Concept of emotional intelligence



The concept of emotional intelligence has been the subject of discussion over the recent years. It has brought many scholars together causing academics debate and by having a critical review of the concept whether it is to be accepted or not. After the introduction of emotional intelligence in like 20 years back, there have been so many articles published, many books being written, many test being developed as well to test the validity of this concept, whether it can be measured and developed.

Some many definitions have been brought into use by many psychologist when they were trying to define and make sense of the concept, and this even made the meaning to be more broad and difficult to understand by some people when relating to some aspect of it. These definitions have been strongly criticised due to misunderstanding of the concept.


Going back to the origin of EI, after the great work done by Mayer and Salovey by bringing the concept of EI into use in the academics environment, Mayer and Salovey (1990) said their aim of was to bring together the relationship between emotion and reasoning but if we look at the two components that made up EI, I believe they need not to limit their findings only in academics areas only. We all make use of our reasoning and emotion in our everyday life, so social and workplace application of the concept also need to be tested. All the accolade went to New York Times journalist Daniel Goleman (1995) that gave the concept a worldwide recognition by going further to relate the concept to team and organisation. The measure of its competence in terms of managing one's emotion and the relationship among the team members and in leadership style also need proper consideration.


Firstly I appreciate the hard works of every individual that has contributed to the birth and development of EI. With the increase in many professionals everyday in many aspect of life, any model developed to increase the performance of individual and organisation need to be fully focused on, particularly in workplace. As it has been agreed by many scholars that EI plays a major role in managing team and in the performance and success of work in complex environment or organisation, these has prompt me to look into the Oil company industry in Nigeria, to test the effectiveness of EI of the project managers and the impact of EI on job performance. The benefit of this dissertation to project managers in the oil industry is for them to be aware of the level of their EI and to be able to make best of it by applying it to their personal life and at workplace.


In this dissertation, the following objectives are pursued ;

  1. To measure the impact of EI of project managers in making effective decision at a complex working environment
  2. To


The scope of this study will be majorly focused on the impact of EI on job performance in an Oil industry in Nigeria and all the research and findings will be based on Shell Petroleum Company in Nigeria.


The method used in carrying out this project will be based on paper interview by sending the questionnaires to various Project Managers of Shell Petroleum Nigeria to collect the data and these data will now be interpreted by using a quantitative data analysis to measure the impact of EI in Oil Company.


The subsequent chapters of these dissertation will be grouped into five apart from this introduction chapter.

Chapter 2 will be reviewing the literatures about the concept of EI in individual and job performance, particularly the effectiveness of project managers and the team members in achieving their set goals in an organisation. Then chapter 3 will be discussing the research methodology that will be used in carrying out the process of testing and measure the impact of EI of project managers and the team members as well in Shell Petroleum Company in Nigeria.

Chapter 4 will be discussing about the data collected by checking for the validity, reliability, analysing and interpreting using quantitative method of data analysis. And the last chapter will be based on discussion and conclusion of the dissertation.



The first chapter of this dissertation talked about the public interest of EI and various questions being raised to test the validity of the concept in its various applications. This chapter will be discussing the past literature about the definition and model of EI, team management and the impact of EI in workplace.

The objectives of this dissertation are


The history of emotional intelligence can be traced back to 1990 (Mayer and Salovey), when two articles was published by two Americans university professors journalists. These two journalists named the title of one of their journals 'emotional intelligence' in which they were trying to measure the differences in the ability of different people in terms of their emotion and all their measure was done with a scientific model they developed. According to Steve Hein (2005), he said that they came out with the measure that people emotion different from each other in terms of understanding themselves, understand other people and solving emotional problems. Their research, finding and efforts were not well recognised because they it was limited into academics community.

Annie (1999), it was two years later when Goleman discovered their book about EI and asked them for the permission to use their developed model. It was claimed that he had already started working on emotion when he come across their work.

Three years later, Goleman came out with his book titled 'Emotional Intelligence : Why it matters more than IQ', and his book triggered the popularity of the concept of EI that he sells almost 5 million copies worldwide as it went to become of the bestselling books in the history. Goleman got all the accolade when he began to appear on television shows, magazines and speaking tour. Goleman did not limit his research on education only, but he went further into its implication to life and work performance. Goleman (1998), he said 'I found myself on a global odyssey, talking to many people about bringing EI to work environment'. There was a quick reaction from Mayer and Salovey, when they said Goleman has caused a confusion by going too far about the concept of EI and they said he made it to have no scientific meaning anymore but Goleman even went much more further in 1998 when he published another book titled 'Working with Emotional Intelligence'.


