Relationships Between Climate and Emotional Labor


A first year graduate student in the Industrial-Organizational Psychology Program, Courtney Nelson will be presenting a paper titled Relationships Between Climate and Emotional Labor: Moderating Effects of Affectivity at SIOP’s 24th Annual Conference in New Orleans, from April 2-4, 2009. To elaborate, Society for Industrial Organizational Psychology (SIOP) is the premier conference for I-O Psychologists across the country and each year only a select number of papers are accepted. Nelson worked on this paper with undergraduate colleagues.
The current study examined the roles of psychological climate and trait affectivity as antecedents to the experience of emotional labor. Results suggest that an interaction exists between climate and affectivity in the prediction of emotional labor, such that affectivity moderates the relationship between climate and emotional labor.

Many organizations regulate employee emotional displays to ensure the quality of service they are providing to customers. However, it is impossible to expect that employees’ emotions will always naturally conform to these standards. Discomfort resulting from false expression of emotion is called emotional labor (EL). This study examined environmental characteristics and individual traits that may predict the experience of EL. Overall, our findings suggest that individuals do not experience EL equally. Rather, combinations of environmental and personal characteristics predict the degree to which an individual experiences EL. These results have implications for personnel selection within service organizations.