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Psychological Capital, Emotional Labor and Exhaustion: Examining Mediating and Moderating Models

Abstract

This study examines the total moderation role that psychological capital plays in the integrative emotional labor model in which positive display rule perceptions predict emotional exhaustion both directly and indirectly via emotional labor strategies, i.e., deep acting and surface acting. The results reveal that psychological capital moderates the direct and indirect relationships between positive display rule perceptions and emotional exhaustion. Psychological capital also moderates the relationship between deep acting, but not surface acting, and emotional exhaustion. These findings suggest that psychological capital generally plays a positive role in the emotion regulation process. It is also noted that although psychological capital can reduce employees’ emotional exhaustion, employees with high psychological capital who practice surface acting may suffer increased emotional exhaustion. Suggestions are offered accordingly for organizations that wish to enhance their employees’ psychological capital and to reduce the negative effects of emotional labor.

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Correspondence to Wenyan Wang.

Ethics declarations

This study was funded by the Research Grants Council of Hong Kong SAR (Grant No. CUHK 14413314).

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

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Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

Conflict of Interest

Hongbiao Yin declares that he has no conflict of interest.

Wenyan Wang declares that she has no conflict of interest.

Shenghua Huang declares that she has no conflict of interest.

Hongli Li declares that he has no conflict of interest.

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Yin, H., Wang, W., Huang, S. et al. Psychological Capital, Emotional Labor and Exhaustion: Examining Mediating and Moderating Models. Curr Psychol 37, 343–356 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12144-016-9518-z

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Keywords

  • Psychological capital
  • Display rule perceptions
  • Emotional labor
  • Emotional exhaustion
  • Moderated mediation