Show me The Money! Do Financial Rewards for Performance Enhance or Undermine The Satisfaction from Emotional Labor?

Alicia A. Grandey, Nai Wen Chi, Jennifer A. Diamond

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations

Abstract

Does satisfaction from performing emotional labor (EL)-maintaining positive emotions with customers as part of the job-depend on the financial rewards available for good service? According to a "controlling perspective" of rewards, satisfaction from performing EL may be undermined by financial incentives, but based on a "valuing perspective" of rewards, the relationship should be enhanced. We contribute to the literatures on EL and performance-contingent rewards with a "full-cycle" inquiry of this question conducted with (a) a field survey of diverse occupations in the United States, (b) an experimental call center simulation with U.S. college students, and (c) a multilevel study of Taiwanese sales firms. Overall, financial rewards for service performance enhanced, rather than undermined, satisfaction from EL requirements and effort (i.e., surface acting) with customers. Performing EL by modifying feelings (i.e., deep acting) was positively related to job satisfaction regardless of rewards, beyond personality traits. Results have implications for reward structures and enhancing job satisfaction with this increasingly common form of labor.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)569-612
Number of pages44
JournalPersonnel Psychology
Volume66
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Applied Psychology
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management

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