Effects of public-service employee age and performance of emotional labor on job pride

Hyun Jung Lee1
1Department of Public Administration, MyongJi University, Republic of Korea
Cite this article:  Lee, H. J. (2016). Effects of public-service employee age and performance of emotional labor on job pride. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 44(8), 1339-1348.

Volume 44 Issue 8 | e5535 | Published: September 2016 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2224/sbp.2016.44.8.1339

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There is a growing number of older individuals seeking entry-level public service positions; jobs that may not be physically demanding, but may require emotional exertion. Older individuals are more experienced in interpersonal interactions and may be able to manage their emotions better than can their younger counterparts. However, factors of age and performance of work requiring emotional labor are lacking in public administration research. I conducted a survey with 167 public-service employees in USA, classifying them as younger adults (25 to 44 years old) and older adults (45 to 65 years old), and examined how performance of work requiring emotional labor mediates employee age by using an individual’s pride in their job as a criterion variable. The findings suggested that an employee’s age was positively related to pride in the job and better performance of work requiring emotional labor, and, unless they are mediated by higher level of false face acting, these two variables are significantly related. These findings lead to several suggestions for organizations: first, that public service organizations should open up work opportunities to older individuals; and second, because of lower wages in the public sector, organizations should offer generous fringe benefits.

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