The Role of Occupational Emotional Labor Requirements on the Surface Acting–Job Satisfaction Relationship

Devasheesh P. Bhave, Theresa M. Glomb

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

94 Scopus citations


In this study we employ two distinct lenses of emotional labor—EL as occupational requirements and EL as intrapsychic processes of surface acting—and examine their relationship with job satisfaction. In a large, occupationally diverse sample, results indicate that occupational EL requirements are positively related to job satisfaction, whereas surface acting is negatively related to job satisfaction. Additionally, occupational EL requirements have a cross-level moderation effect on the relationship between surface acting and job satisfaction. Nonlinear effects are also observed for surface acting: the initial negative relationship of surface acting with job satisfaction is exacerbated at high levels of surface acting. Overall, this study enriches current research findings by incorporating the role of the occupational context, and provides insight into alternative evaluations of EL.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)722-741
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Management
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2016

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This article was accepted under the editorship of Deborah E. Rupp. We are grateful to Joyce Bono, Eugene Kim, Amit Kramer, Alex Lefter, Anat Rafaeli, Tao Yang, and Zhen Zhang for their insightful feedback and to the organization and participants for the survey data. We also thank Deborah Rupp and the anonymous reviewers for guidance and constructive comments throughout the review process. An earlier version of this manuscript was presented at the Academy of Management Conference in Philadelphia, 2007. Devasheesh P. Bhave gratefully acknowledges support from the Fonds de recherche du Québec - Société et la cultures.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2013, © The Author(s) 2013.


  • emotion regulation
  • emotional labor
  • job satisfaction
  • occupational emotional labor requirements
  • surface acting


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