دسته‌بندی نشده    دسته‌بندی نشده    دسته‌بندی نشده    دسته‌بندی نشده    دسته‌بندی نشده    دسته‌بندی نشده    دسته‌بندی نشده    دسته‌بندی نشده    Emotional intelligence and management development implications Insights from the Lebanese context The Authors D. Jamali, Olayan School of Business, American University of Beirut, Beirut, Lebanon Y. Sidani, Olayan School of Business, American University of Beirut, Beirut, Lebanon D. Abu-Zaki, Olayan School of Business, American University of Beirut, Beirut, Lebanon Abstract Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to present an exploratory study of EI in the Lebanese context, investigating empirically variations in EI competency scores (self-awareness, self-regulation, self-motivation, social awareness and social skills) in a sample of 225 Lebanese employees/managers. The study provides preliminary feedback on the possibility of detection of systematic variations in EI levels across demographic variables in the workplace and highlights relevant implications accordingly. Design/methodology/approach – A questionnaire-based measure was developed to capture the basic competencies on a self-report basis. Findings – The findings suggest differences in EI scores across different EI competencies for males and females, with males scoring higher on self-regulation and self-motivation, and females scoring higher on self-awareness, empathy and social skills, and that EI levels increase significantly with managerial position. Originality/value – The value added of this research is to revisit the salience of EI in the workplace and to highlight relevant implications. The research supports the business case for integrating EI valuation into traditional organizational functions (e.g. selection, promotion, and training). Article Type: Research paper Keyword(s): Emotional intelligence; Lebanon. Journal: Journal of Management Development Volume: 27 Number: 3 Year: 2008 pp: 348-360 Copyright © Emerald Group Publishing Limited ISSN: 0262-1711 Introduction Emotional intelligence (EI) is a term that has attracted increasing attention and enjoyed a robust resurgence across a wide range of disciplines including management, psychology and the health sciences. The usefulness of the EI construct is increasingly asserted in terms of bringing a more balanced view of the intertwined role of cognition and emotion in influencing life outcomes. This is in contrast to traditional conceptualizations of cognition and emotion as discretely independent and the overstated importance of cognitive intelligence in predicting work success (Cherniss, 2001). The recent ascendancy of EI as an important topic in the business and psychology literature is thus attributed in great part to a realization that traditional intelligence quotient (IQ) scores can no longer be considered as effective primary predictors of performance and success (Dulewicz and Higgs, 2000; Mandell and Pherwani, 2003). Some outcome variations relating to the success of individuals in educational and organizational contexts could not be explained through traditional IQ measures (Fatt and Howe, 2003). Accordingly, recent years have witnessed a move away from a narrow and linear conception of intelligence emphasizing cognitive skills or abilities to a multifaceted conception, integrating EI as a key component (Gardner, 1983; Van Rooy and Viswesvaran, 2003). EI has thus become increasingly popular in recent years due to the belief that the benefits of intellectual intelligence have been overstated and that there is a need to probe the broader spectrum of the psychological mechanisms that allow individuals to flourish in their lives and in their jobs. The appeal of EI is also grounded in the view that EQ, unlike IQ, is likely to be more equally distributed across socio-cultural groups and that its competencies can be learned, with some scholars contrasting the supposed malleability of EI with the relative fixity of IQ (Mathews et al., 2003). Psychological research increasingly suggests the importance of EI in predicting success in life (Bar-On, 1997a). Management and organizational research on the other hand increasingly affirms that people with high levels of EI experience more career success (Dulewicz and Higgs, 1998; Weisinger, 1998), feel less job insecurity (Jordan et al., 2002), lead more effectively (Higgs and Rowland, 2002; Prati et al., 2003), are more effective in team leadership/team performance (Rice, 1999), are more adaptable to stressful events (Nikolaou and Tsaousis, 2002) and exhibit better coping strategies (Bar-On et al., 2000). But while the benefits of EI are increasingly documented, there is a scarcity of research that addresses variations in EI across cultures, or across demographic clusters in the workplace. Also, the potential influence of emotions on organizational dynamics has only recently started attracting the attention it deserves in both occupational research and practice. In this context, after shedding light on alternative theories of EI and identifying gaps in the empirical literature on offer relating to EI at work, the paper presents an empirical investigation conducted in Lebanon on the relationship between EI competences and specific demographic variables in the workplace. The findings are described in detail, their implications assessed and recommendations for future research delineated accordingly. Alternative theories of EI The increasing interest in emotions and the growing awareness of the role it plays in business and in life is in great part due to the proliferation of