On the Positive and Negative Effects of Emotion Work in Organizations.
This article was downloaded by: [University of Barcelona]On: 19 February 2012, At: 06:12Publisher: Psychology PressInforma Ltd Registered in England and Wales Registered Number: 1072954Registered office: Mortimer House, 37-41 Mortimer Street, London W1T 3JH,UK European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology Publication details, including instructions for authors and subscription information: http://www.tandfonline.com/loi/pewo20 On the positive and negative effects of emotion work in organizations a a Dieter Zapf & Melanie Holz a Department of Psychology, Johann Wolfgang Goethe- University, Frankfurt, Germany Available online: 17 Feb 2007To cite this article: Dieter Zapf & Melanie Holz (2006): On the positive and negativeeffects of emotion work in organizations, European Journal of Work and OrganizationalPsychology, 15:1, 1-28To link to this article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13594320500412199PLEASE SCROLL DOWN FOR ARTICLEFull terms and conditions of use: http://www.tandfonline.com/page/terms-and-conditionsThis 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 expresslyforbidden.The publisher does not give any warranty express or implied or make anyrepresentation that the contents will be complete or accurate or up todate. The accuracy of any instructions, formulae, and drug doses should beindependently verified with primary sources. The publisher shall not be liablefor any loss, actions, claims, proceedings, demand, or costs or damages
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EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF WORK AND ORGANIZATIONAL PSYCHOLOGY 2006, 15 (1), 1 – 28 On the positive and negative eﬀects of emotion work in organizations Dieter Zapf and Melanie Holz Department of Psychology, Johann Wolfgang Goethe-University, Frankfurt, GermanyDownloaded by [University of Barcelona] at 06:12 19 February 2012 Emotion work (emotional labour) is deﬁned as emotional regulation required to display organizationally desired emotions by the employees. It has received increased attention because it is relevant in the service industry where social interactions with customers, clients, or patients are a signiﬁcant part of the job. Empirical studies found equivocal eﬀects on psychological well-being which indicates that emotion work is a multidimensional construct with dimensions having positive and negative health eﬀects. In the present studies, the following aspects of emotion work were diﬀerentiated: emotional regulation requirements: (1) the requirement to display positive emotions; (2) the requirement to display negative emotions, (3) the requirement to be sensitive to clients’ emotions; (4) emotional dissonance: the expression of emotions that are not felt. Analyses were based on a representative sample (N ¼ 184) of service workers and another sample of service workers (N ¼ 1158) consisting of call centre agents, hotel and bank employees, and kindergarten teachers. The data showed that emotional dissonance was the stressful aspect of emotion work, whereas the display of positive emotions and sensitivity requirements also had positive eﬀects on personal accomplishment. The requirement to express negative emotions had little eﬀect on burnout. Neuroticism had little impact on the relations between emotion work and burnout. In most economic societies service work plays an important role now. In the European countries, for example, more than 50% of the workforce comprises service workers (Paoli, 1997). Consequently, the psychological analysis of service work has received increased attention in recent years (e.g., Nerdinger, Correspondence should be addressed to Dieter Zapf, Department of Psychology, Johann Wolfgang Goethe-University Frankfurt, Mertonstr. 17, D-60054 Frankfurt, Germany. Email: D.Zapf@psych.uni-frankfurt.de An earlier version of this article was presented as a poster at the 25th international congress of Applied Psychology, July 7 – 12, 2002, Singapore. Parts of the present study were supported by the German Federal Ministry of Work and Social Aﬀairs and the Hessen Ministry of Social Aﬀairs. Ó 2006 Psychology Press Ltd http://www.psypress.com/ejwop DOI: 10.1080/13594320500412199
2 ZAPF AND HOLZ 1994; Zeithaml & Bitner, 2000). One of the core aspects of service work is the social interaction with customers or clients. Here, as in any social interaction, the requirement to regulate one’s emotions plays a central role. Hochschild (1983) coined the term ‘‘emotional labour’’ for this requirement. She investigated the work of ﬂight attendants and showed that a substantial part of the job was dealing with the passengers and their emotions. Based on qualitative ﬁndings, Hochschild (1983) argued that high emotional demands had negative eﬀects on psychological and physical health. Whereas most but not all empirical studies so far were able to demonstrate such negative eﬀects of emotional labour, the empiricalDownloaded by [University of Barcelona] at 06:12 19 February 2012 ﬁndings with regard to positive eﬀects were much more inconsistent. In some studies, the frequency of emotion display was positively related to well-being; in others it was not. In particular, it has been argued that the display of positive emotions has positive consequences. However, only a few studies have explicitly measured the requirement to display positive emotions. But again, empirical results were inconsistent. The present paper intends to contribute to this still open question. We will present the test of an overall model using structural equation modelling. In particular, we will focus on the relationship between emotional job requirements and psychological strain rather than on behavioural or emotion regulation strategies and its consequences. We will distinguish between the requirement to display positive and the requirement to display negative emotions and we will also investigate the requirement to sense emotions of the interaction partner. This has only occasionally been done in the