptualized as a special case of jobDownloaded by [University of Barcelona] at 06:13 19 February 2012 control concerning the possibility to decide whether or not one likes to express emotions in a certain situation. In many studies on job stress (e.g. Kahn & Byiosiere, 1992) it has been shown that job control is typically positively related to well-being. Therefore, it can be expected that this is also true for the special cases of emotion work control and interaction control. There is no direct empirical evidence so far. However, on a qualitative level, it has been shown that the exertion of control in social interactions was perceived to be positive and that employees struggled for control in interactions with clients (Rafaeli, 1989; Tolich, 1993). Hypothesis 5: Emotional dissonance is negatively related with health Hochschild (1983) was the first who described the negative effects when positive emotions have to be displayed when either nothing is felt or if the felt emotions are even in contrast to the displayed emotions. Hochschild asserted that if employees do not feel what they ought to feel, they may blame themselves and feel phony and hypocritical. This may result in low self-esteem (Kruml & Geddes, 1998). In such cases, they may also start to blame the company, which is likely to go along with decreased job satisfaction. Rafaeli and Sutton (1987) argued that emotional dissonance is a form of person–role conflict (Kahn et al., 1964), which means that one has to do things that are against one’s better judgement. Because role conflict is a strong predictor of emotional exhaustion (cf. the meta-analysis of Lee & Ashforth, 1996), it was hypothesized that emotional dissonance is also a strong predictor of exhaustion. All in all, the clearest empirical relation between emotion work variables and psychological strain occurred for emotional dissonance and emotional exhaustion (Abraham, 1998; Brotheridge & Lee, 1998; Grandey, 1998; Morris & Feldman, 1997) and depersonalization (Grandey, 1998). Mostly, no relationship was found for relations with personal accomplishment (Grandey, 1998). Empirical evidence on the relation between emotional dissonance and job satisfaction is mixed. Morris and Feldman found a negative relation between emotional dissonance and job satisfaction, whereas Grandey (1998) did not.
  • 18. 386 ZAPF ET AL. METHOD Samples The following analyses were based on three samples. The first sample consisted of employees working in a home for handicapped children and other social service institutions (N=83) in South Germany: 80% were women, which is typical for the human services; average age was 38 years; 58% worked in the children’s home and had direct client contact (nurses, team leaders, social workers), 19% worked also in the children’s home, but had no direct client contact (administration, technical staff). Moreover, 24% were employees with direct client contact in a hospital, and in other homes for problem children andDownloaded by [University of Barcelona] at 06:13 19 February 2012 handicapped children. As in the other studies, participation was voluntary. The second sample was collected in the hotel business. With the help of the Berufsgenossenschaft Nahrung (professional food association), 27 hotels were contacted and 867 questionnaires were sent off. We received 175 questionnaires, which corresponded to a response rate of 20.3%. Discussion with our personal contacts with hotel representatives revealed that the low response rate was mostly due to heavy workload of the hotel employees. Most of the participants were employed in hotels as front-line officers, waiters, or waitresses and other hotel professions; 71% were women and 80% of the sample were between 18 and 32 years old (25% between 18 and 22, 32% between 23 and 27, and 24% between 28 and 32 years); 15% had a general secondary school degree (Hauptschule), 29% had a lower school-leaving certificate (mittlere Reife), 44% had a high school diploma (Abitur), and 11% some type of university degree. Only a minority of 18% did not have a special occupational education related to the hotel business. The third sample consisted of 250 participants employed in 14 call centres of various firms with an overall response rate of 50%. This sample consisted of employees who all had voice-to-voice contacts with clients: 75% were female; the average age was 31 years; 74% had a high school diploma (Abitur) or some kind of university degree; 76% received calls but did not call clients themselves (inbound), the others mostly both called clients and received calls (inbound and outbound; details in Isic, Dormann, & Zapf, in press). Procedure In Study 1, we first developed a list of items covering the constructs of emotion work described earlier. Then we gave a first draft of the questionnaire to nurses and social education workers who gave feedback with regard to the applicability and comprehensibility of the items. This process was repeated and the resulting questionnaire was administered to the first sample. Starting with this version and the first empirical results of Sample 1, a version of the questionnaire was developed for the hotel business sample. During this process it became clear that
