Emotional and social intelligence

Summary of Article

The purpose of this paper is to provide the understanding and an overview of the theory of ESI, which includes the historical contributions and current conceptualizations. The paper discuses the impact of ESI on performance, with reference to research evidence. Later on the author discussed the developing ESI competencies and a model for desirable, sustainable change. Last but not the least, this papers require a call to action for education and management disciplines for fostering ESI in organizations.

Emotional and social intelligence (ESI) are relatively recent labels to a 35 year old research tradition. This tradition examined behavioral competencies and their impact on performance.

Overview of the Article

Historical Roots and Theoretical Development of ESI

  1. Thorndike's (1920) conception of social intelligence
  2. McClelland's (1973) and Boyatzis' (1982) competencies; The characteristics, called competencies, had both an unconscious intent and alternate behavior outcomes, depending on the situational demands
  3. Gardner's (1983) personal intelligences
  4. Sternberg's (1985) practical intelligence
  5. Bar-On (1985) with establishing the link between social and emotional intelligence,
  6. Salovey and Mayer (1990) with originating the term and general construct of emotional intelligence (EI)
  7. Goleman (1995) with popularizing the ESI construct.
  8. Goleman, Boyatzis, and McKee (2002) presented a model of ESI with 18 competencies arrayed in four clusters and two aspects
  9. Goleman (2006) and Boyatzis and Goleman (2006) have reclassified their array of competencies.
Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence involves abilities, competencies and skills related to understanding of oneself and others, relating to peers and family members, and adapting to changing environmental situations and demands

Studies relating personality variables and emotional intelligence (EI) with job effectiveness became manifold in the last two decades wherein emotional intelligence has emerged as an effective predictor of job performance in several work settings (Bar-On, 2004; Handley, 1997; Ruderman, & Bar-On, 2003). EI is defined as a general capacity for social and emotional adaptation. This research work is guided by the trait model.

The trait conceptualization of EI as a behavioral tendency has been however reported to overlap with personality traits (Ciarrochi, Chan, & Caputi, 2000; Dawda, & Hart, 2000; Bedwell, 2003) Newsome, Day and Catano (2000) reported significant positive relationships between major personality traits and factors of emotional intelligence. The role of emotional intelligence in managerial effectiveness has been investigated in several studies (Jae, 1997; Sipsma, 2000; Sitarenios, 2001) but studies about personality characteristics and emotional intelligence as predictors of managerial effectiveness are rather few. Exploring the nature of personality variables that are mediated by emotional intelligence in their influence on managerial success is the focus of inquiry in this study. We will seek a causal interpretation of relationship between personality and emotional intelligence in the prediction of managerial effectiveness. A related point to be explored in the local context is whether women are as efficient as men in EI, as found in the Western studies (Bar-On, 1997). Although meta-analysis conducted by Eagly and Johnson (1990) found females having better social skills and were described as being "interested in other people", our expectation is that women would be relatively low in social skills than men in samples from Pakistan as a developing country.

Competencies

The authors define competency as a capability or ability that guides to a successful outcome. It is a set of related but distinct sets of behaviors organized around an underlying purpose or goal, called the "intent." Competencies, therefore, are the result of appropriate behaviors used effectively in the situation or time to further the underlying goal or purpose that emerges from the intent. The intent can be Empathy or Influence.

Formation of the term ESI- Emotional and Social Intelligence Competencies

Goleman, Boyatzis, and McKee (2002) presented a model of ESI with 18 competencies arrayed in four clusters and two aspects. In their latest works, Goleman (2006) and Boyatzis and Goleman (2006) have reclassified their array of competencies and clusters into two distinct aspects. The interpersonal clusters (social awareness and relationship management) have been relabeled social intelligence (SI) competencies; and the intrapersonal clusters (self-awareness and self-management) have been relabeled emotional intelligence (EI) competencies. This integrated concept of ESI offers more than a convenient framework for describing human dispositionsit offers a theoretical structure for the organization of personality and linking it to a theory of action and job performance. As mentioned earlier, a competency is an "underlying characteristic of the person that leads to or causes effective or superior performance" (Boyatzis, 1982, p. 21), therefore, an ESI competency is an ability to recognize, understand, and use emotional information about oneself (EI) or others (SI) that leads to or causes effective or superior performance.

