Understanding Emotional Labor at the Individual Level

  • Seung-Bum YangEmail author
  • Hyun Jung Lee


This chapter discusses emotive skills through the lens of individual performance. After setting forth the parameters of emotional intelligence and the Big Five personality traits, two sets of correlations are reported. The relationships between emotional intelligence and emotional labor in eight nations are shown, as are the relationships between the Big Five personality traits and emotional labor in those nations. Correlations reveal significant variation across countries, indicating that cultural context exerts influences above and beyond what is expected from traditional theories of personality and emotional intelligence. Although both are foundational qualities that enable the performance of emotional labor, these analyses demonstrate that national culture has a powerful influence.


  1. Asendorpf, Jens B., and Susanne Wilpers. 1998. “Personality Effects on Social Relationships.” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 74 (6): 1531–44.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Austin, Elizabeth J., Timothy C. P. Dore, and Katharine M. O’Donovan. 2008. “Associations of Personality and Emotional Intelligence with Display Rule Perceptions and Emotional Labour.” Personality and Individual Differences 44 (3): 679–88.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bar-On, Reuben M. 1997a. Bar-On Emotional Quotient Inventory: User’s Manual. Toronto, ON: Multi-Health Systems.Google Scholar
  4. Bar-On, Reuben M. 1997b. Bar-On Emotional Quotient Inventory: Technical Manual. Toronto, ON: Multi-Health Systems.Google Scholar
  5. Bar-On, Reuben M. 2000. “Emotional and Social Intelligence: Insights from the Emotional Quotient Inventory.” In The Handbook of Emotional Intelligence: Theory, Development, Assessment, and Application at Home, School, and in the Workplace, edited by R. Bar-On and J. D. A. Parker, 363–388. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  6. Bar-On, Reuben M., and David. A. Kenny. 1986. “The Moderator–Mediator Variable Distinction in Social Psychological Research: Conceptual, Strategic, and Statistical Considerations. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 51 (6): 1173–82.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Basim, H. Nejat, Memduh Begenirbas, and Rukiye Can Yalçin. 2013. “Effects of Teacher Personalities on Emotional Exhaustion: Mediating Role of Emotional Labor.” Educational Science: Theory & Practice 13 (3): 1488–96.Google Scholar
  8. Brotheridge, Céleste M. 2006. “The Role of Emotional Intelligence and Other Individual Difference Variables in Predicting Emotional Labor Relative to Situational Demands.” Psicothema 18 (Suppl.): 139–44.Google Scholar
  9. Cheung, F. Y., and C. S. Tang. 2010. “Effects of Age, Gender, and Emotional Labor Strategies on Job Outcomes: Moderated Mediation Analyses.” Applied Psychology Health and Well-Being 2 (3): 323–39.Google Scholar
  10. Costa, P. T., and R. McCrae. 1992. NEO PI-R Professional Manual. Odessa, FL: Psychological Assessment Resources.Google Scholar
  11. Dahling, J. J., and L. A. Perez. 2010. “Older Worker, Different Actor? Linking Age and Emotional Labor Strategies.” Personality and Individual Differences 48: 574–78.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Day, A., and S. Carroll. 2004. “Using an Ability-Based Measure of Emotional Intelligence to Predict Individual Performance, Group Performance, and Group Citizenship Behaviors.” Personality and Individual Differences 36: 1443–58.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Deepika, D. 2016. “Impact of Leader’s Emotional Intelligence and Transformational Behavior on Perceived Leadership Effectiveness: A Multiple Source View.” Business Perspectives & Research 4 (1): 27–40.Google Scholar
  14. Gardner, H. 1983. Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences. New York, NY: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  15. Gardner, H. 1995. How Are Kids Smart? Multiple Intelligences (M.I.) in the Classroom. Port Chester, NY: National Professional Resources.Google Scholar
  16. Goldberg, L. 1981. “Language and Individual Differences: The Search for Universals in Personality Lexicons.” In Review of Personality and Social Psychology, edited by L. Wheeler, 141–65. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  17. Goleman, Daniel. 1995. Emotional Intelligence. New York, NY: Bantam Books.Google Scholar
  18. Goleman, Daniel. 1998. Working with Emotional Intelligence. New York, NY: Bantam Books.Google Scholar
  19. Goleman, Daniel. 2005. Emotional Intelligence. New York, NY: Bantam Books.Google Scholar
  20. Gross, J. J., and R. W. Levenson. 1997. “Hiding Feelings: The Acute Effects of Inhibiting Negative and Positive Emotion.” Journal of Abnormal Psychology 106 (1): 95–103. Scholar
