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Untangling the Relationship between Displayed Emotions and Organizational Sales: The Case of Convenience Stores

Robert I. Sutton and Anat Rafaeli
The Academy of Management Journal
Vol. 31, No. 3 (Sep., 1988), pp. 461-487
Published by: Academy of Management
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/256456
Page Count: 27
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Untangling the Relationship between Displayed Emotions and Organizational Sales: The Case of Convenience Stores
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Abstract

It has been proposed that the emotions expressed by role occupants influence the behavior of others. We hypothesized a positive relationship between employees' display of pleasant emotions to customers and sales in retail stores and tested that relationship in a sample of 576 convenience stores. An unexpected negative relationship was observed. A subsequent qualitative study suggested that sales is an indicator of a store's pace, or the amount of time pressure on clerks and customers, and that pace leads to displayed emotions, with norms in busy settings supporting neutral displays and norms in slow settings supporting positive displays. Reanalysis of the quantitative data confirmed that clerks in rapidly paced stores with high sales and long lines were less likely to display positive feelings than clerks in slow-paced stores.

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