Emotional Labor in China: Examining Moderators and Consequences of the Emotional Labor Process

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This survey study of 2201 employees from a large mobile phone company investigated how perceived organizational support (POS) and gender moderate the impact of emotional labor strategies on employee strain. Emotional labor strategies were related to employee strain, including turnover intentions, job satisfaction, burnout, and mental well‐being in the expected directions. POS moderated these relationships such that POS was related to more positive outcomes for employees who engaged in deep acting but exacerbated negative outcomes for employees who engaged in surface acting. Gender moderated these relationships such that women were more likely than men to report positive consequences when engaging in deep acting. POS and gender interacted with deep acting in predicting cynicism such that POS was related to reduced cynicism in response to deep acting for women but not for men. These results indicate that organizational policies and training opportunities aimed at improving POS and use of deep acting over surface acting could be valuable for organizations. Results also illuminate the important and complicated moderating role of POS and gender in the emotional labor process. Future research directions for scholars investigating the emotional labor process, its consequences, moderators and its cross‐cultural relevance are discussed.

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Stress and Health, v. 27, issue 4, p. 289-305