Customer reactions to emotional labor: the roles of employee acting strategies and customer detection accuracy

M. Groth, Thorsten Hennig-Thurau, Gianfranco Walsh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

347 Citations (Scopus)


In this research, we extend emotional labor theories to the customer domain by
developing and testing a theoretical model of the effects of employee emotional labor on customer outcomes. Dyadic survey data from 285 service interactions between employees and customers show that employees’ emotional labor strategies of deep and surface acting differentially influence customers’ service evaluations and that customers’ accuracy in detecting employees’ strategies can intensify this impact. We also investigate the potential moderating effects of service type on the relationship between emotional labor and customer outcomes but find no support for such an effect.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)958-974
Number of pages17
JournalAcademy of Management Journal
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2009


  • emotional labor
  • customer outcomes
  • customer service

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