Emotional Labor at a Crossroads: Where Do We Go from Here?

Alicia A. Grandey, Allison S. Gabriel

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

405 Scopus citations


Three decades after its introduction as a concept, emotional labor - regulating emotions as part of the work role - is fully on the map in organizational behavior and organizational psychology. As research has accelerated, roadblocks, such as fuzzy construct conceptualizations, assumed but untested processes, and methodological stagnation, have emerged. To provide direction to new scholars and suggestions to seasoned emotional labor researchers, we review theoretical perspectives and evidence for emotional labor and its (a) construct development and measurement, (b) chronic and momentary determinants, (c) prediction of employee well-being, and (d) influence on organizational performance. On this path, we introduce emotional labor as a dynamic integration of three components (i.e., emotional requirements, emotion regulation, and emotion performance), interpret personal and organizational moderators, and point to innovative new methodological approaches. Overall, we provide a new road map to jump-start the field in exciting new directions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)323-349
Number of pages27
JournalAnnual Review of Organizational Psychology and Organizational Behavior
StatePublished - 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Applied Psychology
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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