نقش خوداثربخشی در انجام کار هیجانی
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|26256||2006||14 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||6981 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Journal of Vocational Behavior, Volume 69, Issue 2, October 2006, Pages 222–235
This study used a sample of 154 cabin attendants to examine the role of self-efficacy in the performance of emotion work. On the basis of the literature, we hypothesized that self-efficacy would have a moderating influence on the relationship between emotional job demands (i.e., feeling rules and emotionally charged interactions with passengers) and emotional dissonance, and on the relationship between emotional dissonance and well-being (emotional exhaustion and work engagement). In addition, we predicted that emotional dissonance mediates the relationship between emotional job demands and well-being. The results of a series of hierarchical multiple regression analyses generally supported these hypotheses. Results confirmed that emotionally charged interactions with passengers are related to emotional exhaustion and engagement through their influence on emotional dissonance. Furthermore, self-efficacy buffers the relationship between emotional job demands and emotional dissonance, and the relationship between emotional dissonance and work engagement (but not exhaustion).
Flight attendants are among the prototypical type of employees to perform emotion work (Hochschild, 1983). Cabin staff has to deal with emotionally demanding interpersonal interactions, including demanding, drunk, and sometimes even aggressive passengers (e.g., Ballard et al., 2004). An internal assessment within the airline company where this study has been conducted revealed that more than half of the cabin staff had been confronted with violence, discrimination or sexual intimidation by passengers (see also, Swanton, 1989). In addition, cabin attendants have to attend to organizational prescriptions and requirements with regard to emotional display that can be summoned as feeling rules. These (unwritten) rules prescribe when and which type of emotional display is appropriate in specific work environments. Friendliness, empathy, and cheerfulness are among the typical feeling rules that apply to the interactions between flight attendants and their passengers. While the expression of these emotions is in most cases a spontaneous process that does not cost any effort ( Ashfort and Humphrey, 1993 and Zapf et al., 1999), some situations call for the stimulation or suppression of emotions that may be in conflict with truly felt emotions. This discrepancy between felt and displayed emotions has been referred to as emotional dissonance ( Zapf et al., 2001 and Zapf et al., 1999). Emotional demands, feeling rules, and emotional dissonance can be considered as the core components of emotion work ( Hochschild, 1983). The central aim of this study is to gain more insight in the relationship between emotion work and employee well-being. Previous studies have produced mixed findings regarding this relationship, with some studies showing positive relationships between emotion work and well-being (Adelmann, 1995 and Ashfort and Humphrey, 1993), and other studies showing negative relationships (Abraham, 1998, Brotheridge and Lee, 1998, Heuven and Bakker, 2003, Zapf et al., 1999 and Zapf et al., 2001). We will argue that self-efficacy, i.e., the belief that one can successfully perform novel or difficult tasks or cope with adversity (e.g., Bandura, 1986 and Schwartzer, 1992), can explain these inconsistent findings. 1.1. Burnout and work engagement Although previous research has demonstrated that burnout is not restricted to human service professions (e.g., Maslach, Schaufeli, & Leiter, 2001), burnout complaints have been found to be more prevalent among “people-workers” than among employees in non-service professions (Schaufeli & Enzmann, 1998). Apparently, there is something specific about human interactions at work that may cause burnout. In the original definition of the syndrome, burnout was even restricted to people-work: “Burnout is a syndrome of emotional exhaustion, depersonalisation, and reduced personal accomplishment that may occur among people who do “people work” of some kind” (Maslach & Jackson, 1986, p. 7). Increasing empirical evidence shows that job demands are the most important predictors of the emotional exhaustion component of burnout, while lacking job resources are the most important predictors of depersonalisation (or disengagement) and reduced personal accomplishment (e.g., Bakker et al., 2004, Bakker et al., 2003 and Demerouti et al., 2001). Since the focus of the present study is on emotional job demands, we will focus on emotional exhaustion. Emotional exhaustion refers to feelings of being emotionally overextended, drained by contacts with other people one is working with (e.g., customers), and depleted of one’s resources. Work engagement refers to a ‘positive, affective motivational state of fulfilment that is characterized by vigor, dedication, and absorption’ ( Schaufeli and Bakker, 2003 and Schaufeli et al., 2002). Burnout and engagement have been conceptualised as two opposite poles of one continuum ( González-Roma, Schaufeli, Bakker, & Lloret, in press). Accordingly, burnout has been defined as an erosion of engagement ( Maslach et al., 2001). However, others have claimed that even though burnout and engagement can be considered as each other’s opposites, their operationalization merits two distinct constructs ( Schaufeli & Bakker, 2003). 