As part of healthcare organisations’ efforts to improve client satisfaction, special attention is directed to care providers’ expression of authenticity through genuine emotional displays in care encounters. The study’s aim was to test a mediating–moderating model for predicting clients’ satisfaction. The model combined intrapersonal forces (the healthcare provider’s level of caring and emotional load) and interpersonal forces (meeting the client in a team of professionals or alone, and client−provider similarity), as predictors of emotional labour strategies, and subsequent client satisfaction. Clients’ evaluation of whether or not the emotional displays were authentic was intended to moderate the link between emotional labour and client satisfaction. The sample consisted of 103 healthcare providers’ encounters with clients’ family members, randomly selected from five nursing homes. Data were collected by validated questionnaires at three time points. Mixed linear model analyses generally supported the proposed model. Meeting a client’s family in teams, ethnic similarity, and providers’ caring and emotional load stimulated higher levels of deep acting. Meeting clients alone and less emotional load involved more surface acting. These findings offer empirical support for the social interaction explanation of emotional labour, pointing to the importance of social characteristics of the service encounter in shaping emotional labour strategies and maintaining client satisfaction.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
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- Emotional labour
- medical staff
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Applied Psychology