Consequences of work-related emotions : Analysis of a cross-section of public service workers

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39-53
Journal / PublicationAmerican Review of Public Administration
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2012
Externally publishedYes


In this article we investigate the influence of emotional labor on job satisfaction and burnout across a range of public service occupations. While prior studies in this genre have primarily focused on human services, occupations in this analysis range from routine clerical interactions to emotionally intense first-responder jobs. Despite this range, structural equation modeling shows that (a) emotion work increases job satisfaction as well as burnout; (b) emotive skills lead to an upsurge in job satisfaction and are inversely associated with burnout; and (c) the deleterious effect of emotional labor mainly occurs not with its performance, per se, but when workers must fake their feelings. It is this circumstance that produces an elevated risk of burnout. © The Author(s) 2012.

Research Area(s)

  • burnout, emotional labor, job satisfaction