Hotel service providers’ emotional labor…………. 1

Hotel service providers’ emotional labor: The antecedents and effects on burnout Hyun Jeong Kim! School of Hospitality Business Management, 471 Todd Hall, Washington State University, Pullman, WA 99164, USA Abstract The purpose of this study is to examine the antecedents and consequences of two emotional labor strategies (surface and deep acting) in the lodging industry. Variety, duration, and positive display rules are significant predictors of hotel service providers’ deep acting and negative display rules are related to service providers’ surface acting. Employees ohigh in neuroticism are more likely to fake their emotional expressions (surface acting) when dealing with guests and those high in extraversion are more likely to try hard to invoke the appropriate emotions (deep acting). Results further indicate that surface actors are more exhausted and cynical than deep actors and the mediating role of emotional labor between burnout and job and personality characteristics is found to be rather weak. Managerial implications for hotel operators are discussed. r 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. Keywords: Surface acting; Deep acting; Emotional labor; Job characteristics; Personality; Burnout 1. Introduction It is a common knowledge that hospitality front-line employees frequently encounter demanding and difficult customers. Although it is not a pleasant experience, hospitality service agents are often required to be polite and smile in front of the customers. Emotional labor takes place in this kind of service work situation. Emotional labor is the performance of various forms of emotion work in the context of paid employment (Hochschild, 1983). Pugh (2001) demonstrated the display of positive emotion by employees is related to customers’ positive affect after service transactions and evaluations of perceived service quality. Ashkanasy et al. (2002) asserted that positive emotional expression by service agents can have a favorable effect on customer retention, recovery, and satisfaction. Despite its benefit to a company’s bottom line, emotional labor can be detrimental to service providers both psychologically and physically. A growing body of work shows emotion work or emotional labor as one of the major causes of occupational stress and burnout (Brotheridge and Grandey, 2002; Grandey, 2003; Kruml and Geddes, 1997, 2000; Morris and Feldman, 1997; Pugliesi, 1999; Sharrad, 1992; Tolich, 1993; Wharton, 1993; Zapf et al., 2001). Becau