literature so far. Finally, we will systematically consider negative aﬀectivity (NA) in these analyses, thus responding to an important methodological discussion in psychological stress research. We are not aware of any study that took all these aspects into account. In the following we will ﬁrst describe a multidimensional framework of emotion work. Based on the existing literature we will then develop hypotheses regarding the positive and negative eﬀects of emotion work on burnout. Emotional labour or emotion work (Zapf, 2002) is an important aspect of employee – client interactions. ‘‘Client’’ is used here to refer to any person who interacts with an employee, for example, patients, children, customers, passengers, or guests. Expressing appropriate emotions during face-to-face or voice-to-voice interactions is a job demand for many employees in the service industry. Service workers are required to manage their emotions as a part of their job. Certainly, service workers cannot be assumed to be always in a good mood. Rather, they may sometimes be bored and they may all more or less frequently encounter situations eliciting negative emotions such as anger, fear, or disappointment. Emotion work as part of the job, however, implies the display of organizationally desired emotions even in these unpleasant situations. Accordingly, emotion work has been deﬁned as
EMOTION WORK IN ORGANIZATIONS 3 the psychological processes necessary to regulate organizationally desired emotions as part of one’s job (e.g., Grandey, 2000; Hochschild, 1983; Rafaeli & Sutton, 1987; Zapf, 2002). Hochschild (1983) argued that carrying out emotion work for long hours would overtax the service providers’ abilities to show the desired emotions. They would go on smiling, but they would not feel the expected emotions. This discrepancy between displayed and felt emotions she called ‘‘emotional dissonance’’. Hochschild maintained that showing emotions not felt at that moment would—in the long run—lead to the alienation of one’s feelings, which would cause psychological ill health. In her qualitative interviews with ﬂightDownloaded by [University of Barcelona] at 06:12 19 February 2012 attendants, she found a variety of negative health consequences of emotion work such as psychosomatic symptoms, and alcohol and sex problems. Other studies, however, did not uniformly ﬁnd these negative eﬀects, and some even found positive eﬀects of emotion work. Therefore, researchers started to develop models diﬀerentiating various dimensions of emotion work. Most of these models comprised dimensions referring to the frequency of emotion display and/or emotional dissonance (e.g., Brotheridge & Grandey, 2002; Grandey, 2000; Morris & Feldman, 1996, 1997; Schaubroeck & Jones, 2000). This also applies to the concept used in the present study. Moreover, applying Hackman’s (1969) distinction of job analysis approaches we followed the behaviour requirement approach, thus focusing on the situational job requirements (see also Diefendorﬀ & Richard, 2003; Schaubroeck & Jones, 2000) rather than on the individual work behaviours or emotion regulation ˆ ´ strategies (e.g., Brotheridge & Lee, 2002; Cote & Morgan, 2002; Glomb & Tews, 2004). We diﬀerentiated between various dimensions of emotion work requirements (Zapf, Vogt, Seifert, Mertini, & Isic, 1999): (1) the requirement to display positive emotions (abbreviated as ‘‘positive emotions’’), (2) the re- quirement to display and handle negative emotions (‘‘negative emotions’’), (3) the requirement to sense the emotion of the interaction partner (‘‘sensitivity requirements’’), and (4) the dissonance between felt and displayed emotions (‘‘emotional dissonance’’). In line with most empirical studies (e.g., Adelmann, 1995; Brotheridge & Lee, 2003; Morris & Feldman, 1997) the frequency of emotional display was considered to be an important aspect of emotion work. Factor analyses (Zapf, Vogt et al., 1999) demonstrated the necessity of distinguishing between being required to show positive and negative emotions. This is so because the necessity to display positive and negative emotions is not uniformly high or low across occupations. Rather, it depends on speciﬁc job requirements. For a call centre agent, the requirement to show negative emotions will be relatively infrequent (e.g., Zapf, Isic, Bechtoldt, & Blau, 2003). In contrast, a frequently cited example for a job comprising a frequent requirement to show negative emotions is the case of a bill collector (Sutton, 1991). Another example may be an undertaker, who has to express
4 ZAPF AND HOLZ seriousness and grief during a funeral. The requirement to display negative emotions should not be mistaken for letting out one’s negative emotions in an uncontrolled manner. Rather, the controlled expression of anger may be used to make clear that one is seriously aﬀected by something or that one is taking something very seriously. For example, a nurse may use controlled anger to make clear that she does not want to be touched by a patient. A kindergarten teacher may use anger to stop children ﬁghting, etc. Whereas there are some studies which also included the requirement of positive emotions display (e.g., Diefendorﬀ & Richard, 2003; Schaubroeck & Jones, 2000), the requirement to express negative emotions has been considered inDownloaded by [University of Barcelona] at 06:12 19 February 2012 qualitative studies (Stenross & Kleinman, 1989; Sutton, 1991) but only rarely in quantitative studies. The expression of organizationally desired emotions is not an end in itself. Emotions are shown to have an inﬂuence on clients (Cote, 2005;ˆ ´ Kruml & Geddes, 2000; Pugliesi, 1999). Expressing emotions is one possible way to inﬂuence the clients’ feelings. To be able to inﬂuence the clients’ emotions, their accurate perception is an important prerequisite. In social interactions, information provided by the emotion display of the interaction partner is used to guide one’s own response (Elfenbein, Marsh, & Ambady, 2002). Therefore, sensitivity requirements as the necessity to be sensitive and to consider