  • 19. EMOTION WORK 387 part of the developed items were domain specific, whereas another part seemed to be applicable for a variety of professions. In the hotel business, the first draft of the questionnaire was discussed with 10 persons from various service branches. They received the questionnaire and were also interviewed. A revised version was then applied to a sample of hotel service students (n=26). These students were asked to fill in the questionnaire and to comment on the applicability and comprehensibility of the items. These comments and the psychometric results led to the final version used for the hotel sample. This version consisted of domain specific and general items. The general items of Sample 2 and some newly developed general items were applied in the third sample. Here, the questionnaire was much shorter than in the previous versions, because it was intended toDownloaded by [University of Barcelona] at 06:13 19 February 2012 develop a short instrument which can be applied in all areas with person-related work and which can be used as a supplement to other job stress instruments. Instruments To assess the construct validity of emotion work, several other variables were included in the study. Job satisfaction was measured by the Kunin-item in Study 2. According to Wanous, Reichers, and Hudy (1997), a reliability of 0.57 was assumed for this single-item measure. In the other studies a job satisfaction scale developed by Semmer and Baillod, (1991) was used. It consisted of the Kunin item and various other items which were developed on the background of the job satisfaction model of Bruggemann (1974). High scores mean satisfaction, low scores mean dissatisfaction including a resigned attitude towards one’s job. Psychosomatic complaints, irritation, and self-esteem were measured using scales developed by Mohr (1986, 1991). The psychosomatic complaints scale consisted of a list of 20 psychosomatic symptoms such as nervousness, headaches, tension, high blood pressure, and insomnia. Irritation consisted of items referring to anger and not being able to stop thinking about one’s work. Finally, self-esteem was measured with items like “I am proud of my achievements”. The pychosomatic complaints and self-esteem items were answered on a 5-point scale, whereas a 7-point scale was used for irritation. Burnout (emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and personal accom- plishment) was measured using the Maslach Burnout Inventory—German version of Büssing and Perrar (1992). Emotional exhaustion measures one’s feeling of being burnt out, frustrated, and perceiving working with people to be very demanding. Depersonalization comprises the tendency to treat clients like objects and to become indifferent and apathetic with regard to clients. Reduced Personal Accomplishment includes the feeling of having reduced energy to do
  • 20. 388 ZAPF ET AL. things and of not being able to meet one’s aspirations. The burnout items were answered on a 7-point scale. The descriptive data of the scales used for validation purposes are summarized in Table 1. RESULTS In the first study, because of sample size, we used exploratory factor analyses EFA (principal components analyses and varimax rotation) to test whether the items behaved as predicted by the theoretical concept. In the second and third study we applied confirmatory factor analyses CFA using LISREL 8.3 of Jöreskog and Sörbom (1993), however, also in an exploratory manner. TheDownloaded by [University of Barcelona] at 06:13 19 February 2012 results of Study 1 were used as starting models. For Study 1, EFA showed that the items for emotional requirements loaded on three factors. The first factor referred to the display of positive emotions (example item: “How often does it occur in your job that you have to express pleasant emotions towards your clients?)”