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Kathleen Otto, Thomas Rigotti and Gisela Mohr

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Laura D. Wojtas, Judith Kampa and Kathleen Otto

Emotional labor has become more and more the focus of leadership research, suggesting that leaders manage their emotions or its expressions in interactions with followers. This study seeks to examine the impact of leaders’ emotional labor on followers’ perception of authentic leadership taking leaders’ and followers’ gender into account. Using a sample of matched Chinese leader–follower data, the authors expected leaders’ surface acting to be negatively related to followers’ authentic leadership perception, while deep acting would be positively related to it. Moreover, they assumed female leaders to engage less strongly in surface acting and more strongly in deep acting. Results of HLM analysis indicate that leaders who frequently use surface acting are perceived as less authentic. Data further revealed an interaction between leaders’ deep acting and followers’ gender in that male followers perceived their leaders as more authentic when they engaged in much deep acting. The chapter suggests implications for leadership practices.