Communications of the Association for Information Systems


Work exhaustion of information technology (IT) professionals is a serious concern. This study offers a unique perspective on IT professional work exhaustion by drawing on two theoretical domains: emotional labor and conflict management. Emotional labor theory is concerned with employee’s display of emotion in the workplace while conflict management theory addresses one’s preferred style when conflict arises. This study identifies links between the ways in which one responds to conflict situations and the way in which one monitors and controls emotional displays. The experience of conflict tends to generate negative emotions while display rules govern appropriate emotional demeanors in the workplace. The findings suggest that the perception of display rules influences conflict management styles. Furthermore, conflict management styles influence the use of strategies of deep acting and surface acting which have differential relationships with work exhaustion.