Angry, guilty, and conflicted: injustice toward coworkers heightens emotional labor through cognitive and emotional mechanisms

Sharmin Spencer, Deborah E Rupp
Journal of Applied Psychology 2009, 94 (2): 429-44
This study drew on fairness theory and affective events theory to explain why individuals' emotional labor is impacted by injustice extended toward coworkers by their customers. Pairs of participants worked side by side as customer-service representatives for a simulated organization. They interacted with fair/unfair customers as well as observed face-to-face service encounters between their coworker and fair/unfair customers. Results indicated that participants' emotional labor increased both as a result of unfairness directed toward themselves as well as toward their coworkers. These effects were mediated by both discrete emotions and fairness-related counterfactual thinking and were significant even when the participants themselves had been treated fairly.

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