1.2. Emotion work The spectacular growth of the service sector has resulted in a growing attention for the consequences of performing emotion work. The majority of studies focus on the detrimental effects of emotion work for health and well-being (e.g., Brotheridge and Grandey, 2002, Brotheridge and Lee, 1998 and Zerbe, 2000). However, some authors have illuminated the positive effects of emotion work. For example, Wharton (1993) found employees in emotion work jobs to be more satisfied with their jobs than workers in professions in which interactions with clients were not a central part of the work role. Emotion work offers employees the possibility for self-expression ( Adelmann, 1995), for using and developing emotional intelligence and for evoking positive interpersonal encounters with recipients. Hence, it is likely that potentially emotion work may lead to engagement. Focussing more closely on the three aspects of emotion work that are central to the present study (i.e., emotionally charged interactions with recipients, feeling rules, and the structural discrepancy between felt and displayed emotions), we may notice that emotional dissonance has been consistently and unequivocally related to burnout across a wide variety of human service professions (e.g., Abraham, 1998, Brotheridge and Lee, 1998, Heuven and Bakker, 2003, Zapf et al., 1999 and Zapf et al., 2001). Emotional dissonance emerges when emotions are expressed that are not truly felt (e.g., Abraham, 1998; Morris & Feldman, 1997). This discrepancy has been studied in work settings in which employees dealing with clients need to conform to certain display rules that may not be in accordance with their true, actually felt emotions. For example, Heuven and Bakker (2003) found that the structural discrepancy between the inner feelings and the positive emotional display rule in the job of cabin attendants was, more than social and cognitive stressors, predictive of burnout complaints. With regard to emotional job demands, the definition, operationalization, and research findings in relation to burnout are less clear-cut. One should notice that there is inconsistent empirical evidence with regard to the predictive value of emotional job demands for emotional exhaustion (Schaufeli & Enzmann, 1998). The inconsistency in these findings may be explained by the differential definitions and operationalisations of emotional demands, which are often adapted to the specificities of the research population. For example, Le Blanc, Bakker, Peeters, Van Heesch, and Schaufeli (2001)—in their study among oncology nurses—refer to emotional demands as emotionally charged interactions with cancer patients (i.e., confrontation with suffering or death), while Lewis and Haviland (2003) understand emotional demands as the organizational requirements to comply with certain feeling rules. However, consistent in these operationalisations is that emotional job demands are rooted in the interactions between employees and recipients and that the frequency of these interactions is crucial. Therefore, in the present study, we propose to extend the concept of emotional demands by including both feeling rules and emotionally charged interactions with recipients. In addition to differences in definitions and operationalizations, the inconsistent findings regarding the relationship between emotional job demands and emotional exhaustion may partly be explained by the mediating role of emotional dissonance. For example, Brotheridge and Lee (1998) argue that emotional demands do not directly result in emotional exhaustion, but only do so through their relationship with emotional dissonance. That is, emotionally charged interactions with clients particularly lead to burnout if such demands lead to emotional dissonance. This view is supported by empirical evidence. For example, Lewig and Dollard (2003) found that the relationship between emotional demands (operationalized as feeling rules) and emotional exhaustion among call center employees was fully mediated by emotional dissonance. Bakker and Heuven (submitted for publication) found in their study among both nurses and police officers that emotionally demanding interactions with recipients may result in emotional dissonance which, in turn, leads to job burnout. On the basis of these findings and theoretical considerations, we expect emotional dissonance to play a mediating role in the relationship between emotional job demands (i.e., feeling rules and emotionally charged interactions) on the one hand and emotional exhaustion and work engagement on the other. Thus, we predict that as a result of emotionally charged interactions with passengers and the need to comply with feeling rules, flight attendants will experience a discrepancy between felt and displayed emotions which, in turn, increases emotional exhaustion and decreases work engagement. Hypothesis 1. Emotional job demands (i.e., feeling rules and emotionally charged interactions) are related to emotional exhaustion and work engagement through emotional dissonance. However, this hypothesis still leaves unexplained why some employees experience a discrepancy between felt and displayed emotions as a result of emotional job demands, whereas others do not. The present study aims to explore why emotional dissonance may evoke feelings of emotional exhaustion and decrease work engagement among some flight attendants, but not others. In the present study, we focus on the role of self-efficacy as a possible explanatory factor. 1.3. The present study: Emotion work-related self-efficacy In this study, we focus on the role of self-efficacy in buffering the negative consequences of emotion work. According to social cognitive theory (Bandura, 1996), self-efficacy, defined as the “beliefs in one’s capabilities to organize and execute the course of action required to produce given attainments” (p. 3) both reduces stress and increases motivation when facing difficult, novel or threatening tasks such as emotionally charged client interactions. In the present study we will focus on a specific form of work-related self-efficacy, namely the belief in one’s abilities to successfully perform emotion work. We call this specific self-efficacy emotion work-related self-efficacy. We will focus on both the direct and buffering effects of self-efficacy. First, with regard to its direct effect, we expect individuals with high levels of self-efficacy to perceive emotional job demands as less demanding than their low-efficacious colleagues