  21. Gunkel, Marjaana, Christopher Schlägel, and Robert L. Engle. 2014. “Culture’s Influence on Emotional Intelligence: An Empirical Study of Nine Countries.” Journal of International Management 20 (2): 256–74.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Guy, Mary E., and Hyun Jung Lee. 2015. “How Emotional Intelligence Mediates Emotional Labor in Public Service Jobs.” Review of Public Personnel Administration 35 (3): 261–77.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Heady, Ferrel. 1966. Public Administration: A Comparative Perspective. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.Google Scholar
  24. Higgs, M., and V. Dulewicz. 2014. “Antecedents of Well-Being: A Study to Examine the Extent to Which Personality and Emotional Intelligence Contribute to Well-Being.” International Journal of Human Resource Management 25 (5): 718–35.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Hochschild, Arlie R. 1983. The Managed Heart: Commercialization of Human Feeling. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  26. Hofstede, Geert, G. J. Hofstede, and M. Minkov. 2010. Cultures and Organizations: Software of the Mind. 3rd ed. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
  27. Hopfl, H., and S. Linstead. 1997. “Introduction: Learning to Feel and Feeling to Learn: Emotion and Learning in Organizations.” Management Learning 28 (1): 5–12.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Huang, X., S. C. H. Chan, W. Lam, and X. Nan. 2010. “The Joint Effect of Leader–Member Exchange and Emotional Intelligence on Burnout and Work Performance in Call Centers in China.” International Journal of Human Resource Management 21: 1124–44.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Joseph, Dana L., and Daniel A. Newman. 2010. “Emotional Intelligence: An Integrative Meta-Analysis and Cascading Model.” Journal of Applied Psychology 95 (1): 54–78.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Karim, J. 2010. “An Item Response Theory Analysis of Wong and Law Emotional Intelligence Scale.” Procedia—Social and Behavioral Sciences 2 (2): 4038–47.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Kiffin-Petersen, Sandra A., Catherine L. Jordan, and Geoffrey N. Soutar. 2011. “The Big Five, Emotional Exhaustion and Citizenship Behaviors in Service Settings: The Mediating Role of Emotional Labor.” Personality and Individual Differences 50 (1): 43–48.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Klingner, Donald E. 2015. “From Local to Global.” In Public Administration Evolving, edited by Mary E. Guy and Marilyn M. Rubin, 65–82. New York, NY: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Kulkarni, P. M., B. Janakiram, and D. N. S. Kumar. 2009. “Emotional Intelligence and Employee Performance as an Indicator for Promotion: A Study of Automobile Industry in the City of Belgaum, Karnataka, India.” International Journal of Business and Management 4 (4): 161–70.
  34. Landa, J. M. A., M. P. Martos, and E. Lopez-Zafra. 2010. “Emotional Intelligence and Personality Traits as Predictors of Psychological Well-Being in Spanish Undergraduates.” Social Behavior and Personality 38 (6): 783–93.Google Scholar
  35. Law, K. S., C. S. Wong, and L. J. Song. 2004. “The Construct and Criterion Validity of Emotional Intelligence and Its Potential Utility for Management Studies.” Journal of Applied Psychology 89 (3): 483–96.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Lee, Hyun Jung. 2013a. “An Empirical Analysis of the Relationship Between Emotional Influence and Emotion Work: An Examination of Public Service Employees. International Review of Public Administration 18 (2): 85–107.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Lee, Hyun Jung. 2013b. “The Relationship Between Emotional Intelligence and Altruism Among South Korean Central Government Officials.” Social Behavior and Personality 41 (10): 1667–80.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Lee, Hyun Jung. 2018. “How Emotional Intelligence Relates to Job Satisfaction and Burnout in Public Service Jobs.” International Review of Administrative Sciences 84 (4): 729–45.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Leuner, B. 1966. “Emotionale Intelligenz und Emanzipation. [Emotional Intelligence and Emancipation].” Praxis der Kinderpsychologie und Kinderpsychiatrie 15: 183–203.Google Scholar
  40. Mayer, J. D., and P. Salovey. 1997. “What Is Emotional Intelligence?” In Emotional Development and Emotional Intelligence: Educational Implications, edited by P. Salovey and D. J. Sluyter, 3–34. New York, NY: HarperCollins.Google Scholar