research over the past decade on emotions generally and EI specifically. In this section, we will shed briefly the light on the three theories that have generated the most interest in terms of research and applications, namely the theories of Bar-On (1988, 2000), Salovey and Mayer (1997), and Goleman (1998a). The first of the three major theories to emerge was that of Bar-On (1988). In his doctoral dissertation, he coined the term “emotional quotient” (EQ), as an analogue to intelligence quotient (IQ). Bar-On (1997b) defined his model in terms of five main social and emotional abilities including intrapersonal skills, interpersonal skills, adaptability, stress management and mood which together influence a person's ability to cope effectively with environmental demands. His model thus framed EI in the context of personality theory and is best viewed as a general model of psychological well-being and adaptation (Goleman, 2001). Salovey and Mayer (1997) on the other hand framed EI within a model of intelligence. Their motivation to develop a theory of EI stemmed from a realization that traditional measures of intelligence failed to measure individual differences in the ability to perceive, process and effectively manage emotions. Accordingly, they evolved a model that has a cognitive focus, outlining the specific mental aptitudes for recognizing and marshalling emotions (Goleman, 2001). As illustrated in Figure 1, their model is developmental, comprising four tiers of abilities with the complexity of emotional skill increasing from basic emotional perception to more complex processes integrating emotion and cognition. Goleman (1998b) on the other hand presented an EI based theory of performance, that is competency based, comprising a discrete set of abilities that integrate affective and cognitive skills. What differentiates Goleman's (1998b) model from those of Bar-On (1988) and Salovey and Mayer (1997) is his attempt to ground his theory specifically in the context of competencies relevant for work performance. The early framework proposed by Goleman (1998b) identified five dimensions of emotional intelligence, including self-awareness, self-management, self-motivation, empathy and social skills (Table I). These have been classified into two broad categories, namely personal competence in dealing with one's own self, and social competence in dealing with the self of others (Goleman, 1995). Figure 2 illustrates this classification, which, with minor variations, is increasingly grounded in the literature. Given the relevance of Goleman's (1998b) model to organizational life, and accumulating evidence suggesting the importance of EI competencies for effective performance at work, we have adopted Goleman's (1998b) model to develop a self-report measure that was used to gauge EI in the context of a sample of Lebanese organizations and to draw or highlight relevant work-related implications. The details of our study are presented below. The next section however presents an overview of various studies, documenting existing orientations in empirical examinations of EI at work as well as gaps to address in future empirical work about EI and work performance. Empirical studies of EI at work The data documenting the importance of EI competencies for effective performance at work is accumulating. McClelland (1998) for example reviewed data from more than thirty different organizations, showing that a wide range of EI competencies relating to self-motivation, social awareness and social skills, distinguished top performers from average ones. Boyatzis (1982) found that among several hundred managers from 12 different organizations, accurate self-assessment (i.e. self-awareness) was the hallmark of superior performance. And Spencer and Spencer (1993) found that superior sales managers are those that exhibited competence in sensing the developmental needs of others and bolstering their abilities (i.e. relationship management). A growing body of organizational and occupational research points more generally to the important role of emotions at work. Accumulating evidence portrays EI as associated with greater work satisfaction, increased ability to cope with stress, a better change orientation or propensity and stronger organizational commitment (Carmeli, 2003; Vakola et al., 2004). Van Rooy and Viswesvaran (2003) found that cognitive ability accounts only for approximately 25 percent of the variance in job performance. Their study posits EI as a valuable predictor of work performance and suggests the overall predictive validity of EI to hold fairly constant across all performance domains, including work, group and academic performance. These findings concur with those of Watkin (2000) whose research portrays EI as the single most important factor for superior performance at every level from entry-level jobs to top executive positions. Bar-On and Parker (2000) similarly find EI competencies as critical for effective performance in most jobs and Goleman (1998b) finds that 67 percent of the abilities regarded as essential for effective performance were emotional competencies. Bennis (2001) and Chen et al. (1998) on the other hand claim that EI accounts for 85-90 percent of the success of organizational leaders. Dulewicz and Higgs (1998) found that their measure of EI accounted for 36 percent of the variance in organizational advancement, while IQ accounted for only 27 percent. Longhorn (2004) suggests that a relationship exists between the EI of the general managers in their study and their key performance