the emotions of clients is another aspect of the emotion work concept (Zapf, Vogt et al., 1999). Sensitivity requirements are low if there are no or only few interactions with clients or if an employee can display organizationally desired emotions independent from the clients’ feelings, for example, in the case of highly scripted interactions. Sensitivity requirements are high, if knowledge of the clients’ emotions is a prerequisite for one’s own emotional reaction. Finally, as in some of the other studies on emotion work, we included the concept of emotional dissonance (e.g., Abraham, 1998; Kruml & Geddes, 2000; Morris & Feldman, 1996, 1997; Nerdinger & Roper, 1999; Zapf, Vogt ¨ et al., 1999; Zerbe, 2000). Emotional dissonance occurs when an employee is required to express emotions which 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 was found to be resulting from external demands rather than being a reaction to emotion display or a behavioural strategy (Zapf, Vogt et al., 1999). We assume that surface acting which is a response focused strategy to express an emotion which is not felt (cf. Grandey, 2000; Hochschild, 1983) is an adequate and probably the most frequently used emotion regulation strategy to respond to emotional dissonance as a situational demand, e.g., if the situational demand is to be friendly to an arrogant customer. However, the service provider may also not
EMOTION WORK IN ORGANIZATIONS 5 be willing to put on the expected friendly face. Rather he or she may look neutral or even angry, thus showing emotional deviance (Rafaeli & Sutton, 1987) as another possible response. In cases, the service provider may even try to overcome his or her negative inner feelings, which corresponds to the concept of deep acting (Hochschild, 1983). In the work of Hochschild, it was emotional dissonance that was hypothesized to lead to the alienation of one’s feelings which in turn caused various psychological strains. The positive and negative eﬀects of emotion work will be investigated with regard to burnout (e.g., Schaufeli & Enzmann, 1998). This concept was introduced as an individual reaction to high emotional demands in humanDownloaded by [University of Barcelona] at 06:12 19 February 2012 service work. It can be understood as an indication that employees are no longer able to manage their emotions adequately when interacting with clients. Burnout is a syndrome consisting of three aspects: emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and reduced personal accomplishment (Maslach & Jackson, 1986). Emotional exhaustion measures one’s feeling of being burnt out, frustrated, and perceiving working with people to be demanding. Depersonalization comprises the tendency to treat clients like objects and to become indiﬀerent and apathetic with regard to clients. Personal accomplishment includes the feeling of having the competence to do things and of being able to meet one’s aspirations in one’s job. Explanations for the positive and negative eﬀects of emotion work on ˆ ´ burnout can be given at two diﬀerent levels (cf. Cote, 2005). First, at the interaction level, the emotion work aspects can be seen as indicators of positive or negative social interactions with clients. Second, explanations at the conceptual level of emotion regulation relate to processes and mechanisms inherent in the emotion work concept (Grandey, 2000; Zapf, 2002; see below). In the following we will discuss the potential positive and negative eﬀects of the emotion work aspects on burnout both at the level of social interactions and the level of emotion regulation. Starting with the negative eﬀects, studies consistently found correlations between emotional dissonance (or variables which share some features with emotional dissonance such as suppressing negative emotions or surface acting) and psychological strain (e.g., Abraham, 1998; Brotheridge & Grandey, 2002; Grebner et al., 2003; Heuven & Bakker, 2003; Lewig & Dollard, 2003; Morris & Feldman, 1997; Nerdinger & Roper, 1999; ¨ Schaubroeck & Jones, 2000; Zapf, Vogt et al., 1999; Zerbe, 2000). In particular, relations between emotional dissonance and emotional exhaus- tion were found in the studies of Heuven and Bakker (2003), Lewig and Dollard (2003), Morris and Feldman (1997), Nerdinger and Roper (1999), ¨ Zapf, Vogt et al. (1999), and Zerbe (2000). Similar results were found for emotional dissonance and depersonalization (Dormann & Zapf, 2004; Dormann, Zapf, & Isic, 2002; Zapf, Vogt et al., 1999). A variety of explanations exists for this result. An explanation at the interaction level is
6 ZAPF AND HOLZ that emotional dissonance is related to emotional exhaustion because it is a sensitive qualitative indicator of unpleasant and stressful interactions with clients. Clients may be aggressive, they may confront the service provider with disproportionate expectations, or they may behave in an uncivil manner. These behaviours have been related to psychological strain (e.g., Ben-Zur & Yagil, 2005; Dormann & Zapf, 2004; Duﬀy, Ganster, & Pagon, 2002; Spector, 1997) and emotional dissonance may be a good indicator to cover these diﬀerent kinds of negative social interactions with clients or customers. Moreover, at the level of emotion regulation, Gross and colleaguesDownloaded by [University of Barcelona] at 06:12 19 February 2012 (Gross, 1998; Gross & John, 1997; Gross & Levenson, 1997) argued that emotion regulation—as any process of self-regulation (see Muraven, Tice, & Baumeister, 1998)—has its psychological costs. Emotional dissonance often means the suppression of negative emotion and there is evidence that emotion suppression is related to the sympathetic activation of the cardiovascular system (Gross & Levenson, 1997) which has been shown to be associated with poor health, adjustment, and coping responses (Pennebaker, 1990). Finally, Brotheridge and Lee (2002) suggested that surface acting which is one way to react if the required emotions do not conform to the emotions actually felt, may threaten one’s authenticity (see also Erickson & Wharton, 1997). This comes close