Gender and the underexpression of friendliness in the service context

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5 Scopus citations


The double-bind hypothesis proposes that gender-based stereotypes of emotion expression exist, which effect how males and females are evaluated. Using videotapes depicting transactions between male/female employees and customers, the current study examined whether the double-bind hypothesis occurs within a service context. Participants (N = 141) who viewed a male and female service employee expressing friendly or non-friendly emotion evaluated the employees and rated their sincerity. Results provided partial support for the double-bind hypothesis. When service employees failed to express friendly emotion, the female was more negatively evaluated. However, evaluations and ratings of sincerity were not significantly different when both genders expressed friendly emotion. These findings suggest that employees occupy both work and gender roles, and expectations of each role will influence how their emotional expressions are evaluated. Gender of participants also effected service evaluations. Consistent with prior research, females focus more on the relational aspect of service than do males.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)102-113
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Management and Organization
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2007


  • Affect
  • Double-bind hypothesis
  • Emotional labor
  • Emotions
  • Gender roles
  • Service

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