Impact of Personality on Adaptive Performance with Mediating Role of Emotional Labor: Testing a Mediated Moderated Model among Front-Line Female Hospitality Industry Employees in Pakistan.


This study examines the relationship between facets of emotional labor viz. surface acting and deep acting on adaptive performance with mediating role of emotional exhaustion among female hospitality staff in Pakistan. The major antecedents for emotional labor analyzed in the current study are big five personality dimensions as type of personality determines the choice of emotional labor strategy. The study also examines the mediating role of emotional labor strategies between all five dimensions of personality and emotional exhaustion relationship. The job of female staff in hospitality sector becomes more cumbersome in a masculine culture hence its moderating role was also examined. Although frequent regulation of emotions in service encounters is inherently stressful and thus more likely to lead to emotional exhaustion, emotional intelligence can help reduce the negative impact of stress arising from emotional labor. Thus moderating role of emotional intelligence was also examined.

The first questionnaire was administered on front-line female employees of hotels of Pakistan who were encouraged by their HR department head and/or immediate supervisor/head to complete questionnaire as they were requested to give permission to fill out the questionnaires. The respondents who have specific exposure, who serve as front-line service providers’ were requested individually to complete questionnaire. A total of 700 questionnaires were distributed, 513 questionnaires were received in which 42 questionnaires were incomplete hence 67.3 % response rate yielded as 471 questionnaires were used for analysis. The second questionnaire was administered on immediate supervisors who have to make evaluation regarding front-line female employees’ adaptive performance. Seventy six supervisors/heads of different hotels provided adaptive performance rating of 471 employees. Each supervisor evaluated almost six front-line female employees’ adaptive performance.

The results of the study show sufficient support for greater part of hypotheses. It shows that openness to experience personality dimension is negatively associated to surface acting as well as deep acting. Conscientious, extraversion and agreeableness personality dimensions are negatively associated to surface acting and positively connected to deep acting. Neuroticism dimension of personality is positively connected with surface acting and negatively associated with deep acting. It has been analyzed and found that three dimensions of personality (openness to experience, conscientiousness and extraversion) are positively associated with adaptive performance. Whereas, agreeableness has significant negative relation with adaptive performance and neuroticism is negatively connected with adaptive performance. Surface acting is positively associated to emotional exhaustion whereas deep acting is negatively connected with emotional exhaustion. Surface acting has significant negative impact on adaptive performance whereas deep acting has positive impact on adaptive performance. Results also show that there is no mediation of emotional labor (surface acting and deep acting) between most dimensions of personality and emotional exhaustion. The proposed mediating role of emotional labor between most of big five personality dimensions and emotional exhaustion was not found. As expected emotional intelligence moderates surface acting-emotional exhaustion relationship as well as deep acting-emotional exhaustion connection, whereas, masculinity did not moderate any proposed relationship. Lastly, it is also observed from the results that emotional exhaustion mediated the relationship between surface acting-adaptive performance and deep acting-adaptive performance. Theoretical as well as practical implications of the study have also been discussed. Moreover, limitations and future research directions are also given.

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