Emotional labor theory has conceptualized emotional display rules as shared norms governing the expression of emotions at work. Using a sample of registered nurses working in different units of a hospital system, we provided the first empirical evidence that display rules can be represented as shared, unit-level beliefs. Additionally, controlling for the influence of dispositional affectivity, individual-level display rule perceptions, and emotion regulation, we found that unit-level display rules are associated with individual-level job satisfaction. We also showed that unit-level display rules relate to burnout indirectly through individual-level display rule perceptions and emotion regulation strategies. Finally, unit-level display rules also interacted with individual-level dispositional affectivity to predict employee use of emotion regulation strategies. We discuss how future research on emotional labor and display rules, particularly in the health care setting, can build on these findings.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Applied Psychology
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health