. The second factor comprised items referring to the variety of emotion display and the need to deal with negative emotions of clients (example items: “How often does it occur in your job that you have to express unpleasant emotions towards your clients?” “How often does it occur in your job that you have to consider negative moods of your clients?”). As expected, “sensitivity requirements” also led to a separate factor (example item: (“Does your job require you to pay attention to the feelings of your clients?”). This factor consisted of items that asked whether sensitivity or knowledge about the clients’ current feelings is a job requirement. Moreover, a factor for emotional dissonance appeared consisting of items referring to displaying emotions not felt as well as to the suppression of felt emotions (example item: “ ‘A’ can openly display his/her feelings towards clients—‘B’ has to display feelings towards clients which do not match his/her true feelings. What is your job like?”). Finally, a factor comprising items referring to control with regard to social situations where emotion work is taking place was developed (example item: “Is it up to you how long you pay attention to a client?”). Contrary to our intention it was not possible to develop a scale for emotion work control. The items of this scale loaded on other factors as well, particularly on the emotional dissonance and the interaction control factor. In Study 2, we used CFA for scale development. We started with the solution of Study 1 and tried to model a positive emotion display factor and a negative emotion/variety factor. Moreover, we again tried to model a factor for emotion work control. The first attempts showed a low fit. Again, it was not possible to develop a factor for emotion work control, but for interaction control. Second, it turned out that the emotional requirement items fell into four groups: positive emotions display, negative/variety of emotions, sensitivity requirements, and items which referred to showing sympathy as a job requirement. The inspection of the sympathy items showed that these items were difficult to locate on a
  • 21. Downloaded by [University of Barcelona] at 06:13 19 February 2012 TABLE 1 Descriptive data of study variables Mean SD Emotional Depersonal- Personal Irritation Psychosomatic Self- Job Exhaustion ization Accomplishment Complaints esteem Satisfaction Burnout: Emotional exhaustion 2.38 0.84 (0.87) 2.20 0.85 (0.85) 2.57 1.24 (0.92) Depersonalization 1.56 0.57 0.50** (0.43) 2.14 0.95 0 .65** (0.67) 2.32 0.98 0.58** (0.65) Personal accomplishment 4.97 0.82 –0.06 0.02 (0.79) 4.57 1.07 –0.05 –0.05 (0.80) 4.75 0.98 –0.30** –0.13* (0.78) Irritation 2.97 1.09 0.43** 0.37** –0.15 (0.81) 2.89 1.17 0.52** 0.37** –0.07 (0.88) 2.71 1.20 0.56** 0.30** –0.15* (0.89) Psychosomatic complaints 2.17 0.73 0.49** 0.36** –0.26* 0.56** (0.91) 2.13 0.64 0.70** 0.39 ** 0.06 0.58** (0.91) 2.46 0.75 0.64** 0.33** –0.30** 0.62** (0.92) Self-esteem 4.37 0.42 – 0.21 –0.25* 0.17 –0.50** –0.28** (0.87) 4.40 0.41 –0.12 –0.04 0.23 –0.25** –0.18* (0.71) 4.37 0.44 –0.25** –0.14** 0.39 –0.29** –0.22* (0.69) Job satisfaction 5.18 0.85 –0.46** –0.51** 0.12 –0.21 –0.33** –0.02 (0.75) 5.17 1.03 –0.50** –0.40** 0.22* –0.23** –0.30** 0.26** a EMOTION WORK 4.36 1.28 –0.72** –0.53** 0.34** –0.40** –0.50** 0.19** (0.86) Cronbach’s alpha in parentheses; *P < .05, **P < .01. For each set of 3 rows, row I: children’s home (N=83); row II: hotel business (N=175); row III: call 389389 centre (N=250); a single Kunin-item; according to Wanous et al. (1997), estimated reliability = .57.
  • 22. Downloaded by [University of Barcelona] at 06:13 19 February 2012 TABLE 2390 Result of the confirmatory factor analysis of Study 3 (call centre) 390 Positive Negative Emotional Sensitivity Routineness Interaction Emotions Emotions Dissonance Requirements Control Eaa1 Requirement to express pleasant emotions 0.60 –0.23 Eaa3 Bring customer in good mood 0.79 ZAPF ET AL. Ea1 Show intensive feelings vs. show superficial feelings 0.25 0.33 Eaa2 Requirement to express unpleasant emotions 0.61 Eavl Express different emotions depending on situation 0.56 0.47 Eav2 Express both pleasant and unpleasant emotions vs. 0.58 express only either pleasant or unpleasant emotions Eau1 Requirement to suppress feelings –0.22 0.81 Eau2 Important to suppress feelings vs. meaningless which 0.43 feelings vs. meaningless Ead1 Display emotions which do not correspond to inner 0.78 feelings Ead2 Display positive emotions while feeling indifferent 0.68 –0.23 –0.17 Ead3 Force yourself to show certain feelings 0.62 Eas1 Requirement to be sensitive to the feelings of customers 0.66 –0.15 Eas2 Important to know what a customer feels 0.78 Eas3 Important to put oneself in the customer’s position 0.85 Ear1 After a short time possible to handle emotions routinely 0.59 Ear2 Contacts with customers always similar 0.63 Eah1 Can you interrupt an interaction with a customer? 0.49 Eah2 Can finish interaction with customer vs. dependent on 0.95 customers’ wishes Eah3 Interaction depends on the customer’s mood 0.34 Eah4 Duration of the interaction independent of the 0.18 customer’s feelings Chi2 (df = 148) = 215.03 (P < .01), RMSEA (Root mean square error of approximation) = 0.046, GFI (Goodness of fit) = 0.91, AGFI (adjusted goodness of fit) = 0.87, NFI (normed fit index) = 0.82,NNFI (non-normed fit index) = 0.91.
