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Psychol Health. 2001 Sep;16(5):527-45. doi: 10.1080/08870440108405525.

Emotion work and job stressors and their effects on burnout.

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a J.W. Goethe-University , Frankfurt , Germany.


This article reports research on emotion work, organizational as well as social variables as predictors of job burnout. In burnout research, high emotional demands resulting from interactions with clients are seen as a core characteristic of service jobs. However, these emotional demands were seldom measured in a direct manner. It was only recently that emotional demands were included in studies on burnout referring to the concept of emotion work (emotional labor). Emotion work is defined as the requirement to display organizationally desired emotions. A multi-dimensional concept of emotion work was used to analyze the relations of emotion work variables with organizational and social variables and their joint effect on burnout in five samples including employees working in children's homes, kindergartens, hotels, banks and call centers. Emotion work variables correlated with organizational stressors and resources. However, hierarchical multiple regression showed a unique contribution of emotion work variables in the prediction of burnout. Moreover, the analysis of interaction effects of emotional dissonance and organizational and social stressors showed that for service professionals, the coincidence of these stressors led to exaggerated levels of emotional exhaustion and depersonalization.


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