results as measured by the performance appraisal rating of the manager, the profit output of the units under their control and the satisfaction of the customers. While there is unequivocal evidence pointing more or less conclusively to the benefits of a successful integration of EI at work, very little research has examined variations in EI across demographic clusters at work. How EI in the workplace is affected by specific personal/demographic characteristics has not received the same kind of systematic attention in the literature. Very few studies have touched specifically for example on the effect of age, managerial position or gender on EI. We will provide a brief review of existing studies, and try to address this gap in the literature in our empirical component. There are mixed findings for example regarding the relationship between age and EI. While some studies suggest that age does not have a significant effect on EI (Cakan and Altun, 2005), Bar-On (2000) found that older cohorts tend to score higher on his scale of EI, suggesting that EI is learned through life experience. A study of the EI levels of Indian executives similarly suggests that EI level increases with age, reaches a peak and then starts decreasing (Punia, 2002). Click (2002) reports higher levels of aggregate EI scores among older students in East Tennessee State University. Some research has similarly indicated that EI levels are expected to increase with managerial and leadership experience. This is particularly true in light of a growing body of research suggesting that EI is a critical ingredient in accounting for the success of organizational leaders (Chen et al., 1998; Goleman, 1998a; Bennis, 2001). Van Der Zee (2004), for example, found that top managers scored higher than a reference group on eleven out of fifteen EI dimensions. Fatt (2002) also suggests that EI tends to acquire more importance as individuals progress in the organization. And Goleman (1998b) suggests that the higher the employee's position in the organization, the more EI is an important consideration. The relationship between EI and gender has similarly received some attention in recent years. Mandell and Pherwani (2003) for example found a significant difference in the EI scores of male and female managers where females scored higher on average than males. Their findings suggest that females seemed to be better able to control their emotions and manage the emotions of others as compared to males. These findings support the results of Mayer et al. (2000) and Mayer and Geher (1996), which uncovered higher scores for females on different measures of EI. This is in contrast to Goleman (1998a) who insinuated that there are no differences in the overall EI scores of males and females. Another explanation for the conflicting findings pertaining to gender is that while both males and females may have the same average level of EI, they do differ with respect to different EI competencies. Women may score higher on self-awareness and empathy while males may self-regulate better. The Bar-On (1997b) model reveals in this respect that females are more aware of emotions, demonstrate more empathy and relate better interpersonally while men are more adept at managing and regulating emotions. In a study assessing EI variables of undergraduate students in Singapore, Fatt (2002) found that males scored higher on certain measures of EI such as identifying and using emotions while no difference was found in other measures such as understanding and regulating emotions. Morand's (2001) study indicated that females were more likely to perceive different emotions. Petrides and Furnham (2000), on the other hand, found that there was no overwhelming difference between the total score for measured EI for both genders, yet males were more prone to fall into self-serving biases in reporting higher EI scores, with a counterpart self-derogatory bias in women. Nikolaou and Tsaousis (2002) found no significant differences between males and females in terms of measured overall EI score and Cakan and Altun (2005) reported a non-significant gender effect on EI scores in their sample of Turkish adult educators. We believe that these preliminary findings are extremely interesting and deserving of further attention and have therefore construed our study in such a way as to address the effects of age, managerial level and gender on EI in the workplace and to draw relevant work-related observations and implications. Research methodology Population and sample The population from which we drew our sample consisted of employees of corporations operating in Beirut, Lebanon. The organizations were selected from thirteen different sectors including banks, publishing organizations, internet companies, auditing firms, universities, government organizations, and other sectors. A letter was initially sent to the human resource department of volunteering organizations, explaining the design and purpose of the study. A second letter was then sent to exempt employees asking for their participation in the research. There was no mention of the term EI, but the research questions were framed in the context of general emotional dispositions. The researchers informed the participants that their answers would be kept confidential. A total 250 surveys were collected but 25 of these were not usable which yielded a final sample of 225 individuals. The profile of the sample is presented in Table II. Variables and measures The first section of the survey instrument requested demographic information