Wellbeing: causes and consequences of emotion regulation in work settings

V L Zammuner, C Galli
International Review of Psychiatry 2005, 17 (5): 355-64
Emotion regulation processes are a crucial aspect of the working role in jobs which require employee-customer interactions: What kinds of regulation processes are activated, with what frequency, and what are their correlates and consequences are important aspects to consider because of their potential implications for the well-being of individuals. To investigate these issues, a set of studies was carried out with Italian workers (N=769) performing service jobs in different sectors. Job-related, socio-demographic, and individual psychological variables were taken into account. The results confirmed the hypothesis that in service job-roles emotional labour (EL) is a component whose negative and positive implications for employees' well-being need to be considered. Emotional labour, embedded in a net of relationships with such job variables as frequency and duration of client-interaction, can result in high psychological costs for service workers. In particular, surface acting regulation was found to have a personal cost, indexed by the burnout dimensions of emotional exhaustion and depersonalization.

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