Inclusive leadership and emotional labor strategies of frontline medical staff: Regulatory focus as a mediator

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Cui Li
Yuan Ni
Lei Gao
Tongfei Gu
Cite this article:  Li, C., Ni, Y., Gao, L., & Gu, T. (2022). Inclusive leadership and emotional labor strategies of frontline medical staff: Regulatory focus as a mediator. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 50(6), e11618.


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In this study we examined inclusive leadership as an important factor in promoting the emotional labor strategies of frontline medical staff, and investigated the role of work regulatory focus as a mediator in this relationship. Data were collected from 52 supervisors and 231 frontline medical staff employed at 15 hospitals in China. We found that inclusive leadership inspired frontline medical staff to engage more in deep acting than in surface acting. Further, work regulatory focus played a mediating role in the relationship between inclusive leadership and subordinates’ emotional labor strategy. Promotion focus positively affected deep acting and negatively affected surface acting, and prevention focus positively affected both surface acting and deep acting. Theoretical and practical management implications are discussed.

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