Frontline hotel employees face a complex organizational environment that constantly makes multiple demands, creating a persistent trade-off between service as a key element of the organization’s strategy and other competing or even conflicting goals. This study proposes an integrated and unique way of discerning the relationship between service climate and service performance through the prism of surface and deep acting emotional labor and suggests a new dimension of the service climate—the service priority climate. Specifically, we examined employees’ use of emotional labor strategies as a mechanism that explains the relationship between service priority climate and service performance. We also investigated whether workload pressure influences this relationship. Using a multilevel, multisource study, we surveyed a sample of 245 hotel employees working in 39 departments and their direct managers. The results demonstrated that when employees regarded service as a priority compared with other competing goals, they used more deep acting emotional labor strategies, resulting in better service performance. However, this was apparent only when workload pressure was low. Implications for hospitality organizations are discussed.
- emotional labor
- service climate
- service performance
- workload pressure
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management