  • 23. Downloaded by [University of Barcelona] at 06:13 19 February 2012 TABLE 3 Mean, standard deviation, and correlations of emotion work variables Variable Mean SD Positive Negative Showing Sensitivity Emotional Routineness Interaction Emotions Emotions Sympathy Requirements Dissonance Control Display of: Positive emotions 3.61 0.73 (0.90) 3.99 0.79 (0.81) 3.58 0.82 (0.52) Negative emotions 3.06 0.73 0.59** (0.81) 1.85 0.6 0.20 (0.65) 2.67 0.92 0.28** (0.56) Showing sympathy – – – – – 2.08 0.85 0.40** 0.57** (0.69) – – – – – Sensitivity requirements 4.01 0.69 0.58** 0.63** – (0.92) 2.78 0.97 0.60** 0.36** 0.59** (0.80) 3.43 1.04 0.36** 0.22** – (0.82) Emotional dissonance 3.65 0.54 0.18 0.19 – 0.10 (0.90) 2.89 0.87 0.47** 0.41** 0.44** 0.52** (0.78) 3.64 0.74 0.31** 0.17** – 0.38** (0.79) Routineness – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – 3.09 0.95 0.25** 0.24** – 0.34** 0.14* (0.54) Interaction control 2.79 0.59 –0.27* –0.21a – –0.30** –0.21a – (0.90) 2.80 0.92 0.00 0.32** 0.23** 0.19** –0.07 – (0.70) EMOTION WORK 1.92 0.63 –0.15* 0.06 – 0.16* –0.30** –0.03 (0.51) 391 Cronbach’s alpha in parentheses; *P < .05, **P < .01. a P = .06. For each set of 3 rows, row I: children’s home (N=83); row II: hotel business (N=175);391 row III: call centre (N=250).
  • 24. 392 ZAPF ET AL. positive-negative emotions dimension. Showing positive emotions obviously meant to show emotions to make clients feel happy. Showing sympathy meant to feel with a client who for some reason feels negative. Showing negative emotions referred to negative social interactions, for example, talking to a guest who was molesting another guest. Little problems occurred for the modelling of the emotional dissonance and sensitivity requirements factors. Finally, it was possible to model the interaction control factor. We stopped model trimming when the factor loadings were significant and when there were theoretical reasons for not eliminating items with cross-loadings. Finally, in the third sample, a positive emotions display and negative emotions/variety factor, sensitivity requirements, emotional dissonance andDownloaded by [University of Barcelona] at 06:13 19 February 2012 interaction control could be modelled. In addition, there was a factor “routineness of emotional display" consisting of two items. The emotion work control factor could, again, not be modelled. The result of the confirmatory factor analysis of Study 3 is shown in Table 2. Using the CFA procedure in an exploratory manner we used the modification index of LISREL for model trimming. The modification index indicates where model restrictions do not fit with the data. It is suggested that modification indices higher than 5 indicate a substantial misfit (Jöreskog & Sörbom, 1993). Therefore, we included all cross-loadings indicated by modification indices higher than 5. This procedure led to six cross-loadings of which two are relevant. The intensity of emotions item also showed a high negative loading on the routineness factor indicating that intensity might also be considered different from the frequency of positive emotion display (cf. the results of Brotheridge & Lee, 1998). Second, expression of different emotions also showed a high loading on the positive emotion display factor. Table 3 shows that it was possible to develop the scales for emotion work with satisfactory reliabilities (Hypothesis 1). Although some cross-loadings occurred in all three studies we consider discriminant validity to be satisfactory. According to Hypothesis 2a we expected that the emotional requirement scales would show significant positive correlations. This was so in all cases with correlations ranging from 0.22 to 0.63. Second, it was also expected that the emotional requirement scales would also be positively correlated with emotional dissonance (Hypothesis 2b). This was the case for Studies 2 and 3; for Study 1 the correlations were in the expected direction with two of the three correlations significant at the 10% level. Finally, according to Hypothesis 2c, emotional dissonance was expected to be negatively correlated with interaction control. This was the case in Study 3. In Study 1 the correlation failed to reach significance level, while in Study 2 the correlation was not significant. The third hypothesis was that the emotional requirement scales would show positive and negative correlations with strain and well-being. With one exception (display of positive emotions in Study 2), all emotional requirement scales were correlated with emotional exhaustion (Table 4). In Study 3, all emotional requirement scales were also correlated with depersonalization. For Study 2, this
