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EMAC 2020 Annual Conference

What if high is too high: role of regulations of emotions in sales interactions

Published: May 27, 2020


Zoran Latinovic, MIT Sloan School of Management ; Milena Micevski, University of Vienna; Selma Kadic-Maglajlic, Copenhagen Business School


regulations of emotions; helpfulness; positive emotional display


Using the observer’s perspective (i.e. the customer), this study examines how differing levels of salesperson’s emotional regulation affect customer satisfaction with the interaction. Furthermore, the study investigates how two key strategic options for increasing the interaction quality, i.e. salesperson’s display of positive emotions (PED) and helpfulness, shape the emotional regulation-satisfaction link. Support is found for the hypothesized inverted U-shaped effect of emotional regulation on customer satisfaction implying that the customers are most satisfied with interaction when salespeople exhibit medium levels of emotional regulation. In addition, both PED and helpfulness moderate this relationship, albeit in different directions. Whereas PED makes the emotional regulation-satisfaction link more pronounced, for helpfulness the effect is reversed, where results indicate a flip in the curve, that is, a U-shaped curvilinear relationship between emotional regulation and satisfaction for high levels of helpfulness. The theoretical and practical implications of these findings are discussed.


This Research is funded by BMBWF, The Centre for International Cooperation & Mobility (ICM) of the Austrian Agency for International Cooperation in Education and Research (OeAD-GmbH) through project of Scientific & Technological Cooperation AUSTRIA, BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA, Project No: BIH 04/2019.