To make the definition of EI to be well cleared and understood, there is a need to explore the two components that made up the concept. Emotion and Intelligence. Goldie (2000) describe emotion as a complex, episodic, dynamic and structured term. He said emotion changes every time depending on all sorts of factors that contributes to the thought, feelings and interaction with each other and to other aspect of one's life. Oatley (2004), when he was defining it, he said emotion has to do with the evaluation of events that are related to our goals, our concern and what we aspire in life. These definitions of emotion makes it more clearer to understand the meaning emotion in relation to EI in the sense that the definition was about the thought of what have happened to us, or what might happen next or even present situation. Salovey and Sluyter (1997) said that our emotion can alter our thinking in many ways but that does not make it to make us smarter.

Also, intelligence



Due to the growing interest in the concept of EI by many psychologist, a lot of definition have been developed to explain the concept in terms of individual and organisation applications.

In (1990) Mayor and Salovey defined EI as the ability for someone to be able to understand and manage his feelings and emotions and as well as other people's emotions and feelings, distinguish among them and being able to manage the emotion in himself and the others.

Furthermore in their research, they argued that EI comprises of four different components namely;

  1. To identify one's emotion : the ability to be able to identify the feeling and emotion in one's self and in the environment;
  2. Make use of it : being able to make use of this emotion in communicating, thinking and creativity;
  3. Understand it : ability to understand the knowledge of emotion and to be able to reason about the progress of feeling in interpersonal relationship ;
  4. Manage it : this has to do the ability to manage this emotion in one's self and in others so as to promote growth and understanding.

This definitions of Salovey and Mayer is too shallow because it was only focused on the one's emotion and aspect only


Daniel Goleman was the first person that relate the definition of EI to organisation and workplace, he said high EI is needed in a complex working environment and this EI is needed to learn the emotional competencies needed to be successful at workplace.

He later developed five dimensions of EI and twenty five emotional competencies in which he categorised all these into two groups; social and personal competence. The table below shows the emotional competence framework developed by Goleman.

As the definition of EI by Goleman explain EI further, he said self awareness, self regulation, empathy and motivation all contributes to the social skills and the individual interest in the job they do and the kind of environment in which they work determine the effectiveness of these dimensions. Therefore this definition makes it to be related to organisation and in support of this, the definition by Higgs and Dulewicz will also be reviewed.


Another definition of EI can be traced to the work of two psychologists Higgs and Dulewicz (2002), they said to really understand what EI means, three important inter related factors need to be clarified which are ;

  1. Emotional intelligence : they referred to EI as the concept that dealt with the social, interpersonal and personal intelligence;
  2. Emotional literacy : this is another word for EI that represent the process of developing it;
  3. Emotional quotient : is another word to describe EI in an individual;

In an attempt to defined the concept, they further came up with seven components of EI which are ;

  1. Self awareness : this is the ability to be aware of one's feeling and emotion and it makes individual to be able to make best of their strength and make decision with confidence;
  2. Emotional managing and resilience : is the ability to manage one's feeling and emotion and still be able to make effective decision even frustrated, it may be in a work context or in personal life;
  3. Self motivation : self motivations is the ability of an individual to have the energy, the desire and drive to make impact by having self confidence and self belief based on their past performance;
  4. Empathising with others : this aspect of EI has to do with the ability of an individual to sense and understand the feeling of other and figure out how that feeling make disrupt and affect the personal life or work content;
  5. Managing relationship with others : this is the ability to maintain and manage relationship with other and being able to persuade others to work together as a team in order to make their goal an achievable one;
  6. Making decision in complex interpersonal situations : this is also an important part of EI that has to do with making good and effective decisions under pressure or stress;
  7. Being conscientious and behaving with integrity : this has to do with building trust in working with others and the ability to be open and transparent to others.

They concluded that any individual that can balance these seven qualities will meet the requirements needed to perform better in any task, job or project. They developed three motives to balance the qualities which are represented in the figure below ;

Source : Higgs and Dulewicz 2002

Finally Higgs and Dulewicz (2002) defined EI as achieving one's goal through the ability to manage and be sensitive to one's own emotion and feeling and influence other key people, and balance one's motives and drive with conscientious and ethical behaviour.

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