  • 25. Downloaded by [University of Barcelona] at 06:13 19 February 2012 TABLE 4 Correlations between emotion work and psychological strain and well-being Positive Negative Showing Sensitivity Emotional Routineness Interaction Emotions Emotions Sympathy Requirements Dissonance Control Emotional exhaustion 25* .37** – .24* .42** – –.14 .09 .21** .17 * .27** .33** – –.02 .15* .15* – .22** .48** .11 –.19** Depersonalization .12 .18 – .02 .31* – .01 .07 .41** .24 ** .19* .37* – .06 .13* .19** – .17** .40** .03 –.14* Personal accomplishment .38** .43** – .39** –.11 – .00 .44** .11 .27** .44** .26** – –.02 .28** .09 – .16 ** –.10 .09 .03 Irritation .10 .12 – .05 .45** – –.25* .05 .10 .09 .18* .27** – .04 .17* .08 – .21** .26** .09 –.19** Psychosomatic complaints –.02 –.03 – –.05 .35** – –.09 .14 .09 .14 .23** .36** _ –.09 .05 .18* – .22** .40** .16* –.16* Self-esteem –.04 –.04 –.11 –.02 –.24* – .01 .06 –.05 – –.03 .01 – .12 .08 .20* – .07 –.03 .08 –.01 Job satisfaction –.10 .05 – –.02 –.30** – .04 .05 –.08 .05 –.02 –.12 – .05 EMOTION WORK –.08 –.07 – –.19** –.47** –.02 .24** 393393 * P < .05, **P < .0. For each set of 3 rows, row I: children’s home (N = 83); row II: hotel business (N = 175); row III: call centre (N = 250).
  • 26. 394 ZAPF ET AL. was the case in three of four cases. For Studies 2 and 3, sensitivity requirements were positively correlated with irritation and psychosomatic complaints. In addition, display of positive emotions and sensitivity requirements were positively correlated with personal accomplishment, indicating the positive effects of emotion work. However, most of the correlations with self-esteem and job satisfaction were not significant. In Hypothesis 4 we assumed negative relations between control and psychological strain. This hypothesis was mostly rejected because it was not possible to develop a scale for emotion work control. For interaction control, 6 out of 21 correlations were significant and in the expected direction. Finally, as expected, emotional dissonance showed the clearest effects onDownloaded by [University of Barcelona] at 06:13 19 February 2012 psychological strain. In all three samples, high correlations appeared with emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, irritation, and psychosomatic complaints. In addition, in two of the three samples, the expected negative correlation with job satisfaction appeared. DISCUSSION In this article we argued that traditional job stress analysis instruments are not able to cover the full range of job stressors frequent in work where interaction with clients is a central part. We described the concept of emotion work, first introduced by Hochschild (1983), as the job requirement to display organizationally desired emotions. Following action theory-based conceptions of job analysis, we differentiated between emotional regulation requirements, emotional regulation possibilities, and emotional regulation problems. Based on three empirical studies in a handicapped children’s home, in the hotel business, and in call centres, we were able to develop scales for the requirement to display positive emotions, the requirement to display negative emotions including also a high variety of emotions, and sensitivity requirements. In one study, a factor “requirement to show sympathy” was found. In all three studies we were able to develop scales for interaction control, but not for emotion work control. Finally, a scale for emotional dissonance could be developed. The scales showed satisfactory reliabilities. Discriminant validity could be demonstrated, although some items showed cross-loadings on other factors. This should be improved in future studies. Most of the hypotheses regarding construct validity were supported by the data. Emotional regulation requirement scales were both positively and negatively related to various variables of psychological strain and well-being, supporting the view that person-related work is—as is object-related work—not negative per se. As in most of the other empirical studies, emotional dissonance has proven to be a stressor that shows negative relationships with health. Finally, interaction control partly showed the expected negative correlations with psychological strain and positive relations with job satisfaction.
