The role of empathy(emotional contagion, empathic concern) in service relationship

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ChangGu Heo
JungYeon Jo
KangHyun Shin


This study was intended to examine the influence of service worker’s empathy(emotional contagion, empathic concern) on their burnout and engagement. We hypothesized empathy as interactive emotional trait would have incremental interpretation over emotional intelligence and PANAS as individual emotional trait. The participants were 226 employees of a call center. The primary implications were followings. First, empathy significantly influenced on burnout and engagement even after control of emotional intelligence and emotional labors(surface acting, deep acting). Second, there is no moderating effect of emotional contagion on the relation between surface acting and burnout that high surface acting influenced high burnout regardless of the emotional contagion level. Third, deep acting mediated between empathic concern and engagement. Forth, empathic concern reduced the influence of emotional contagion on burnout. Finally, the implications and limitations were discussed.


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Heo, C., Jo, J., & Shin, K. (2013). The role of empathy(emotional contagion, empathic concern) in service relationship. Korean Journal of Industrial and Organizational Psychology, 26(4), 579–597.
Empirical Articles
Author Biographies

ChangGu Heo, Catholic University of Daegu

Department of Psychology

JungYeon Jo, Ajou University

Department of Psychology

KangHyun Shin, Ajou University

Department of Psychology


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