Employee Performance Outcomes and Burnout Following the Presentation-of-Self in Customer-Service Contexts

Catherine Prentice
Po-Ju Chen, University of Central Florida
Brian King


This study examines how emotional intelligence and occupational commitment have a moderating effect on the relationship between emotional labour and its potential outcomes. Two acting strategies reflect emotional labour, namely surface and deep acting, with burnout and performance as the prospective outcomes. Burnout is operationalized into emotional exhaustion, depersonalization and diminished personal achievement; whereas performance is operationalized into task performance and organizational citizenship behaviour (OCB). The study investigates employee responses from several tourism and hospitality organizations in Florida, USA. The results show that emotional labour relates most positively to task performance and to burnout in the case of surface acting. Tests of moderation show that occupational commitment enhances performance outcomes by facilitating emotional labour strategies, and the prevalence of higher emotional intelligence amongst employees reduces burnout. These findings contribute to the literature on emotional labour by incorporating emotional intelligence and occupational commitment as moderators and by incorporating OCBs within performance analyses.