Does emotional labor moderate customer participation and buying?

Tali Seger-Guttmann, Hana Medler-Liraz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Two studies examined whether employees’ emotional labor as perceived by customers, moderates the relationship between customers’ participation and money spent. In Study I, 30 in-depth interviews were conducted with customers to examine participation during shopping as well as customers’ awareness of their service employees’ behaviors. The interviews revealed two types of customer participation: emotional engagement and physical effort. Based on Study I, Study II investigated 114 customers, and the moderating role of perceived employees’ emotional labor on the relationships between customer participation and spending money. Even when customers were highly involved in the purchasing process, they spent less money when they observed employee inauthenticity as manifested in Surface Acting. However, Deep Acting positively moderated the relationship between customer participation and spending money. These findings help shed light on the circumstances in which customer participation is strengthened (leading to greater spending) or weakened.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)356-373
Number of pages18
JournalService Industries Journal
Issue number7-8
StatePublished - 10 Jun 2016
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • Customer participation
  • co-creation value
  • emotional labor
  • employee effort

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Strategy and Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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