Sharp, L., Roche, M. A., & Cable, D. (2015). Retaining the authentic self in the workplace: Authenticity and work engagement in the mass-service industries. New Zealand Journal of Human Resources Management, 15(2), 119–133.
Permanent Research Commons link: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/11705
Striving to uphold consistency in service, an authentic approach to customers is usually considered detrimental. Focussing on customer-service workers within the mass-service industry, such as fast-food and supermarket workers, this research explores the relationship between employee authenticity and work engagement. One hundred and forty employees from a range of customer service roles were surveyed regarding their sense of authenticity at work, surface and deep acting, self-efficacy, personal accomplishment, and experience of work engagement. Overall results suggest that authenticity and personal accomplishment are independently and positively related to work engagement, and recommend that workers strive to maintain a sense of authenticity with customers, and be encouraged to feel a sense of accomplishment in their work. Further recommendations, for training and job design to promote authenticity and build a sense of accomplishment in customer service workers are discussed, as is the potential, protective application of surface acting.
Human Resources Institute of New Zealand (HRINZ)
This article is published in the NZ Journal of Human Resources Management. © 2015 Human Resources Institute of New Zealand.