to Hochschild’s (1983) notion that emotional dissonance generates feelings of estrangement from the self, which is supposed to be related to psychological strain. Emotional dissonance may also lead to the (chronic) detachment of other people’s feelings which may be related to depersonalization. Thus, based on these explanations both at the interactional and the conceptual level and in line with previous research, we hypothesized that emotional dissonance is positively related to emotional exhaustion (Hypothesis 1a) and depersona- lization (Hypothesis 1b). With regard to the frequency of being required to display emotions, contradictory hypotheses exist. Some authors proposed that these require- ments have negative health eﬀects (Hochschild, 1983; Morris & Feldman, 1996); others (Schaubroeck & Jones, 2000) proposed a positive eﬀect for the requirement to display positive emotions. Overall, we assume that emotional job requirements, i.e., the requirement of the job to display positive or negative emotions and to sense the emo- tion of the client, depend on the existence of display rules (rules for the expression of emotions), the frequency and the duration of service interactions as well as on the quality of these interactions, i.e., whether the clients are behaving positively or negatively (Grandey, 2000; Morris & Feldman, 1996; Zapf, 2002). We further assume that there is a positive relation between emotional requirements and health outcomes as long as these requirements are matched by the personal prerequisites of the service provider. However, if
EMOTION WORK IN ORGANIZATIONS 7 emotional requirements exceed certain limits, then the likelihood increases that the emotions which have to be expressed do not match the emotions felt at that moment corresponding to the deﬁnition of emotional dissonance. It follows that any negative eﬀect of the requirement to display positive or negative emotions on burnout should be mediated by emotional dissonance (Hypoth- esis 2). That is, a full mediation eﬀect is hypothesized, which implies that there should be no direct negative eﬀects of the requirement to display positive emotions (Hypothesis 2a) or negative emotions (Hypothesis 2b) on emotional exhaustion or depersonalization if emotional dissonance is included as a mediator. This mediator eﬀect of emotional dissonance has not yet beenDownloaded by [University of Barcelona] at 06:12 19 February 2012 systematically investigated in the literature. There is a variety of reasons why emotion work should also have positive eﬀects on psychological well-being. At the level of social interactions it can be argued that if service providers successfully meet the requirement to display and sense emotions, this will have positive eﬀects. In particular, it will contribute to the feeling of self-eﬃcacy or personal accomplishment. 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 needs for aﬃliation, status, and recognition, for example, by showing altruistic behaviour (e.g., Bierhoﬀ, 1990; Hill, 1987). Stenross and Kleinman (1989) reported that detectives positively assessed interrogations with criminal suspects because this played a central role for goal achievement, namely, solving a case. This also included the display of negative emotions, e.g., when using the ‘‘good cop – bad cop’’ technique. Pugh (2001) and Tsai (2001) found that the display of positive emotions was related to customer satisfaction and customers’ positive aﬀect which may be indicators of successful service interactions. These processes may contribute to feelings of personal accomplishment. At the conceptual level of emotion regulation, the expression of emotion can either be thought of as a spontaneous or automatic process experienced not to be eﬀortful at all (cf. Scherer & Wallbott, 1990; Zapf, 2002; emotional harmony according to Ashforth & Humphrey, 1993; passive deep acting according to Hochschild, 1983), but contributing to a social situation with positive consequences for the employee concerned. Moreover, the inten- tional expression of positive emotions usually increases the probability of the interaction partner to show reciprocal positive emotions in return (Cote, ˆ ´ 2005; Wiemann & Giles, 1997). This can be perceived as positive feedback contributing to the employee’s satisfaction and self-esteem. Emotional contagion (Hatﬁeld, Cacioppo, & Rapson, 1994) has also been discussed as a mechanism how the display of positive interactions in service encounters can inﬂuence the clients’ emotions and thus contribute to a positive rewarding interaction (Pugh, 2001). Adelmann (1995) referred to the facial feedback hypothesis to argue for positive eﬀects of emotion work
8 ZAPF AND HOLZ (cf. Strack, Stepper, & Martin, 1988). 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. Empirically, ﬁndings with regard to positive eﬀects are inconsistent. Wharton (1993) found a positive relation between emotional labour and job ˆ ´ satisfaction. Cote and Morgan (2002) were able to demonstrate a causal eﬀect of expressing positive emotions on job satisfaction in a longitudinal study. Morris and Feldman (1997) found positive eﬀects of duration on emotional exhaustion and job satisfaction, but similar negative eﬀects of theDownloaded by [University of Barcelona] at 06:12 19 February 2012 frequency of interaction. However, these eﬀects all disappeared in multiple regressions where emotional dissonance was included. Lewig and Dollard (2003) did not ﬁnd any positive eﬀect. Brotheridge and Grandey (2002) and Diefendorﬀ and Richard (2003) found a positive eﬀect of the requirement to express positive emotions on job satisfaction. Schaubroeck and Jones (2000) found a respective negative eﬀect instead of the hypothesized positive eﬀect on physical symptoms. Based on the theoretical considerations and the existing empirical ﬁndings we hypothesized that the requirement to display positive (Hypothesis 3a) and negative emotions (Hypothesis 3b) and to sense the emotions of the interaction partner (Hypothesis 3c) are positively related to personal accomplishment. So far we described