Publication Date


Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Dr. Jenifer L. Lewis (Director), Dr. Angela M. Jerome, Dr. Sally V. Ray

Degree Program

Department of Communication

Degree Type

Master of Arts


The purpose of this study was to investigate the influence of emotional labor on instances of burnout by specifically focusing on real estate sales professionals. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (2008) cites the purchase or sale of a home as one of the most substantial and complicated financial events most people ever experience, thereby magnifying the challenges of work and communication in the real estate sales profession and providing a rich framework for understanding the concepts of emotional labor and burnout. A three part questionnaire focused on emotional labor and burnout was distributed to 450 real estate sales professionals in early March, 2008. Linear regression analyses were conducted to evaluate the predictive values of emotional labor components with burnout components. Findings in this study indicated that real estate sales professionals may rarely be required to display feelings in prescribed ways due to the autonomous nature of real estate sales work. Various implications and suggestions related to identification and empathy surfaced in the discussion chapter as components of emotional labor and burnout were considered in the context of the real estate sales profession.


Communication | Organizational Communication