Master of Arts (MA)



Document Type



Studies show that employee emotional displays impact customer behaviors and attitudes (Grandey, Fisk, Mattila, & Sideman, 2002; Pugh, 2001; Tsai, 2001). However, the factors influencing employees' emotional displays have not received much attention. More specifically, research suggests a need to more fully understand the motivational processes underlying employees' emotional displays, particularly in customer service where positive emotional displays are related to customer behaviors and sales performance (Brown & Sulzer-Azaroff, 1994; Diefendorff & Gosserand, in press; Grandey, Fisk, Matilla, & Sideman, 2002; Pugh, 2001; Tsai, 2001). To this end, this investigation examined an expectancy theory model of commitment to positive emotional displays in customer service jobs. Results supported the idea that there is a motivational component behind individual's propensity to follow display rules to express positive emotions. A number of individual and situational variables were found to influence expectancy and valence judgments for positive emotional displays. In turn, expectancy and valence, as well as their multiplicative function, motivational force, were related to commitment to displaying positive emotions. However, expectancy influences commitment to positive displays to a greater extent than valence, when employees consider difficult customer service situations. Results also reveal support for the use of motivational force operationalizations of expectancy theory in order to better understand motivational processes.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

James M. Diefendorff



Included in

Psychology Commons