Saf Health Work.  2018 Dec;9(4):441-446. 10.1016/

Effect of Nurses' Emotional Labor on Customer Orientation and Service Delivery: The Mediating Effects of Work Engagement and Burnout

  • 1College of Nursing Science, Kyung Hee University, Seoul, Republic of Korea.
  • 2College of Nursing, Kosin University, Busan, Republic of Korea.


The emotional labor performed by organization members affects psychological well-being at the individual level, which consequently affects results at the organizational level. Moreover, despite evidence that the customer orientation and service level of nurses greatly affect hospital management, studies that comprehensively analyze emotional labor, work burnout, and work engagement related to customer orientation and service level are lacking. This study investigated relationships and paths by designing a model of the effect of emotional labor performed by nurses on the level of service delivery and customer orientation.
This survey-based study was based on a path analysis designed to verify a hypothesized model involving emotional labor performed by nurses, level of service delivery, customer orientation, work engagement, and burnout. Questionnaires were distributed to 378 nurses in general hospitals with more than 500 beds located in Seoul, Republic of Korea, between March 25 and April 8, 2013.
The results showed that deep acting and work engagement had direct and indirect effects on increasing the level of service delivery and customer orientation of nurses. However, surface acting had an indirect effect on reducing the level of service delivery and customer orientation.
It would be more effective to develop interventions to enhance deep acting and work engagement than to attempt to reduce surface acting and work burnout in clinical nursing settings.


Burnout; Customer; Emotion; Engagement
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