  41. Mayer, J. D., P. Salovey, and D. R. Caruso. 2004. “Emotional Intelligence: Theory, Findings, and Implications.” Psychological Inquiry 15: 197–215.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Mayer, J. D., P. Salovey, and D. R. Caruso. 2008. “Emotional Intelligence: New Ability or Eclectic Traits?” American Psychologist 63 (6): 503–17.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. McCrae, R. R., and O. P. John. 1992. “An Introduction to the Five-Factor Model and Its Applications.” Journal of Personality 60 (2): 175–215.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. McCrae, R. R., and P. T. Costa. 1997. “Personality Trait Structure as a Human Universal.” American Psychologist 52 (2): 509–16.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. McCrae, R. R., and P. T. Costa. 2003. Personality in Adulthood: A Five-Factor Theory Perspective. 2nd ed. New York, NY: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  46. Moon, Tae Won, and Won-Moo Hur. 2011. “Emotional Intelligence, Emotional Exhaustion, and Job Performance.” Social Behavior and Personality: An International Journal 39 (8): 1087–96. Scholar
  47. Mróz, J., and K. Kaleta. 2016. “Relationships Between Personality, Emotional Labor, Work Engagement and Job Satisfaction in Service Professions.” International Journal of Occupational Medicine and Environmental Health 29 (5): 767–82.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Newman, M., and S. A. Smith. 2004. “Integration of Emergency Risk Management into West Australian Indigenous Communities.” Australian Journal of Emergency Management 19 (1): 10–15.Google Scholar
  49. O’Boyle, Ernest H., Jr., Ronald H. Humphrey, Jeffrey M. Pollack, Thomas H. Hawver, and Paul A. Story. 2011. “The Relation Between Emotional Intelligence and Job Performance: Meta Analysis.” Journal of Organizational Behavior 32 (5): 788–818. Scholar
  50. Opengart, Rose. 2005. “Emotional Intelligence and Emotion Work: Examining Constructs from an Interdisciplinary Framework.” Human Resource Development Review 4: 49–62.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Petrides, K. V. 2009. “Psychometric Properties of the Trait Emotional Intelligence Questionnaire (TEIQue).” In Assessing Emotional Intelligence: Theory, Research, and Applications, edited by C. Stough, D. H. Saklofske, and J. D. A. Parker, 85–101. New York, NY: Springer.Google Scholar
  52. Petrides, K. V. 2011. “Ability and Trait Emotional Intelligence.” In The Wiley-Blackwell Handbook of Individual Differences, edited by T. Chamorro-Premuzic, S. von Stumm, and A. Furnham, 656–78. New York, NY: Wiley.Google Scholar
  53. Petrides, K. V., and A. Furnham. 2000. “On the Dimensional Structure of Emotional Intelligence.” Personality and Individual Differences 29 (2): 313–20.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Rathi, Neerpal, Deepti Bhatnagar, and Sushanta Kumar Mishra. 2013. “Effect of Emotional Labor on Emotional Exhaustion and Work Attitudes Among Hospitality Employees in India.” Journal of Human Resources in Hospitality & Tourism 12 (3): 273–90. Scholar
  55. Riggs, Fred W. 1968. “Administration and a Changing World Environment.” Public Administration Review 28 (4): 348–61.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Salovey, P., and J. D. Mayer. 1990. “Emotional Intelligence.” Imagination, Cognition, and Personality 9 (3): 185–211.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Taras, V., B. L, Kirkman, and P. Steel 2010. “Examining the Impact of Culture’s Consequences: A Three-Decade, Multilevel, Meta-Analytic Review of Hofstede’s Cultural Value Dimensions.” Journal of Applied Psychology 95 (3): 405–39. Scholar
  58. Thorndike, Edward Lee. 1920. “Intelligence and Its Uses.” Harper’s Magazine 140: 227–35.Google Scholar
  59. Tupes, E. C., and R. E. Cristal. 1961. Recurrent Personality Factors Based on Trait Ratings (ASD-TR-61–97). Lackland Air Force Base, TX: U.S. Air Force.Google Scholar
  60. Vandewaa, E. A., D. L. Turnipseed, and G. Cain. 2016. “Panacea or Placebo? An Evaluation of the Value of Emotional Intelligence in Healthcare Workers.” Journal of Health and Human Services Administration 38 (4): 438–77.Google Scholar
  61. Waldo, Dwight. 1955. The Study of Public Administration. Garden City, NY: Doubleday and Company.Google Scholar
  62. Wong, C. S., and K. S. Law. 2002. “The Effects of Leader and Follower Emotional Intelligence on Performance and Attitude: An Exploratory Study.” The Leadership Quarterly 13: 243–74.Google Scholar
  63. Yang, Seung-Bum, Mary E. Guy, Aisha Azhar, Chih-Wei Hsieh, Hyun Jung Lee, Xiaojun Lu, and Sharon H. Mastracci. 2018. “Comparing Apples and Manzanas: Instrument Development and Measurement Invariance in a Cross-National Analysis of Emotional Labor in Public Service Jobs.” International Journal of Work Organization and Emotion. 9(3): 264–82. Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Public AdministrationKonkuk UniversitySeoulSouth Korea
  2. 2.Department of Public AdministrationMyongJi UniversitySeoulSouth Korea

Personalised recommendations