interactions in which service providers automatically show the required emotions. If, however, the required emotions are not automatically shown, then the person may respond with deep acting to bring the felt emotions in line with the required emotions. When using deep acting as an emotion regulation strategy, an individual actively tries to experience the required emotion (Grandey, 2000; Hochschild, 1983). This may have similar eﬀects as if the emotions were displayed automatically (in line with Hypotheses 3a – b). Accordingly, Brotheridge and Grandey (2002) reported positive relations between deep acting and personal accomplishment in their studies. Alternatively, the required emotion may not be spontaneously felt, but will be displayed. This corresponds to the deﬁnition of emotional dissonance. Thus, we hypothesize that the emotional job requirements to display positive (Hypothesis 4a) or negative emotions (Hypothesis 4b) are related to emotional dissonance. Hypothesis 4 follows from Hypothesis 2, which assumes that there is no direct eﬀect of the emotion work requirement variables on emotional exhaustion and depersonalization, but that these eﬀects are mediated by emotional dissonance. Moreover, if sensitivity requirements are too high they may overtax the employees’ abilities to be sensitive because of the continuous necessity to concentrate and process information while communicating with the client. Therefore, we hypothesize that there are also direct eﬀects on emotional exhaustion (Hypothesis 5a) and depersonalization (Hypothesis 5b).
EMOTION WORK IN ORGANIZATIONS 9 In recent years, stress researchers started to control stressor – strain relationships for negative aﬀectivity (NA). NA has often been equated with neuroticism (Burke, Brief, & George, 1993; Watson & Clark, 1984), and it has been interpreted as a general dimension that lowers the threshold to experience negative emotions. Some authors have argued that NA represents a nuisance variable that directly aﬀects stressor – strain relations (e.g., Burke et al., 1993). According to this view, individuals high in NA tend to view both their working conditions and their health conditions more negatively than individuals low in NA, thus producing an artiﬁcial correlation between the variables.Downloaded by [University of Barcelona] at 06:12 19 February 2012 At the theoretical level, it can be argued that individuals high in NA tend to experience negative emotions more frequently. They will be more often exposed to emotional dissonance because the display of positive emotions is typically required in most service interactions. Moreover, applying the ‘‘stressor creation mechanism’’ (Spector, Zapf, Chen, & Frese, 2000) to the present context implies that individuals high in NA tend to create or contribute to social conﬂicts with clients thus creating or contributing to a negative quality of this interaction in which negative emotions are experienced instead of the positive ones frequently required by the organizational display rules. Studies show that the burnout dimensions are associated with NA or neuroticism (Schaufeli & Enzmann, 1998). Moreover, although individuals with a tendency to experience negative emotions should report more occasions where positive emotions are required but negative emotions are felt (emotional dissonance), we hypothesize that these mechanisms do not substantially decrease the relation between emotional dissonance and emotional exhaustion and depersonalization. This results from the fact of the emotional dissonance measure in the present study is intended to describe aspects of the work situation rather than subjective reactions. Usually, such measures are only little aﬀected by NA as a nuisance factor (Spector et al., 2000). We did not expect NA to aﬀect the emotional requirements because these are mainly determined by the display rules and the frequency and duration of service interactions. Moreover, the instrument used in this study aimed at measuring the work environment thereby trying to minimize the inﬂuence of individual cognitive and emotional processing in the measure- ment process (Frese & Zapf, 1988). There is evidence that under these circumstances, the eﬀects of NA on stressor – strain relations are only small in terms of Cohen’s (1992) eﬀect size criteria (Spector et al., 2000). So far, several studies on emotion work included neuroticism or NA. Brotheridge and Grandey (2002) and Diefendorﬀ and Richard (2003) found an eﬀect on demands to suppress negative emotions. In contrast, Schaubroeck and Jones (2000) found a relatively strong eﬀect of trait negative aﬀect on demands to suppress negative emotions (r ¼ .48). Thus, we hypothesized that
10 ZAPF AND HOLZ NA or neuroticism should have a positive eﬀect on emotional dissonance and burnout (Hypothesis 6). However, NA should not aﬀect the relation between emotional dissonance and burnout in a signiﬁcant way. In summary, we will test the following hypotheses, which are also shown in Figure 1: Hypothesis 1: Emotional dissonance will be positively related to emotional exhaustion (H1a) and depersonalization (H1b). Hypothesis 2: There are no direct eﬀects of the requirement to display emotions on emotional exhaustion and depersonalization. Rather, the eﬀects are mediated by emotional dissonance.Downloaded by [University of Barcelona] at 06:12 19 February 2012 Hypothesis 3: The requirement to display positive (H3a) and negative emotions (H3b) and the requirements to sense the emotion of the client (H3c) are positively related to the feeling of personal accomplishment. Hypothesis 4: The requirements to display positive (H4a) or negative emotions (H4b) will also be related to emotional dissonance. Hypothesis 5: There will be a direct eﬀect of sensitivity requirements on emotional exhaustion (H5a) and depersonalization (H5b). Hypothesis 6: NA has a small eﬀect (according to Cohen’s, 1992, eﬀect size criteria) on emotional dissonance, but will not change the relation between emotional dissonance and burnout (H6). Figure 1. Hypothesized relations between emotion work and burnout.
