Emotional labor and burnout: Comparing two perspectives of "people work."

2015-11-02 15:47:40
Emotional labor and burnout: Comparing two perspectives of "people work."
Publication date2002
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AbstractAlthough it has often been presumed that jobs involving “people work” (e.g., nurses, service workers) are emotionally taxing (Maslach & Jackson, 1982), seldom is the emotional component of these jobs explicitly studied. The current study compared two perspectives of emotional labor as predictors of burnout beyond the effects of negative affectivity: job-focused emotional labor (work demands regarding emotion expression) and employeefocused emotional labor (regulation of feelings and emotional expression). Significant differences existed in the emotional demands reported by five occupational groupings. The use of surface-level emotional labor, or faking, predicted depersonalization beyond thework demands. Perceiving the demand to display positive emotions and using deep-level regulation were associated with a heightened sense of personal accomplishment, suggesting positive benefits to this aspect ofwork. These findings suggest newantecedents of employee burnout and clarify the emotional labor literature by comparing different conceptualizations of this concept.
TagCloudemotional labor; personal accomplishment; burnout; antecedent;
Méthodoogy & Field of research (targeted population & number)238 full-time Canadian employees ; convenience sample, recruited through undergraduate business students who received a small sum of money for their assistance in recruitment ; sampling of occupational type consistedof human service workers (29), service/sales employees (143), managers (15), clerical staff (22), and physical laborers (29) //////////// First, we compared the emotional demands and levels of emotional control perceived by employees in two forms of “people work” and three other occupational categories. Second, we assessed the operationalization of emotional labor as work requirements by assessing the relationship of job demands and emotional control with the three burnout dimensions. Third, we tested the additive value of operationalizing emotional labor as the employees’ process of modifying emotions and emotional expressions.
Discussionemployees in “people work” did not report significantly higher levels of emotional exhaustion than did respondents employed in other occupations ; Service/sales employees reported the highest overall mean ; Human service workers reported significantly lower levels of depersonalization and higher levels of personal accomplishment ; employees who experience a level of success in their work are more likely to invest in their performance ; physical laborers reported higher levels of depersonalization and diminished personal accomplishment relative to human service workers ; surface acting was significantly related to emotional exhaustion ; only sincere expressions have beneficial outcomes for employees
LimitesThe different sample sizes for each occupational group ; study was cross-sectional, so the direction of causality cannot be tested ; study did not include variables currently known to predict burnout
Ouverture / Perspectivelongitudinal studies to test the causal direction ; examine the contribution of emotion regulation processes in predicting burnout over and above previously tested predictors such as role stressors
ConclusionEmotional differences in the nature of “people work” ; results discourage the use of frequency of contact as the main predictor of emotional exhaustion ; emotional demands and emotion management styles can create positive outcomes, not just stress

Emotional labor and burnout: Comparing two perspectives of "people work."


  • 2015-10-20 22:03:59
    2015-11-02 15:47:40
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