Emotional Intelligence Mitigates the Effects of Customer Incivility on Surface Acting and Exhaustion in Service Occupations. A Moderated Mediation Model

Dorota Szczygieł , Róża Bazińska


This study contributes to the constantly accumulating evidence on the effects of customer incivility (CI) on service employee exhaustion. Previous research has demonstrated that surface acting (SA) acts as a mediating variable in the relationship between CI and exhaustion. This study extended prior findings in two ways. The results of Study 1 (315 retail sales employees, 62.2% female) demonstrated that SA mediates the positive relationship between CI and exhaustion while controlling for employees’ trait positive and negative affectivity (NA). The results of Study 2 (292 customer service representatives, 51% female) supported a moderated mediation model demonstrating that trait emotional intelligence (EI) buffers the direct and indirect (through SA) effects of CI on exhaustion. Specifically, it was found that employees exposed to many uncivil customer behaviors but high in trait EI reported using less SA and, thus, experienced fewer exhaustion symptoms than their low in trait EI counterparts. These results highlight EI as an important personal resource that mitigates the adverse effects of CI on service employees’ exhaustion, and suggest that organizations should consider implementing EI training programmes for their frontline service employees.
Publication categoriesElectronic article/chapter
Author Dorota Szczygieł (Wydzial Psychologii w Sopocie)
Dorota Szczygieł,,
- Wydzial Psychologii w Sopocie
, Róża Bazińska (Wydzial Psychologii w Sopocie)
Róża Bazińska,,
- Wydzial Psychologii w Sopocie
Journal seriesFrontiers in Psychology, ISSN 1664-1078, (N/A 70 pkt)
Issue year2021
Publication size in sheets0.75
Keywords in Englishcustomer service, customer mistreatment, burnout, emotional labor, emotional skills, trait affectivit
ASJC Classification2737 Physiology (medical); 1314 Physiology
Languageen angielski
Szczygieł, Bazińska Emotional Intelligence Mitigates.pdf 1.44 MB
Additional file
Oświadczenie Bazińska 2021 Frontiers in Psychology.jpeg 492.17 KB
Oświadczenie D Szczygieł Emotional.pdf 679.21 KB
Score (nominal)70
Score sourcejournalList
Publication indicators Scopus SNIP (Source Normalised Impact per Paper): 2018 = 1.03; WoS Impact Factor: 2017 = 2.089 (2) - 2017=2.749 (5)
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