Contextualizing Emotional Exhaustion and Positive Emotional Display: The Signaling Effects of Supervisors' Emotional Exhaustion and Service Climate

Lam, Catherine K.; Xu Huang; Janssen, Onne
March 2010
Journal of Applied Psychology;Mar2010, Vol. 95 Issue 2, p368
Academic Journal
In this study, we investigated how supervisors' emotional exhaustion and service climate jointly influence the relationship between subordinates' emotional exhaustion and their display of positive emotions at work. Using data from frontline sales employees and their immediate supervisors in a fashion retailer, we hypothesized and found that under the condition of a less positive service climate, subordinates' emotional exhaustion was more negatively related to their positive emotional display when supervisors' emotional exhaustion was higher rather than lower; this interaction effect of subordinates' and supervisors' emotional exhaustion was not significant in a more positive service climate. These results suggest that service climate and supervisors' emotional exhaustion provide emotionally exhausted employees with important information cues about the possible availability of compensatory resources they need to uphold their efforts to display service-focused emotions.


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