How rude! Emotional labor as a mediator between customer incivility and employee outcomes.J Occup Health Psychol. 2010 Oct; 15(4):468-481.JO
Because of the large number of people employed in service occupations, customer incivility has become an increasingly prevalent and important workplace stressor. Unfortunately, relatively little research has examined the effects of customer incivility; of the research that does exist, virtually all of it has focused solely on employee mental health outcomes. The present study was designed to replicate previous research linking customer incivility to the emotional exhaustion dimension of burnout and to expand on previous research by examining the effects of customer incivility on customer service quality. In addition, two models were proposed and tested in which emotional labor mediated the relationship between customer incivility and outcomes. Data from 120 bank tellers revealed that customer incivility was positively related to emotional exhaustion and negatively related to customer service performance. In addition, both proposed models were supported. Theoretical and practical implications of the findings and future directions are discussed.