EMOTION WORK IN ORGANIZATIONS 11 METHOD Samples In this study we will report analyses based on two samples. The ﬁrst sample consisted of employees working in diﬀerent service sectors (‘‘service sample’’) and the second was based on a randomly drawn sample (‘‘representative sample’’). The service sample consisted of four subsamples. The ﬁrst subsample was collected in the hotel business. With the help of the ‘‘Berufsgenossenschaft Nahrung’’ (professional food association), 20 hotels in an area in SouthDownloaded by [University of Barcelona] at 06:12 19 February 2012 West Germany were included in the study. Of the participants, 15% had a ‘‘Hauptschulabschluss’’ (lower stream school leaving certiﬁcate), 29% had ‘‘mittlere Reife’’ (middle stream school-leaving certiﬁcate), 44% had ‘‘Abitur’’ (high school diploma qualifying for university entrance), and 11% some type of university degree. Only a minority of 18% did not have a speciﬁc vocational education related to the hotel business. The second subsample consisted of participants who were employed in 14 call centres of various ﬁrms. This subsample consisted of employees who all had voice-to- voice contacts with clients. Of the participants, 74% had a high school diploma qualifying for university entrance (Abitur) or some kind of university degree, 76% received calls but did not call clients themselves (inbound); the remainder were preoccupied with both calling and receiving calls (inbound and outbound). The third subsample was collected in seven banks. Of the participants, 43% had a speciﬁc banking vocational education and another 32% a university degree. The majority of the subsample (97%) had more than 2 years of job experience. The ﬁnal subsample consisted of employees collected in 70 of the 140 public kindergartens in one of Germany’s large cities. The kindergartens were systematically selected to obtain the full variety of kindergartens for the subsample. The subsample consisted of almost 50% of the total workforce of the city’s public kindergartens. Of the participants, 22% possessed some kind of university degree, 35% had visited vocational schools for kindergarten teachers, and 74% had received some kind of high school degree. In all, 87% had some kind of speciﬁc education for their job and 94% of the subsample had more than 2 years of job experience. Due to missing values, the data of N ¼ 1024 participants could be used for structural equation modelling (SEM). Characteristics of the subsamples are summarized in Table 1. The second sample (representative sample) consisted of participants from two large German cities who worked at least 30 hours a week, who were not self-employed, and whose German was reasonably good so that they were able to ﬁll in the questionnaire. Participants were randomly chosen from a citizen database. They received a letter asking for participation. After some days the potential participants were contacted by telephone. Many people
12 ZAPF AND HOLZ TABLE 1 Description of the service sample Response Percentage Subsample n rate in % Mean age women Occupations Hotels 175 29 80% between 71 Frontline oﬃcers, 18 and 32b waiters or waitresses, administrative staﬀ Call centre 250 50 31 75 Call centre agents in banking,Downloaded by [University of Barcelona] at 06:12 19 February 2012 insurance, airline industry Bank 122 –a 37 50 Banking employees Kindergartens 611 67 39 94 Kindergarten teachers, social workers, technical staﬀ Total sample 1158 – 36c 88 a Distribution of questionnaires was organized by the institutions. They were not able to report the response rate. b To ensure anonymity, we were only able to use age categories (18 – 22, 23 – 28; . . . .63 – 67). c Category mean was used for the hotel subsample to compute overall mean age. were excluded because they did not fulﬁl the criteria mentioned above. We contacted 767 persons who fulﬁlled the criteria for participation; 405 persons sent back the questionnaire anonymously, which corresponded to a response rate of 52.8%. This estimation was the lower bound of the response rate, because among the 767 persons contacted some refused to take part in the study and ﬁnished the telephone call before the researchers received all the information required to decide whether the person fulﬁlled all criteria for participation. Two raters rated the jobs of these participants whether they were service jobs. There were three participants where the raters disagreed; these were excluded from the sample. They identiﬁed 184 service jobs, which is 45.4% of the total sample. Of these 184 participants full data were available from 175 participants because of missing data. Mean age of the representative sample was 40.9, ranging from 19 to 70 years; 37.8% were women. Moreover, 55.9% were in possession of some kind of high school degree, and 23% attended modern secondary school, 19.8% had a lower stream school leaving certiﬁcate, 1.8% who had no certiﬁcate at all, and 35.6% had some kind of university degree; 79% reported to have ﬁnished a professional training relevant for their current job. On average (median category), they had worked for 15 – 20 years; they had worked in their current job for approximately 2 – 5 years of this period of time.
