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    David T. Stoneback

    FRANK DECARO, PhD, Faculty Mentor and Chair

    DAVID BALCH, PhD, Committee Member

    LUIS RIVERA, PhD, Committee Member

    William A. Reed, PhD, Acting Dean, School of Business and Technology

    A Dissertation Presented in Partial Fulfillment

    Of the Requirements for the Degree

    Doctor of Philosophy

    Capella University

    November, 2011

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    David T. Stoneback, 2011

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    Like many employers, call centers are searching for ways to attract and retain

    talented individuals who can meet the needs of their customers. This quantitative

    study examined an identified problem in addressing the job satisfaction of employees

    in call centers (N = 49). It was hypothesized that the level of emotional intelligence

    (EI) in managers (N = 10) may have an impact on employee satisfaction. This

    problem and the hypothesis led to a series of questions concerning whether any of the

    four branches of emotional intelligence impact employee satisfaction.

    Many of the studies within the existing body of knowledge focused on EI and

    other factors such as bottom line results, employee engagement, and leadership

    effectiveness. What was known at the time of the study was that attrition in call

    centers is high and that there must be a series of factors related to this fact. Employee

    satisfaction was identified as a potential factor.

    To measure employee satisfaction, the Job Satisfaction Survey tool was used

    while the MSCEIT tool was used to measure manager emotional intelligence. The

    results of the MSCEIT for each manager were tested against the JSS results for their

    employees that participated in the study. The outcomes found that for each of the four

    branches (perceive use, understand, and manage) there was no statistically significant

    link. The study concluded that there was no discernable impact of managers EI on

    the satisfaction of their employees. However, there was a relationship found between

    employee satisfaction and gender of manager.

    The conclusion of these results suggests that there is further opportunity to

    develop knowledge in this field. Further research should be developed to understand

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    the relationship manager gender plays in employee satisfaction. It is suggested that

    additional variables be added to future studies and that the scope of future studies

    extend beyond internal factors and look at macro factors external to the workplace.

    Additionally, it is suggested that the body of knowledge may benefit from a

    longitudinal study that examines and tracks results for manager EI and employee

    satisfaction over time.

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    This work is dedicated to my family whose love drives me to succeed every single

    day. My three boys are my motivation and I thank them for understanding when Daddy

    has school and for their patience in sharing me with my work.

    To my wife, Sue. You are the greatest gift anyone could ask for. I love you and

    thank you for your support and encouragement as I worked toward my goal. I am forever


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    First I would like to thank my mentor and dissertation chair, Dr. Frank DeCaro for

    his guidance along this journey. From our initial conversation I knew that I would be in

    good hands as I worked through the greatest challenge of my educational career. Im

    extremely grateful for your help at each stage and for helping me through the more

    challenging times.

    I would also like to thank my committee members Dr. Luis Rivera and Dr. David

    Balch for their thoughtful questions and critiques along the way. You made me think

    differently and I believe my work is better for it.

    I would also like to acknowledge the impact of the work of Dr. David Caruso in

    the field of emotional intelligence and thank him for the many hours spent working with

    me to better understand emotional intelligence and the MSCEIT tool. He is a leading

    thinker in the field of emotional intelligence, yet took the time to correspond with me

    throughout the process. His support is greatly appreciated.

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    Table of Contents

    Acknowledgments v

    List of Tables ix


    Employee Engagement Factors in Call Center Operations 1

    Background & Purpose of the Study 2

    Statement of the Problem 4

    Conceptual Framework 5

    Overview of Constructs 7

    Research Questions 8

    Significance of the Study 9

    Definition of Terms 10

    Assumptions, Limitations, and Bias 11

    Organization of the Remainder of the Study 12


    Emotional Intelligence as a Construct 14

    Chronology of Theoretical Development 14

    Models of Emotional Intelligence 18

    Validity of Emotional Intelligence 24

    Bias in Emotional Intelligence Research 28

    Measures of Emotional Intelligence 29

    Employee Satisfaction as a Construct 34

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    Methodologies in Existing Research in Emotional Intelligence 36

    Methodologies in Existing Research in Employee Engagement 41

    Chapter Summary 44


    Research Design 46

    Sample 47

    Research Question and Hypothesis 49

    Instruments 49

    Data Collection Procedures 52

    Data Analysis 53

    Expected Findings 55


    Research Question 1 60

    Research Question 2 60

    Research Question 3 61

    Research Question 4 61

    Additional Findings 62


    Summary of Findings 64

    Synthesis of the Literature 65

    Implications and Practitioner Recommendations 68

    Recommendations for Future Research 70

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    List of Tables

    Table 1. Frequency Counts for Selected Variables (N = 49) 58

    Table 2. Descriptive Statistics for Selected Variables (N = 49) 59

    Table 3. Descriptive Statistics for Selected Variables (N = 10) 60

    Table 4. Spearman Correlations for Selected Emotional Intelligence

    Scores with Employee Job Satisfaction (N = 49) 62

    Table 5. Prediction of Total Job Satisfaction Based on Selected

    Variables. Backward Elimination Regression (N = 49) 63

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    Employee Engagement Factors in Call Center Operations

    In high turnover industries such as call centers, employers are searching for ways

    to attract and retain talented individuals who can meet the needs of their customers. A

    call center is an organization dedicated to the purpose of answering phone inquiries,

    resolution or problems, order taking/insurance claim receipt, or other elements of

    customer service (Rath, 2005). The nature of work in a call center usually involves

    handling a high volume of customer complaints, questions, and/or concerns (Rath, 2005).

