The effects of surface acting toward supervisor on employee burnout Neuroticism as a moderator

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Sunkyung Hwang
Hyejeen Lee
HyungIn Park


The current study examined the effect of supervisor’s neuroticism on employee’s job burnout, and the moderating effects of neuroticism of the supervisor and the employee on the relationships between surface acting toward supervisor and employee burnout. Data were collected from 448 full-time workers who had a supervisor. Regression analyses showed that supervisor’s neuroticism was positively related to employee burnout in the cynicism facet; however, additional polynomial regressions revealed that supervisor’s neuroticism was related to all three facets of employee burnout when the level of supervisor’s neuroticism was consistent with that of employee’s. Contrary to the hypothesis, employee’s neuroticism had a buffering effect on the relationship between employee’s surface acting and professional inefficacy. Finally, the three-way interaction among surface acting, supervisor’s neuroticism, and employee’s neuroticism was significant for exhaustion. Specifically, when supervisor’s neuroticism was high and employee’s neuroticism was low, surface acting on exhaustion increased the most. Based on these findings, implications of this study and directions for future research were discussed.


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Hwang, S., Lee, H., & Park, H. (2018). The effects of surface acting toward supervisor on employee burnout: Neuroticism as a moderator. Korean Journal of Industrial and Organizational Psychology, 31(2), 387–408.
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