  • 27. EMOTION WORK 395 Several issues are noticeable in the present studies. First, the studies support the proposition that emotion work is a multidimensional phenomenon (e.g. Morris & Feldman, 1996). They show that sub-constructs of emotion work have partly contradictory relations with health and well-being, thus explaining the failure to find correlations with dependent variables when overall scales for emotion work were used (e.g. Adelmann, 1995). Expressing positive emotions showed both positive and negative relations with health variables. The positive correlations of the requirement to express positive emotions with personal accomplishment supports the view that Hochschild’s proposition of emotion work to be alienating and stressful is one- sided (cf. Stenross & Kleinman, 1989; Tolich, 1993; Wharton, 1993). It is likelyDownloaded by [University of Barcelona] at 06:13 19 February 2012 that the expression of positive emotions is reinforced by positive customer reactions and is generally valued both by the customers and the management (Doucet, 1998). On the other hand, the failure to find consistent correlations with job satisfaction and self-esteem obviously requires further research. It could either be because of methodological problems or because the emotional components of social interactions are of significantly less importance compared to cognitive task aspects. Variety/negative emotions showed more negative relations compared to the display of positive emotions. This supports the qualitative findings of Stenross and Kleinman (1989), who found that showing sympathy and dealing with negative emotions of others was a stressful experience for detectives. On the other hand, it can be assumed that dealing with complicated interactions where negative emotions have to be handled can also be a source of feelings of personal accomplishment when this is considered to be a genuine part of one’s job, as in the case of employees of the handicapped children’s home. In all, it is remarkable that all our studies differentiated between the display of positive emotions and a factor either referring to the variety of emotions or to displaying or treating negative emotions. Obviously, variety of emotions becomes relevant when both positive and negative emotions have to be displayed in contrast to having to display only positive emotions. For the samples analysed in this article, it can be excluded that some of our participants are only required to show negative emotions in their jobs. Rather, practically all participants had to show positive emotions, which is demonstrated by the higher means of the positive emotions scales compared to the negative emotions scales. If the display of positive emotions is the starting point, then the requirement to display a high variety of emotions means to have to display negative emotions as well. Therefore, this scale can both be interpreted as the display of negative emotions or the display of a high variety of emotions. The data also show that the requirement to show a high variety of emotions does not guarantee that they can more easily be matched than more homogeneous display requirements, as implied by Morris and Feldman (1996). Rather, this scale obviously refers to three problems: First, it seems to be more difficult to feel the emotion if a high
  • 28. 396 ZAPF ET AL. variety of emotion display is required than if only one type of emotion should be shown. Second, adaptation processes to show the various emotions may be effortful, and third and most likely, in most cases the display of negative emotions may be negative per se because they often indicate unpleasant social interactions. Against expectations, it was not possible to develop an emotion work control scale. Actually, it was possible to develop scales with sufficient internal consistency in the various samples, but the scale lacked discriminant validity. The items for this scale also loaded on the interaction control factor and on the emotional dissonance factor. In further research the item wording should be improved to make the scale methodologically more sound. However, thereDownloaded by [University of Barcelona] at 06:13 19 February 2012 remains the problem of theoretical overlap, which makes achieving discriminant validity difficult. This is necessarily so between interaction control and emotion work control because they both were conceptualized to be sub-concepts of the general control concept. However, the main problem lies in the discriminant validity between emotion work control and emotional dissonance. Emotional dissonance, as do all job stressors, implies a minimum of non-control. Otherwise the stressor would simply be avoided. These conceptual reasons may make it difficult to develop a scale with sufficient discriminant validity. As in most of the other studies, it was possible to develop measures for emotional dissonance with good scale properties and the expected correlations with other emotion work and health variables. However, further research should investigate the conceptualization of emotional dissonance as an objective stressor, which could be supported by observation and peer evaluation. The data suggest that the analysis of emotion work is a neglected area in organizational stress research which should be given more attention in the future. Based on the data, it can be suggested that emotion work is not per se either positive or negative. Rather, emotion display and sensitivity requirements are related to emotional exhaustion but also to personal accomplishment. In line with Hochschild’s (1983) qualitative findings, it is emotional dissonance that is the mismatch between the emotions that have to be displayed and the emotions that one would like to display in a certain situation that is a stressor and that can lead to psychological strain in the long run. Finally, it can be concluded that in jobs where interacting with clients is a substantial part of the work, traditional concepts of job stress do not suffice but should be complemented by concepts measuring emotional requirements and emotional dissonance at work. REFERENCES Abraham, R. (1998). Emotional dissonance in organizations: Antecedents, consequences and moderators. Genetic, Social, and General Psychology Monogaphs, 124, 229–246. Adelmann, P.K. (1995). Emotional labor as a potential source of job stress. In S.L. Sauter & L.R. Murphy (Eds.), Organizational risk factors for job stress (pp. 371–381). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
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