Date of Award

8-2010

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Legacy Department

Industrial and Organizational Psychology

Advisor

Britt, Thomas W

Committee Member

Sinclair , Robert R

Committee Member

Rosopa , Patrick

Committee Member

Moore , D D

Abstract

This dissertation examined the role of customer service representative mood in predicting emotional labor demands which subsequently predicted ego depletion and customer satisfaction ratings and tip percentage. Organizations require employees to display a positive mood or emotion and generating organizationally mandated positive emotions to display to customers requires emotion regulation which can be quite taxing for employees. Indeed, emotion regulation, a form of self-regulation, has been experimentally linked to a state similar to exhaustion called ego depletion. As such, employee mood, emotional labor and subsequent ego depletion are likely to play a role in customer ratings of satisfaction. A study was conducted that examined the interplay of employee mood, emotion regulation strategy and ego depletion on customer satisfaction over the course of an entire shift. Results supported some of the hypotheses. An interaction of surface acting and time mediated the interaction of mood and time to predict ego depletion such that mood generally decreased throughout the evening resulting in higher levels of surface acting later in the shift which resulted in higher levels of ego depletion at the end of the shift. Additionally, mood and time interacted to predict deep acting such that the relationship between mood and deep acting was initially negative but became more positive as the evening wore on suggesting deep acting causes one's mood to shift from more negative to more positive. The discussion focuses on energy as a resource gained through deep acting and depleted through surface acting.

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