Emotional labor in the hospitality industry: The influence of contextual factors

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118 Scopus citations


Given the significance of emotional labor (EL) for hospitality service firms, it is highly valuable to examine the contextual factors that affect the EL strategy undertaken by hospitality employees. Utilizing a qualitative research method, this exploratory study reveals four situational and organizational factors that affect employees' type of EL strategy: (1) the manager-employee relationship; (2) the job's physical demands (3) the quality of EL training; and (4) the frequency, duration and repetition of guest-employee encounters. The findings provide interesting theoretical insights and useful practical implications with regard to the means to establish a suitable work environment that encourages hospitality employees to perform genuine or deep acting while minimizing incidents of surface acting. While the study was conducted in Israel and its conclusions should be generalized with caution, it sheds light on (contextual) aspects of EL that receive little attention in the literature.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)150-158
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Hospitality Management
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2014


  • Deep acting
  • Emotional labor
  • Employees' coping strategy
  • Job outcomes
  • Surface acting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management
  • Strategy and Management


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