Date of Conferral







Medha Talpade


There is a scarcity of research linking surface acting (SA) to psychological distress (PD) in employee-to-employee interactions. Research has demonstrated direct negative effects of SA causing the PD elements of occupational stress (OS), emotional exhaustion (EE), and burnout/depersonalization (DEP) in employee-to-customer interactions. Moreover, little research exists if organizational culture (OC) type plays any role in mitigating these negative effects. Therefore, there was a need to research if the negative effects in the employee-to-customer interactions manifest in the employee-to employee interactions and also, if OC type can possibly moderate this effect between SA and PD. This quantitative study used a cross-sectional design. The research questions determined if the moderating variable of OC culture type (clan, adhocracy, market, and hierarchy) moderated the relationship between the predictor variable SA and the three PD criterion variables: OS, EE, and DEP. Emotional labor and OC theory helped explain the results of the current study. The study used a sample of 260 employees from various organizations. The current study is one of the earliest to find significant correlations between SA and each PD criterion variables in employee-to employee interactions. Using statistical moderation, results also indicated the clan and hierarchy OC types significantly moderated the relationship between SA and OS. These results can guide researchers and organizations to develop interventions that mitigate the negative SA to OS, DEP, EE effects, whether through a culture change or other methods, to create a more positive work environment. This could create a better home life and work life balance for the employee and less PD concerns for employees and organizations.

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