    Additionally, the operating model of a call center controls expenses by focusing on key

    metrics such as call handle time and wait time of the customer. These metrics require the

    call center employees to resolve issues as quickly as possible, adding to the stress levels

    of the job.

    In order to help offset some of these stressors, of special interest to employers

    may be the level of Emotional Intelligence (EI) held by the folks who are responsible for

    managing these employees on the front line. These front line associates often encounter

    the most direct contact with customers. Due to the customer facing nature of the call

    center employees role, it is imperative that there is a high level of job satisfaction and

    engagement that is visible to the customer (Rath, 2005). With this relationship, there is a

    need to further develop the existing body of research to understand what the impact is of

    a managers emotional intelligence on employee engagement (Heindel, 2009).

    The purpose of this research focused on the components of the problem and the

    intricacies relationships between the variables. Components of the problem include:

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    understanding emotional intelligence in managers (perceive, use, understand, and manage

    emotions), understanding the components of employee engagement (job satisfaction,

    engagement, empowerment, and satisfaction with manager), as well as measurements for


    Background & Purpose of the Study

    In order to better understand how managers EI contributes to the job satisfaction

    of employees, it is important to understand the makeup of EI. According to Goleman

    (1995), there are five elements of EI: self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation,

    empathy, and social skills. Salovey and Mayer (1990) divide these into four branches that

    were used for purposes of this study: perceive, use, understand, and manage). Due to the

    complexity of organizational change and the role emotions play in changes such as global

    expansion, job eliminations, leadership changes, as well as stressors of day to day

    responsibilities, the EI of managers and how they manage their associates is an element

    that leadership needs to consider while moving their organizations forward.

    Emotional intelligence connects a leaders cognitive abilities with their emotional

    state (Salovey & Mayer, 1990). The ability for a leader to recognize the impact of their

    own emotions on their decision making is paramount if that leader is to make sound

    decisions based on the best interests of the organization. Additionally, a leader must be

    able to read emotions in their peers and employees in order to be as effective as possible.

    Stogdill (1969) originated this notion with linkages of leader personality and control over

    emotions to employee perception of leader effectiveness.

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    High turnover organizations such as call centers have an even more heightened

    need for management of employee satisfaction (Weiss, 2002). Due to the importance of

    emotional intelligence in leader effectiveness (Stogdill, 1969), several leadership theories

    are explored throughout the literature with regard to EI. EI is a common thread linking

    the Five-factor Personality Model, Contingency Theory, and Situational Leadership

    Theory. All five personality factors in the Five-factor Model impact a leaders EI. EI also

    plays a role in connecting Fiedlers (1972) contingency theory, particularly the focus on

    leader personality to leader effectiveness. Situational Leadership is also greatly impacted

    by the EI of the leader. External threats, stress, and organizational culture are contributing

    factors influencing situational leader behavior (Barrow, 1977). As such, EI is an

    important factor for effective leadership as stressful situations present themselves

    (Heindel, 2009).

    Fiedler (1972) described EI as an element of leadership training in the

    contingency model. He postulated that in order to improve the overall performance of a

    workgroup, leader behavior had a significant impact. He wrote the two best ways of

    accomplishing this was to focus on leader motivations (EI) or find the best situation to

    match to the leaders abilities (Situational Theory). Fiedler went on to describe how

    training and experience are actually means of changing a situation to best fit the needs of

    a leader. In order for this to take effect, a leader must possess a high level of emotional

    intelligence to recognize and support weakness. While the organization can provide the

    requisite training, it is still the onus of the leader to convert training into knowledge and

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    action. Fiedler (1972) referred to his contingency theory as the marriage of the

    motivational, personality concept to the output of the workgroup.

    Muyia and Kacirek (2009) examined leadership development and how it is

    impacted by EI. The purpose of Muyia and Kacireks 2009 study was to better

    understand how EI is impacted by training. Research has produced mixed results and

    Muyia and Kacirek found no statistically significant differences between pre and post test

    scores of their research participants. Emotional intelligence abilities contribute to team

    effectiveness, better decision making, stress tolerance, interpersonal facilitation, and

    overall performance (Muyia & Kacirek, 2009, p. 705). As a result of these factors,

    leaders must recognize the importance of emotional intelligence.

