The effects of emotional display rules on flight attendants’ emotional labor strategy, job burnout and performance
This study investigates the effects of emotional display rules of an airline on the emotional labor strategies of flight attendants (i.e., deep acting, surface acting), job burnout, and work performance. Data were obtained from a survey of 230 flight attendants of a global airline company in South Korea. The results show that the emotional labor strategy performed by flight attendants plays an important role in mediating emotional display rules. Emotional display rules did not directly affect job burnout and work performance, but rather influenced the emotional labor strategy used by flight attendants. Among emotional labor strategies, deep acting enhanced job performance and reduced burnout, while surface acting improved work performance but increased burnout. Such results suggest that airlines can improve their flight attendants’ performance and reduce burnout by promoting the use of deep acting. This study provides a practical insight into why airline companies need to pay attention to how employees observe emotional display rules, and should select an appropriate emotional labor strategy to improve in-flight service quality over the long term.