Although ample research has been conducted to explore employee emotional labor and customer incivility at the workplace, there is limited literature examining the role of surface acting in the stressor-strain relationships associated with customer incivility. The current study focuses on the mediating effect of surface acting between customer mistreatment-emotional exhaustion and customer mistreatment-service sabotage relationships. Based on several theoretical models regarding mental and emotional resources, including the Conservation of Resources Theory and Ego Depletion Theory, it is hypothesized that a significant mediating effect of surface acting can be identified in the customer mistreatment-emotional exhaustion and customer mistreatment-service sabotage relationships. A total of 173 UCF-affiliated participants with at least a month of service working experience were recruited from the UCF SONA system and surveyed their emotional stress and interaction with customers at work to test the hypotheses. The concept of service sabotage was studied at both the individual and environmental levels to obtain a comprehensive understanding of the relationships. Deep acting as a different type of emotional labor was also inspected in the current study. Results revealed the significant relationships between surface acting and customer mistreatment, emotional exhaustion, as well as individual-level service sabotage. Results also supported the hypotheses regarding the mediating effect of surface acting on customer mistreatment predicting emotional exhaustion and individual-level service sabotage, but not environmental-level service sabotage. Theoretical and practical implications, limitations, future research directions are discussed.
Bachelor of Science (B.S.)
College of Sciences
Industrial Organizational Psychology
Fan, Jiani, "The Mediating Effect of Surface Acting on Mistreatment-Exhaustion and Mistreatment-Sabotage Relationships" (2022). Honors Undergraduate Theses. 1273.