about the participants including gender, age, education and position. The second section comprised 25 items rated on a Likert-type scale requiring participants to rate the extent to which each statement is representative of their normal emotional dispositions. This self-reporting questionnaire was specifically developed for the purposes of the present study and intended to measure the five EI sub-competencies, namely, self-awareness (seven items), self-regulation (four items), self-motivation (four items), empathy (five items), and social skills (five items). This is consistent with Goleman's (1998b) suggestion that a competence-based measure is more likely to yield an effective measure of EI. The intention was thus to develop a questionnaire-based measure to capture the basic competencies on a self-report basis. Those items were generated after a thorough research and literature review and molded after the emotional competence inventory (Goleman et al., 2000). Research findings Table III summarizes mean values for the items involved for the whole sample highlighting moderate levels of reported EI scores for the entire sample. Table IV compiles the results of the breakdown of EI scores across gender. The t-test results indicate that males scored higher on self-regulation and self-motivation whereas females scored higher on self-awareness, empathy, and social skills. All the differences were, however, not significant except for self-regulation where males reported significantly higher levels of self-regulation than females. Table V compiles the results of the breakdown of EI scores across managerial position. The results indicate that senior managers consistently scored higher than middle managers who, in turn, scored higher than staff or lower-level employees on every dimension of EI except for empathy where middle managers scored lower than both senior managers and staff. Yet the relationships were only significant for the first three dimensions, namely self-awareness, self-regulation, and self-motivation. No significant difference was found for empathy/social skills. Table VI compiles the results of the breakdown of EI scores across educational attainment. The differences in the means for the three educational categories did not reveal any significant difference in EI scores with changes in educational attainment. Table VII compiles the results of the breakdown of EI scores across age. The findings suggest that no significant differences in EI scores with respect to the different components exist with age variation, except for self-motivation where significant differences were found to exist among different age groups. The highest group (35-44 years) scored 14.21 while the lowest group (under 25) scored 12.64. Discussion of findings and implications Our findings suggest moderate levels of reported EI for the entire sample. Further research is needed with a larger national sample of workers/managers to validate this finding. What is reassuring in this respect, however, is that EI competencies are not fixed genetically and can be nurtured and improved. This may necessitate raising awareness about EI and its various components in Lebanon, hence giving employees the opportunity to increase their chances of work success, with parallel positive implications for the entire society. In this respect, there is also a need for more cross-cultural research to explain differences in EI scores across cultures. Our findings also suggest gender differences in EI sub-competency scores with males scoring higher on self-regulation and self-motivation, and females scoring higher on self-awareness, empathy and social skills. Specifically, males reported significantly higher levels of self-regulation. These findings are consistent with the bulk of previous studies examining gender differences in EI (Mayer and Geher, 1996; Mayer et al., 2000; Morand, 2001; Mandell and Pherwani, 2003). The same trends have been reported for example by Bar-On (2000) in every population sample that has been examined with the emotional quotient inventory (EQ-I). Our findings thus validate generally reported trends of gender differences in EI scores documented in western literature. The detected gender-specific strengths with respect to various EI sub-competencies can have interesting work implications. Women may possess a unique asset in social relationships, and organizations can capitalize on this strength by placing women in managerial and leadership positions that thrive on forging emotional connections and effective collaboration. The strengths of males – pertaining to self-motivation and self-regulation – can in turn be leveraged by placing them in strategic positions that require achievement drive, persistent performance orientation and successful adjustment to changing situational factors and priorities. Another interesting observation is the need to nurture those competencies where systematic weaknesses across genders have been noted (e.g. self-regulation and self-motivation for women and empathy and social skills for men) given accumulating evidence suggesting that EI competencies operate most powerfully in synergistic groupings, with the need to master a critical mass of competencies for superior performance (Goleman et al., 2000). There is indeed a whole stream of research suggesting that organizations and individuals interface in ways that require a multitude of EI abilities, working in an integrated fashion in conjunction with one other (Goleman, 2001). Another interesting aspect of our research is the