The effects of emotional labor on frontline employee creativity

Zizhen Geng, Chao Liu, Xinmei Liu, Jie Feng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this study is to empirically test and extend knowledge of the effects of emotional labor of frontline service employee. Design/methodology/approach – The authors examined the effects of emotional labor (surface acting and deep acting) on frontline employee creativity, as well as the mediating effects of different kinds of job stress (hindrance stress and challenge stress) on the relationship between emotional labor and creativity. The research hypotheses were tested using data collected from 416 service employee– supervisor dyads in 82 Chinese local restaurants. Findings – Results show that surface acting is negatively related to and deep acting is positively related to frontline employee creativity; surface acting is positively related to hindrance stress, while deep acting is positively related to challenge stress; and hindrance stress mediates the relationship between surface acting and creativity. Originality/value – This study extends the consequences of emotional labor to frontline employee creativity from a cognitive perspective. It also advances knowledge about the effects of emotional labor on stress by classifying different kinds of job stress caused by different cognitive appraisals of surfacing acting and deep acting, and revealing the role of hindrance stress as psychological mechanism through which surface acting affects creativity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1046-1064
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management
Volume26
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 7 2014
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management

Keywords

  • Challenge stress
  • Creativity
  • Deep acting
  • Emotional labor
  • Frontline employee
  • Hindrance stress
  • Job stress
  • Mediating effect
  • Service employee
  • Service industry
  • Surface acting

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