EMOTION WORK IN ORGANIZATIONS 13 Instruments Emotion work/emotional labour was measured using the Frankfurt Emotion Work Scales1 (FEWS 3.0; Zapf, Mertini, Seifert, Vogt, & Isic, 1999; Zapf, Vogt et al., 1999). . Positive emotions refer to the requirement to show pleasant emotions (example item: ‘‘In your job how often does it occur that you have to display pleasant emotions towards your clients?’’). . Negative emotions ask for the necessity of displaying and dealing withDownloaded by [University of Barcelona] at 06:12 19 February 2012 unpleasant emotions (example item: ‘‘How often does it occur in your job that you have to display unpleasant emotions towards your clients?’’). . Sensitivity requirements examine whether empathy or knowledge about clients’ current feelings are required by the job (example item: ‘‘Does your job require paying attention to the feelings of your clients?’’). . Emotional dissonance refers to the display of unfelt emotions and to the suppression of felt but organizationally undesired emotions (example item: ‘‘How often does it occur in your job that one has to display positive emotions that do not correspond to what is felt in this situation?’’). For most of the FEWS scales there was a ﬁve-point response scale for most items ranging from ‘‘very rarely/never’’ (1), ‘‘rarely (once a week)’’ (2), ‘‘sometimes (once a day)’’ (3), ‘‘often (several times a day)’’ (4), to ‘‘very often (several times an hour)’’ (5). Burnout (emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and personal accom- plishment) was measured using the Maslach Burnout Inventory – German version of Bussing 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. Personal accomplishment includes the feeling of having the competence to do things and of being able to meet one’s personal aspirations. The burnout items were answered on a seven-point scale. Neuroticism was taken from a bipolar adjective-rating list to measure the ﬁve-factor model of personality (Costa & McCrae, 1985). The measure was based on the 45-item bipolar adjective-rating list developed by Ostendorf and colleagues (Ostendorf & Angleitner, 1992) in the version of Schallberger and Venetz (1999). The authors demonstrated that this reduced version was 1 A German, English, French, or Spanish version of the instrument can be obtained from the ﬁrst author on request.
14 ZAPF AND HOLZ satisfactory in terms of factorial structure and internal consistencies of scales. The scale for neuroticism used in this study consisted of six bipolar items on a 6-point scale, with each pole ranging from 1 and 6 ¼ ‘‘very’’, 2 and 5 ¼ ‘‘quite’’, and 3 and 4 ¼ ‘‘rather’’. Reliabilities of the scales were suﬃcient or good in most cases. They were relatively low for the requirement to display positive and negative emotions. Note, however, that these scales are both relatively short and that they show high correlations to some other scales. Depersonalization also showed low reliabilities in other studies (Bussing & Perrar, 1992). Means and standard ¨ deviations of the above mentioned variables are presented in Table 2, andDownloaded by [University of Barcelona] at 06:12 19 February 2012 the intercorrelations are presented in Table 3. Statistical analyses First we tested the model presented in Figure 1 using structural equation modelling (SEM). In this model, causal coeﬃcients will be estimated for parameters referring to hypotheses 1 – 6. We were not interested in causal models regarding the burnout components (see Golembiewski, Munzenrider, & Stevenson, 1986; Leiter & Maslach, 1988; van Dierendonck, Schaufeli, & Buunk, 2001). Therefore, latent correlations among the residuals of these variables were estimated. We also estimated latent correlations among the residuals of the emotional requirement variables. The analyses were carried out with LISREL 8.3 (Joreskog & Sorbom, 1996) using the maximum ¨ ¨ TABLE 2 Psychometric data of study variables Service sample Representative sample No. of items Range Mean SD Coeﬀ.a Mean SD Coeﬀ.a Requirement to 3 1–5 3.44 0.82 .52 3.09 1.03 .72 display positive emotions Requirement to 4 1–5 2.96 0.93 .68 2.65 0.93 .76 display negative emotions Sensitivity 3 1–5 3.44 1.03 .85 3.26 1.26 .91 requirements Emotional 5 1–5 3.12 0.79 .80 3.15 0.79 .75 dissonance Neuroticism 6 1–6 2.83 0.66 .85 2.83 0.83 .82 Emotional 9 0–6 1.54 1.04 .88 1.32 0.87 .82 exhaustion Depersonalization 5 0–6 1.02 0.99 .65 1.07 0.98 .81 Personal 8 0–6 3.61 0.89 .79 3.59 1.34 .73 accomplishment
