Understanding the "Why" as Well as the "How": Service Performance is a Function of Prosocial Motives and Emotional Labor

Sarina M. Maneotis, Alicia A. Grandey, Autumn D. Krauss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations

Abstract

Which employees tend to better perform with customers? We suggest a combination of individual differences; specifically, we consider both why employees are working (prosocial motivation) and how (emotional labor). Deep acting should enhance the positive relationship between prosocial motivation and performance, while surface acting should dampen this relationship. Using a field sample of 214 grocery clerks and supervisor ratings of interpersonal performance with customers, we did not find the amplifying effect of deep acting. We do find the dampening effect for surface acting, such that surface acting buffers those with low prosocial motives, presumably by allowing them to "act" like they want to help others. This helps to explain the weak relationship of prosocial motives with performance and suggests implications for research and practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)80-97
Number of pages18
JournalHuman Performance
Volume27
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Applied Psychology
  • Psychology(all)
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management

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