Title page for ETD etd-12292003-151736

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Croyle, Meredith H.
Author's Email Address meredithcroyle@hotmail.com
URN etd-12292003-151736
Title Commitment to Displaying Positive Emotions at Work: An Examination of Individual and Situational Antecedents
Degree Master of Arts (M.A.)
Department Psychology
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
James M. Diefendorff Committee Chair
Bob Mathews Committee Member
Emily Elliot Committee Member
  • expectancy theory
  • situational factors
  • individual differences
  • emotional display
  • goal commitment
  • motivational force
  • expectancy
  • valence
  • structural equation modeling
  • motivation
Date of Defense 2003-10-24
Availability unrestricted
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.
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