Testing a multidimensional model of emotional labor, emotional abilities, and exhaustion: A multilevel, multimethod approach. By: Scherer, Sonja; Zapf, Dieter; Beitler, Lena A.; Trumpold, Kai. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology. Feb2020, Vol. 25 Issue 1, p46-67. 22p.

Addressing health-related risks for employees in the service sector, we identify emotion regulation (ER) ability-a dimension of emotional intelligence-as a promising resource with potential for facilitating emotional labor. We use an event-sampling design to investigate whether person-level ER ability moderates situation-dependent relationships of three different emotional labor strategies with emotional exhaustion in a beneficial way. Study 1 included data from 861 customer interactions from 187 service employees in the financial sector. All measures were self-ratings. Study 2 included 479 interactions from 101 employees in different service occupations; following a multimethod approach, ER ability was additionally assessed with peer ratings and an objective test. Controlling for age and gender, hierarchical linear modeling analyses indicated main effects of event-level surface acting and automatic regulation on emotional exhaustion in both studies. Multilevel results showed that ER ability-in contrast to the global score of emotional intelligence-moderated relationships of three different emotional labor strategies with exhaustion. In particular, resource loss via surface acting was buffered. Overall, findings contribute to knowledge on emotional abilities in emotional labor processes, and differences in operationalizing and assessing ER ability. Practical implications concerning employee health are given.