Downloaded by [University of Barcelona] at 06:12 19 February 2012 TABLE 3 Intercorrelation of study variables 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 1. Age .09 .13 .06 .06 7.03 .29 .14 .01 7.03 2. Gender 7.08 7.08 .09 7.06 7.04 7.23 7.04 .08 .07 3. Requirement to display 7.20 7.08 .46 .61 .41 .04 .14 .15 .22 positive emotions 4. Requirement to display 7.00 7.13 .37 .48 .21 7.03 .04 .15 .18 negative emotions 5. Sensitivity requirements 7.05 7.09 .51 .48 .30 .04 .14 .13 .25 6. Emotional dissonance 7.30 .02 .41 .15 .29 .06 .22 .36 .09 7. Neuroticism .03 7.09 7.08 7.05 7.02 .09 .38 .15 7.35 8. Emotional exhaustion 7.01 7.10 .11 .20 .19 .27 .31 .54 7.27 9. Depersonalization 7.19 .10 .12 .10 .11 .36 .15 .52 7.21 10. Personal accomplishment .01 .00 .34 .16 .30 .06 7.28 7.16 7.10 Service sample (N ¼ 1152) ¼ lower triangle; r 4 .07 are signiﬁcant at p 5 .01. Representative sample (N ¼ 184) ¼ upper triangle; r 4 .14 are signiﬁcant at p 5 .05; r 4 .18 are signiﬁcant at p 5 .01. Gender: female ¼ 1; male ¼ 2 in both samples.15
16 ZAPF AND HOLZ likelihood method to examine the covariance matrix of the variables. Chi square statistics, goodness of ﬁt (GFI), adjusted goodness of ﬁt (AGFI), root means square error of approximation (RMSEA), the Akaike informa- tion criterion (AIC), and the normed ﬁt index (NFI) were used to assess the model ﬁt (Bentler, 1980; Joreskog & Sorbom, 1996; Schermelleh-Engel, ¨ ¨ Moosbrugger, & Muller, 2003). Experts (e.g., Schermelleh-Engel et al., 2003) ¨ suggest the following criteria to indicate a good model ﬁt: w2/df 2; GFI .95; AGFI .90; RMSEA .05; and NFI .95. AIC should be smaller than the AIC for the comparison model.Downloaded by [University of Barcelona] at 06:12 19 February 2012 RESULTS We started testing models with eﬀects of the requirement to express positive and negative emotions on exhaustion and depersonalization (direct eﬀects model), but without eﬀects on emotional dissonance. We then tested the full mediation model with eﬀects of the requirement to express positive and negative emotions on emotional dissonance. Third, we tested a model with both direct and mediator eﬀects. The model with the direct eﬀects showed a poor ﬁt in both samples, w2 ¼ 172.37, df ¼ 7, p ¼ .0; AIC ¼ 230.37 in the service sample; w2 ¼ 33.39, df ¼ 7, p ¼ .0 AIC ¼ 91.39 in the representative sample. In contrast the postulated full mediation model corresponding to the hypotheses and the theoretical model as presented in Figure 1 showed a reasonable ﬁt for the service sample, w2 ¼ 47.70, df ¼ 9, p ¼ .0; GFI ¼ .99; AGFI ¼ .95; RMSEA ¼ .065; AIC ¼ 101.70; NFI ¼ .98, and a very good ﬁt for the representative sample, w2 ¼ 6.03, df ¼ 9, p ¼ .74; GFI ¼ .99; AGFI ¼ .97; RMSEA ¼ .0; AIC ¼ 59.98; NFI ¼ .98. The direct eﬀects model and the full mediation model are not nested. Therefore, only the AIC could be used to compare the models. The AIC was clearly lower for the full mediation model thus rejecting the direct eﬀects model. In a next step we compared the full mediation model with a model with both direct and mediator eﬀects. This model is nested with the full mediation model. Not surprisingly, these models showed a very good ﬁt (for the service sample, w2 ¼ 24.55, df ¼ 5, p 5 .01; GFI ¼ .99; AGFI ¼ .96; RMSEA ¼ .062; AIC ¼ 86.55; NFI ¼ .99; for the representative sample, w2 ¼ 2.36, df ¼ 5, p ¼ .80; GFI ¼ 1.00; AGFI ¼ .98; RMSEA ¼ .0; AIC ¼ 64.36; NFI ¼ .99. The model comparison was not signiﬁcant for the representative sample, Dw2 ¼ 3.62, df ¼ 4; p 4 .05, and it was just signiﬁcant for the service sample, Dw2 ¼ 23.15, df ¼ 4; p 5 .05. For the service sample more detailed analyses revealed a signiﬁcant eﬀect of the requirement to express negative emotions on emotional exhaustion, but no eﬀects of this variable on emotional dissonance. We then computed an optimized model where all parameters not signiﬁcant in both samples, were ﬁxed to zero. The eﬀects concerned comprised the eﬀect of negative emotions on personal accomplishment and
EMOTION WORK IN ORGANIZATIONS 17 emotional dissonance as well as the eﬀect of sensitivity requirements on depersonalization. Moreover, we used the maximum modiﬁcation index of the LISREL program to improve the model for the service sample. For this sample, the modiﬁcation index suggested a relation between positive emotions and neuroticism. Because cause – eﬀect structures were unclear, we modelled a correlation between the residuals of these variables. Moreover, we added a causal eﬀect of sensitivity requirements on emotional dissonance and a causal eﬀect of emotional dissonance on personal accomplishment. Both optimized models were very good and met all criteria for a good model ﬁt: for the service sample, w2 ¼ 12.19, df ¼ 8, p ¼ .14; GFI ¼ 1.00; AGFI ¼ .99;Downloaded by [University of Barcelona] at 06:12 19 February 2012 RMSEA ¼ .023; AIC ¼ 68.19; NFI ¼ .99; for the representative sample, w2 ¼ 5.12, df ¼ 11, p ¼ .93; GFI ¼ .99; AGFI ¼ .98; RMSEA ¼ .0; AIC ¼ 55.12; NFI ¼ .99. The results are shown in Figure 2. Figure 2 shows the expected correlations among the emotional requirement variables and among the burnout variables, which were similar in both samples. Moreover, it shows that most, though not all hypotheses were supported by the empirical data. Figure 2. Relations between emotion work and burnout: Empirical results (optimized model). Results for the representative sample in parentheses.