because the first group is challenged rather than stressed by difficult, new and changing tasks and situations (Gist & Mitchell, 1992). Self-efficacious individuals hold stronger beliefs in their ability to successfully perform tasks situations (including emotion work), set more challenging goals for themselves, invest more, persist longer and are better in dealing with failing experiences than persons low in self-efficacy (Bandura, 1996). Similarly, we expect self-efficacy to be negatively correlated with emotional dissonance. Individuals with high levels of self-efficacy are found to use different and more effective coping strategies than individuals low in self-efficacy (Lazarus & Folkman, 1984). Conceptualising emotional dissonance as a dysfunctional coping strategy, since it has detrimental effects for health and well-being, we expect to find a negative relationship between self-efficacy and emotional dissonance. Highly self-efficacious individuals are found to be less anxious and frustrated and suffer less from stressful situations (Bandura, 1977 and Bandura, 1986). In sum, we expect self-efficacy to be negatively related to emotional job demands, emotional dissonance, and emotional exhaustion, and to be positively related to engagement. Second, we expect self-efficacy to have buffering effects on the relationships between our model variables. We draw on Schaubroeck and Merritt (1997) to support this hypothesis. They empirically demonstrated how the contradictory findings of Karasek’s demand-control model could be explained using self-efficacy. That is, the predicted demand × control interaction effect was only found for highly self-efficacious individuals (see also De Rijk et al., 1998 and Salanova et al., 2002). These individuals use control to successfully deal with demanding tasks which makes them less vulnerable to stress-reactions. Applied to emotion work, Abraham (1998) states that when confronted with emotional dissonance, an employee may or may not effectively exercise the discretion of action provided by the job depending on whether he or she has sufficient confidence in his or her capabilities to effect an appropriate response. In contrast, for individuals low in self-efficacy, high levels of control only resulted in additional stress since they have difficulties coping with challenging and new tasks for which they have the discretory power and responsibility, thereby rejecting the interaction hypothesis of the DC-model. These results were founded in Salanova et al. (2002) were a 3-way interaction effect of job demands, control, and self-efficacy was showed. Building on these results, we expect self-efficacy to increase the explanatory power of our model. Extending the findings of Schaubroeck and Merritt (1997), highly efficacious individuals are expected to be generally better able to effectively and successfully use and generate resources in their working environment to deal with demanding tasks (Green and Rodgers, 2001, Salanova et al., 2002 and Schaubroeck and Merritt, 1997). For example, Bandura (1986) found that individuals with high levels of self-efficacy are better able to solve threatening and difficult situations than low-efficacious persons. If we would translate these findings to the situation on board of an airplane, this would imply that a highly efficacious flight attendant is more likely to successfully solve a conflict situation with a passenger or cope better with other types of emotionally demanding interactions. We thus expect highly efficacious flight attendants to use effective coping strategies and resources to successfully deal with the emotional job demands of their work: Hypothesis 2. Emotion work-related self-efficacy has a moderating influence on the relationship between emotional job demands and emotional dissonance. More specifically, we predict that emotional job demands will only show a positive relationship with emotional dissonance for low-efficacious employees. In addition, we hypothesize that self-efficacy will have a moderating effect on the relationship between emotional dissonance and the outcome variables (emotional exhaustion and engagement). Previous research had showed that efficacy beliefs mediated the relationship between job demands and burnout/engagement (Salanova, Grau, Llorens, & Schaufeli, 2001) and task demands and collective engagement (Salanova, Llorens, Cifre, Martínez, & Schaufeli, 2003). Also employees working in the service industry experience some form of emotional dissonance in their client contacts, but this discrepancy between felt and displayed emotions does not necessarily need to result in harmful effects for employee’s health, well-being, and motivation (e.g., Heuven & Bakker, 2003). In the current study, we want to examine the role of self-efficacy in explaining the differentiating effects of “healthy” and “unhealthy” forms of emotional dissonance. One may argue that highly efficacious individuals can use emotional dissonance as a functional coping strategy to protect their own health and well-being. That is, expressing positive feelings in client interactions may be consciously used as a professional shield for protecting true and private feelings (see Heuven & Bakker, 2003), or as an emotion-management strategy to actually feel more positive inside (Abraham, 1998). Therefore, we hypothesize that for individuals with high levels of self-efficacy emotional dissonance will not have adverse effects on exhaustion and engagement, while their low-efficacious colleagues will be drained from energy and become disengaged from showing emotions that are not truly felt: Hypothesis 3. Emotion work-related self-efficacy has a moderating effect on the relationship between emotional dissonance and emotional exhaustion, and between emotional dissonance and engagement. More specifically, we predict that high levels of emotional dissonance will have a positive relationship with emotional exhaustion and a negative relationship with work engagement for those individuals who have low levels of self-efficacy.