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J Occup Health Psychol. 2002 Jan;7(1):57-67.

Testing a conservation of resources model of the dynamics of emotional labor.

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  • 1Faculty of Adminstration, University of Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada.


This study uses S. E. Hobfoll's (1989) conservation of resources theory as a means of examining why emotional labor may or may not result in burnout. A model is developed that proposes that workers attempt to cope with role demands by performing surface or deep acting and that the effect of this expenditure of resources on worker burnout depends on the more immediate rewards of the service encounter and the application of internal and external resources specific to the needs at hand. This model is tested and confirmed using cross-sectional survey responses from 236 working adults. Research and practical implications are discussed.

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