1. INTRODUCTION AND PURPOSE
Today, especially in developed economies, many different companies use call centers as an essential tool to produce and provide information services to the public and customers. (Russell, 2008). Regardless of whether the customer they serve is reactive or not, due to the recording of the calls of call center employees; they are responsible for both regulating their feelings and trying to control their customers' feelings. From this point of view, call centers can be shown among the workplaces where emotional intelligence skills are needed, and emotional labour is also used intensively. In this study, considering the relationship between emotional intelligence and emotional labour, the relationship between these two variables is examined, and it seeks an answer to the question of the effect of emotional intelligence on emotional labour.
Within the scope of the research, the quantitative research method was adopted, and survey technique was used as a data collection tool. The universe of the research consists of the employees of a call center serving in Duzce. According to June 2019 data, a total of 596 personnel work in the company. There were 450 people in the company at the time the survey was distributed. After the missing data were removed from the questionnaires, the number of questionnaires included in the analysis is 218, and the required number of samples was reached. The emotional intelligence scale developed by Chan (2004; 2006) was used to measure the emotional intelligence levels of the employees. This scale was adapted to Turkish by Aslan and Özata (2008) and consisted of four dimensions: emotional appraisal, positive regulation, empathic sensitivity and positive utilization. The scale developed by Pala and Sürgevil (2016) was used to measure the emotional labour dimensions of the employees. The scale consists of three dimensions: surface acting, suppression of emotions and deep acting.
The goodness of fit values obtained as a result of the confirmatory factor analysis of the emotional intelligence scale are as follows: CMIN/DF = 2.575, GFI= 0,917, CFI= 0,919, TLI= 0,888, RMSEA= 0,085 and SRMR= 0,06. The goodness of fit values obtained as a result of the confirmatory factor analysis of the emotional labor scale is as follows: CMIN/DF = 2.894, GFI= 0,901, CFI= 0,845, TLI= 0,800, RMSEA= 0,093 and SRMR= 0,0730, It can be said that these values are within the acceptable range.
According to the data obtained, the level of explaining the surface acting variable of the positive utilization of emotions variable is statistically significant (R2: 0,032, F:7,220, p: 0,008). The level of explaining the emotional suppression variable of the empathic sensitivity variable is statistically significant (R2: 0,056, F:12,831, p: 0,000). The level of explaining the deep acting of the positive utilization of emotions and favorable regulations of emotions variables are statistically significant (R2: 0,235, F:32,953, p: 0,000).
There was no effect of emotional appraisal variable on surface acting, suppression of emotions and deep acting variables. The fact that the call center employees have notes about what situation they should say in front of them during the interview causes the display rules to be clearly defined. Mostly, what the employees in the call centers of institutions such as insurance and banks, which provide services over legal legislation, should say and behave with more precise rules. Reading ready-made texts may have led employees to only do their jobs without having to understand and evaluate their feelings. However, employees who receive incoming calls are expected to end their calls in just a few minutes (about 3 minutes), and when a call ends, the time for another call to automatically arrive is an average of 5 seconds. Employees may not be able to enter the emotional assessment process, as this causes employees to interact less with the customer and make a quick transition to the other customer.
While the empathic sensitivity variable has a positive effect on the suppression of emotions variable; it has no significant effect on surface and deep acting variables. Even if call center employees feel negative emotions such as anger, unhappiness, and helplessness, they may need to suppress their feelings because the talks are recorded, and team leaders are following them. It can be said that employees with empathic sensitivity successfully suppress their negative feelings in understanding the situation of the customer.
While the positive regulation of emotions variable has a positive effect on deep acting, does not affect surface acting and suppression of emotions was observed. It can be said that employees who can manage their emotions internalize negative emotions by changing the negative emotions without having to act or suppress their emotions.
While the positive utilization of emotions variable has a positive effect on the surface and deep acting variables, the effect of suppression of emotions dimension was not found statistically meaningful. Since the worker is already in a positive mood with high level of positive utilization of emotions, may not need to suppress emotions because it does not feel negative emotions such as anger, helplessness and fear.
Employees in the service sector must demonstrate appropriate emotional labour towards their employers within the organization and outside customers if they are outside the organization. It is believed that if employees feel the support of their managers, they will reduce the pressure of emotional labour within the organization and help them regulate their emotions more positively. Here, it is the organizational support that facilitates the emotional labour usage of the employees, and the managers should provide this. In this context, the mediating effect of variables such as executive support, organizational support, and colleague support can be investigated.
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