Surface acting and deep acting with customers are strategies for service performance, but evidence for their effectiveness is limited and mixed. We propose that deep acting is an effective strategy for most employees, whereas surface acting's effect on performance effectiveness depends on employee extraversion. In Study 1, restaurant servers who tended to use deep acting exceeded their customers' expectations and had greater financial gains (i.e., tips) regardless of extraversion, whereas surface acting improved tips only for extraverts, not for introverts. In Study 2, a call center simulation, deep acting improved emotional performance and increased the likelihood of extrarole service behavior beyond the direct and interactive effects of extraversion and other Big Five traits. In contrast, surface acting reduced emotional performance for introverts and not extraverts, but only during the extrarole interaction. We discuss implications for incorporating traits into emotional labor research and practice.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Applied Psychology