A test of basic assumptions of Affective Events Theory (AET) in call centre work

Jürgen Wegge, R van Dick, Gary K. Fisher, Michael A. West, Jeremy F. Dawson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Based on data from 2091 call centre representatives working in 85 call centres in the UK, central assumptions of affective events theory (AET) are tested. AET predicts that specific features of work (e.g. autonomy) have an impact on the arousal of emotions and moods at work that, in turn, co-determine job satisfaction of employees. AET further proposes that job satisfaction is an evaluative judgement that mainly explains cognitive-based behaviour, whereas emotions and moods better predict affective-based behaviour. The results support these assumptions. A clear separation of key constructs (job satisfaction, positive and negative emotions) was possible. Moreover, correlations between several work features (e.g. supervisory support) and job satisfaction were, in part, mediated by work emotions, even when controlling for gender, age, call centre type (in-house versus outsourced centres) and call centre size. Predictions regarding consequences of satisfaction and affect were partly corroborated as continuance commitment was more strongly related to job satisfaction than to positive emotions. In addition, affective commitment and health complaints were related to both emotions and job satisfaction to the same extent. Thus, AET is a fruitful framework for explaining why and how specific management strategies used for designing work features influence important organizational attitudes and well-being of employees. © 2006 British Academy of Management.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)237-254
Number of pages18
JournalBritish Journal of Management
Volume17
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2006

Keywords

  • call centre representatives
  • affective events theory
  • AET
  • features of work
  • job satisfaction
  • employees
  • cognitive-based behaviour
  • affective-based behaviour

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