Emotional Labor: The Role of Employee Acting Strategies on Customer Emotional Experience and Subsequent Buying Decisions

Chaoying Tang, Craig R. Seal, Stefanie E. Naumann, Krystal Miguel


Prior research has demonstrated the impact of employee emotional labor strategies (deep and surface acting) on customer behavioral intentions. However, there is limited data on the impact of emotional labor strategy on potential intervening variables and on actual buying decisions. This study extends the prior research by examining the effect of employee emotional labor strategies on customers’ emotional experiences and actual customer purchasing decisions. Data were collected from 294 employee-customer pairs from retail cell phone stores in China. Results indicated that choice of strategy (deep or surface) does significantly impact purchase decisions. In addition, the relationship between strategy and purchase is mediated by the customer's emotional experience.

Keywords: Emotion; emotional labor; deep acting; surface acting

JEL Classifications: M 

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