Influence of leader and employee emotional labor on service performance: A hierarchical linear modeling approach
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Given the importance of emotional labor for service-oriented enterprises, it is highly valuable to explore how leader emotional labor affects the emotional labor strategy used by employees. This study was based on affective events theory and we used hierarchical linear modeling to explore cross-hierarchical relationships among leader emotional labor, employee emotional labor, and employee service performance. We tested the model with data from 534 employees and their immediate leaders working in 23 service-oriented enterprises in China. Results showed that leaders’ surface acting positively influenced employees’ surface acting, and leaders’ deep acting positively influenced employees’ deep acting and service performance. Employees’ deep acting mediated the relationship between leaders’ deep acting and employee service performance. Our findings enhance understanding of leader emotional labor and help to advance emotional labor theory in the leadership context.