ESI and Performance-The Linking Evidence

More specifically to ESI, many organizations recognize ESI as a set of emotional competencies that allow people to use emotions to facilitate desired outcomes (Fox & Spector, 2000). As argued by Fisher and Ashkanasy (2000), the best rational for the potential importance of ESI is that "the study of emotions in the workplace has the potential to add to our understanding of behavior in organizations" (p. 123).

Although the potential impact on individual personnel decisions has fostered the majority of the research on ESI, there are indications that ESI is not limited to the individual unit of analysis. Expanding on the individual performance assumption, there is now evidence that ESI may impact multiple levels of the organization, including teams and groups (Druskat & Wolff, 2001; Douglas, Frink, & Ferris, 2004; Offermann, Bailey, Vasilopoulos, Seal, & Sass, 2004); organizational culture (Mayer & Caruso 2002; Gabriel & Griffiths, 2002) and economic outcomes of the firm (Tomer, 2003). How well a person can recognize and manage his or her emotions and the emotions of others may explain a significant amount of the variance in the overall effectiveness of today's organizations.

Fostering ESI

Drawing upon the wealth of training data currently available, Cherniss, Goleman, Emmerling, Cowan, and Adler (1998) published the following guidelines, organized into the four distinct phases: (1) preparation; (2) training; (3) transfer and maintenance; and (4) evaluation, to promote ESI in the workplace.

Research Evidence relevant to Original Article

Yousuf, S., & Ahmed, I. (2007)

A strong relationship between EI and work success has been observed Also, EI followed by emotional stability depicted greater causal effect on managerial effectiveness.

Austin, J. E., (2004)

There exists significant Correlations were between emotional intelligence and emotional task performance.

Rooy, V. L. D., & Viswesvaran, C. (2004)

This study used meta-analytic techniques to examine the relationship between emotional intelligence (EI) and performance outcomes. Results of the current meta-analysis demonstrate that emotional intelligence is a construct that is definitely worthy of future research and indicates that EI should indeed be considered a valuable predictor of performance.

Lyons, B. J., & Schneider, R. T. (2005)

The influence of emotional intelligence on performance

Mayer, D. J., & Caruso, D. (2002)

People high in EI will build real social fabric within an organization, and between an organization and those it serves, whereas those low in EI may tend to create problems for the organization through their individual behaviors.

Chan, W. D. (2004)

Perceived emotional intelligence and self-efficacy among Chinese secondary school teachers in Hong Kong. The findings that different components of perceived emotional intelligence predicted significantly different self-efficacy beliefs for different groups of teachers were meaningful and noteworthy.

Bennis, W. (1994)

Bennis in his book "On Becoming a Leader" (p. 44-45) has a list of interesting differences between a manager and a leader and they are given in the table below.

Research evidence supports that a leader has to have emotional intelligence to align personal and subordinate goals to accomplish company goals.

Relevance to the Course

It is often incorporated into business, consulting, counseling, and education, due in large part to the influence of Goleman (1995; 1998). It is precisely this integration into the larger cultural fabric that necessitates continued study of the potential promise of EI.

The focus is on explaining and predicting effectiveness in various occupations, often with a primary emphasis on managers, leaders, and professionals

This integrated concept of ESI offers more than a convenient framework for describing human dispositionsit offers a theoretical structure for the organization of personality and linking it to a theory of action and job performance.

A theory of performance is the basis for the concept of competency. Maximal performance opportunities occur when the person's individual characteristics are consistent with the job demands and the organizational environment

Organizational environment that are predicted to have important impact on the demonstration of competencies include the culture and climate, structure and systems, maturity of the industry, the strategic positioning of the organization within the industry, and aspects of the larger context (including economic, political, cultural, and social surroundings and developments).

ESI may impact multiple levels of the organization, including teams and group. How well a person can recognize and manage his or her emotions and the emotions of others may explain a significant amount of the variance in the overall effectiveness of today's organizations.

Conclusion

The Emotional and Social Intelligence construct is a vibrant one with a rich tradition in the behavioral sciences and enormous practical potential. The Intentional Change Theory described herein is a specific and rigorous pathway for competency development that, if responsibly deployed and seriously sponsored by firms, holds great promise for renewing leadership at the individual and organizational level.

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