When clerks meet customers: A test of variables related to emotional expressions on the job

Anat Rafaeli
1989 Journal of Applied Psychology  
Although many modern occupations require employees to express particular types of emotions while doing their jobs, little empirical evidence exists about factors related to emotional behavior on the job. This study investigated the relationship between emotional displays (smiling, greeting, thanking, eye contact) of sales clerks and variables of clerk attributes, clerk behaviors, customer attributes, and coniextual factors. Specifically, the relationships between clerk sander, customer gender,
more » ... , customer gender, the wearing of a uniform, and the display of positive emotions were examined. The behavior oC 1,319 sales clerks during their interactions with customers was observed and coded. Female clerks were observed displaying positive emotions significantly more frequently than were male clerks. Male clients, however, were found to receive more positive emotional expressions than female clients. Employees were more likely to display positive emotions when wearing an organizational smock and a name tag. A lower level f positive emotional display was observed when a long line of customers was waiting or when a coworker was present. No relationship was observed between time of day and the display of positive emotion. The findings suggest that sex role socialization may generalize to behavior at work, especially the tendency of women to display a greater frequency of positive emotions, and the inclination of individuals of both sexes to attribute higher status to men. The findings also suggest that wearing organizational identifiers may be related to an increase in employees' self-awareness and may therefore be worthy of further: organizational research. (Author/NB) 300000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000600000000( Reproductions supplies by EDRS are the best that can be made from the original document.
doi:10.1037/0021-9010.74.3.385 fatcat:6hpuqiz5mnbadfglo3j7ndbxge