Many job posts require one to display emotions specified by organisational standards. Such work is referred to as emotional labour (EL) and consists in producing particular emotional reactions in contacts with a customer as well as suppressing the actual emotional reactions that could be seen negatively by the other party. An employee may cope with such work by choosing one of two strategies: surface acting or deep acting. Emotional labour has various consequences, and professional burnout is among the negative ones. The objective of the article is to review the literature concerned with the exercise and the consequences of EL and analyse the relationship between surface and deep acting and the level of professional burnout among selected professional groups (N=297). Furthermore, the authors examine the correlation between an employee's competences and their preferred style of EL and assess the moderating role of competences in negative consequences of EL. Analyses confirm that the persons characterised by surface role-playing display a higher level of professional burnout; however, no correlation is found between deep role-playing and lower professional burnout. Analysis of the coefficients of correlation demonstrates no significant correlation between an employee's competences and deep acting, whereas a statistically significant correlation is discovered between competences and the surface strategy. The higher the competences, the less likely the employee will exercise surface acting. Verification of the last hypothesis reveals that people with a higher level of competences who follow the surface strategy in terms of faking emotions are characterised by a lower level of professional burnout than employees with lower competences.
emotional labour surface role-playing deep role-playing professional burnout professional competences