finding relating to the fact that EI scores increase in a significant way with managerial position, particularly the EI sub-competencies relating to self-awareness, self-regulation and self-motivation. This finding lends credence to a growing body of research positing that EI is an imperative for effective management and leadership (Goleman, 1998a; Bennis, 2001; Van Der Zee, 2004; Rosete and Ciarrochi, 2005). Given that employees derive their emotional cues from managers/leaders, it is imperative for those to effectively master a higher level of personal and social competence. In light of our findings and accumulating evidence pointing to the added value and benefits of EI competencies, our research suggests the need to integrate EI valuation into traditional organizational functions. For example, the finding that EI is increasingly important at higher management levels may suggest that screening for EI is legitimate and needed when hiring a candidate for a managerial position. EI is also a relevant criterion when it comes to promotions and succession planning, particularly when a position involves leadership. In other words, our findings suggest that EI should be a central consideration when selecting and grooming for managerial type positions. Our findings also suggest that EI should be a major focus in training and development efforts at all organizational levels and for both genders. This is particularly true if organizations realize the value of nurturing a critical mass of EI competencies for superior performance. EI assessment at work can help in compiling feedback on employees' baseline EI abilities and can also help in tracking progress over time. This exercise, if undertaken in a safe and supportive environment, helps to provide employees with insight into their strengths and areas of development, which can in turn become a critical component of work motivation. Concluding remarks EI is a very novel concept in the Lebanese context. Research is scant and organizational development initiatives building on this notion are virtually non-existent. It is of prime importance for practitioners to understand the current debate revolving around the topic and the potential positive implications of a successful integration of EI at work. It is also important to popularize the notion that while EI may indeed touch on individual differences, it tends to grow over time and can be improved and harnessed through proper training and development initiatives (Ashkanasy and Daus, 2005). We have presented in this paper the findings of a research undertaken in the Lebanese context, which has attempted to measure EI competencies (self-awareness, self-regulation, self-motivation, social awareness and social skills) in a sample of 225 Lebanese employees and managers. The use of a self-report measure to assess individuals on this model is consistent with established practice within personality psychology, where self-report measures represent the dominant method of self-assessment. We realize in this respect that the use of psychological measurement has always been somewhat controversial, and EI measurement is no exception. While we have obtained interesting findings, we do not claim to have all the answers, as we recognize the complexity inherent in applying principles associated with EI and the subtlety of EI measurement at work. Nevertheless, we believe that research along these lines is needed and promising, based on the simple premise that nurturing the various EI competencies is likely to be a possible route to increased productivity that is within the reach of most individuals and organizations. Human resource development interventions revolving around EI competency training may provide quick and powerful changes in employee behavior that can be sustained over time. EI competency training and applications may also allow organizations to tailor to the specific needs of various employee clusters based on detected strengths and weaknesses in the respective components. Previous studies have emphasized the need to delve more deeply into cross-cultural issues underlying EI (e.g. Leung, 2005). The increasing interest in this concept necessitates that researchers uncover the culture-specific factors that govern EI dynamics in various organizational settings including Lebanon. In addition, future research studies in Lebanon and other countries in the region could benefit from addressing the relationship between the EI constructs and organizational outcomes such as employee effectiveness/performance. Given the unequivocal importance of emotions in both personal and organizational life, further research is also needed at the corporate and national levels, highlighting how emotional competencies can be nurtured and leveraged for better performance and outcomes. While organizational research is on the increase, cross-cultural research remains limited, and can provide interesting insights into culturally-related strengths and weaknesses vis-a-vis the different EI sub-competencies as well as cultural moderators/influences. Figure 1The four-branch model of emotional intelligence Figure 2The building blocks of emotional intelligence Table IComponents of emotional intelligence Table IIDemographic characteristics of the sample Table IVBreakdown of EI scores across gender Table VBreakdown of EI scores across managerial position Table VIBreakdown of EI scores across educational attainment Table VIIBreakdown of EI scores across age References Ashkanasy, N., Daus, C. 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