Must "service with a smile" be stressful? The moderating role of personal control for American and French employees

J Appl Psychol. 2005 Sep;90(5):893-904. doi: 10.1037/0021-9010.90.5.893.


Suppressing and faking emotional expressions depletes personal resources and predicts job strain for customer-contact employees. The authors argue that personal control over behavior, in the job and within the national culture, provides compensatory resources that reduce this strain. With a survey study of 196 employees from the United States and France, the authors supported that high job autonomy buffered the relationship of emotion regulation with emotional exhaustion and, to a lesser extent, job dissatisfaction. The relationship of emotion regulation with job dissatisfaction also depended on the emotional culture; the relationship was weaker for French customer-contact employees who were proposed to have more personal control over expressions than U.S. employees. Theoretical and research implications for the emotion regulation literature and practical suggestions for minimizing job strain are proposed.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Burnout, Professional / psychology
  • Cross-Cultural Comparison*
  • Emotions
  • Female
  • France
  • Humans
  • Internal-External Control*
  • Interpersonal Relations*
  • Job Satisfaction*
  • Male
  • Organizational Culture
  • Organizational Policy
  • Professional Autonomy
  • Smiling*
  • Stress, Psychological / diagnosis*
  • Stress, Psychological / psychology
  • United States