Trust in the supervisor and authenticity in service roles

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Prior theoretical research focuses primarily on inauthentic emotional displays during the enactment of service roles, in the form of emotional labour, with little attention paid to factors that promote genuine emotional expressions during employees' customer interactions. The purpose of this paper is to propose a model in which employee trust in the supervisor leads to more authentic emotional displays. Supervisors' positive and negative affectivity constitute antecedents of this trust. Design/methodology/approach: To analyse the data, collected from supervisors and employee-customer dyads, this study used hierarchical linear modelling. Findings: Trust in the supervisor relates to authentic emotional displays in service encounters, according to both employees' self-reports and customers' evaluations. Supervisors' positive affectivity relates positively to employees' trust; trust mediates the relationship of affectivity with employees' authentic emotional displays. Practical implications: Positive supervisor affectivity and employee trust in the supervisor influence employee authenticity, and customers notice employees' authenticity during service encounters. Originality/value: This study advances understanding of the factors that enhance employees' authenticity in service interactions while also contributing to understanding of the role of the supervisor in service organizations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)411-426
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Service Management
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2014


  • Authenticity
  • Emotional labour
  • Leadership
  • Trait affectivity
  • Trust

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business, Management and Accounting (miscellaneous)
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management
  • Strategy and Management


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