    Statement of the Problem

    There is an opportunity within the call center operations industry to realize the

    connection between the five core elements of EI: self-awareness, self-regulation,

    motivation, empathy, and social skills (Goleman, 1995) and the three elements of

    employee engagement: job satisfaction, empowerment, and manager satisfaction (Weiss,

    2002). Heindel (2009) concluded that there is opportunity for additional research to

    recognize the critical success factors that impact employee engagement and satisfaction

    (p. 61). Recognizing this connection may help companies with the attraction and

    retention of top talent.

    The conceptual framework outlines the critical components of emotional

    intelligence and employee engagement referenced above intersecting at the

    manager/employee relationship. This study aims to provide a blueprint for leaders to

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    develop action plans designed to drive success in their organizations through successfully

    engaging employees.

    This study builds upon Heindels (2009) dissertation which addressed four

    questions relating EI to job satisfaction, employee engagement, empowerment, and

    manager satisfaction. This study focused on answering four similar questions to

    understand if there is a link between emotional intelligence and job satisfaction. In order

    to understand this connection, data was collected from managers as well as their

    employees. Identifiers used to make the connection between the data sets was stripped

    prior to publication of the data in order to maintain anonymity. Like Heindels (2009)

    study, this study will be a correlational, quantitative study. The purpose of the study built

    on Heindels (2009) work and validates the results.

    Conceptual Framework

    Talent acquisition and retention are critical issues that are requiring organizations

    to take a fresh look at how EI may be affecting morale and satisfaction of their

    employees. In many cases, followers take their cues from the workgroup leader (Bass,

    1990, Hui, Chiu, Yu, Cheng, & Tse, 2007). These cues, explicit or otherwise, ultimately

    affect the outcome of workgroup performance in relation to goals. Going beyond the

    Situational Theory, leadership behavior and skill set can alter workgroup performance

    independent of situation. Berlew (1974) described the two-factor managerial model

    which focuses on a custodial (rudimentary) leadership approach and a managerial

    (participative) focus.

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    Followers take their cues from their leadership and sometimes do this

    unconsciously. Leaders set the tone with their work ethic, urgency, and quality of output.

    Followers, in turn, follow. A leader must recognize the role of their leadership personality

    in this process and the subordinate-leader relationship as an impact to the end state

    (Durand & Nord, 1976). Again, Fiedlers (1972) contingency model supports the entry of

    leader personality as a critical success factor.

    The theoretical foundation of EI lies in the work of Bar-On who pioneered the

    concept of EI as early as 1980 (Heindel, 2009), Salovey and Mayer (1990), and Goleman

    (1995). Bar-On (1997) viewed EI from a trait perspective. His work examined personal

    characteristics of individuals and measures EI using his EQ-i model. Salovey and Mayer

    (1990) viewed EI as an element of an individuals overall intelligence. They measure EI

    by using the MSCEIT scale. Finally, Golemans (1995) work focused on understanding

    the specific leadership competencies that impact EI. Goleman uses the emotional

    competence inventory to measure EI.

    The theoretical foundation of employee engagement is separated into the three

    elements: job satisfaction, empowerment, and manager satisfaction. Job satisfaction has

    been studied by using the two-factor method (Fraser, 1983). The two-factor method

    compares the perceived cost of doing a particular job to the perceived benefit from the

    employees perspective. Bass (1990) is a leading thinker regarding employee

    empowerment in terms of the leader-follower relationship. Bass (1990) research on

    Transformational Leadership instructs that employee-manager trust is a key driver of

    employee empowerment.

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    Overview of Constructs

    Emotional Intelligence

    The concept of emotional intelligence is a relatively new area of interest within

    organizations. As organizations are faced with greater challenges as a result of

    globalization, high competition for talent, and restricted budgets, it is very important that

    management has a keen understanding of what makes their employees happy and

    effective in their work. In order to understand individuals at their emotional core, it is

    helpful to take inventory of the levels of emotional intelligence their employees and

    managers possess.

    The definition of EI has changed over time and has even conflicted itself within

    some studies (Muyia, 2009). The application of contingency theory by Fiedler (1972) and

    Blanchards (1985) Situational Theory has exemplified this conundrum among

    researchers. As organizations look to train their leaders on this concept it is imperative

    that they recognize these changes and update their programs accordingly. Like any

    concept, training programs must keep pace with the new research that is developed as

    scholars build on the work of Bar-On, Goleman, and Salovey and Mayer.

    Employee Engagement

    There are three components of employee engagement: job satisfaction,

    empowerment, and manager satisfaction (Weiss, 2002). According to Transformational

    Leadership theory, employee engagement is an important factor in helping managers

    understand how to retain employees (Bass, 1990). It follows then, that in high turnover

    industries such as call centers the need is heightened. As such, it is beneficial for the

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    leadership of firms in these industries to better understand how they can positively impact

    the engagement of their employees in order to improve retention and potentially lower

    their expenses associated with acquisition and training as well drive satisfaction with

    customers as a result of a more tenured and engaged representative contact.

    Job satisfaction is described by Futrell (1979) in terms of the employees personal

    feelings of accomplishment, meaningful contribution, and contentment with their job

    responsibilities. Fraser (1983) defined job satisfaction in terms of the perceived

    relationship between the value an employee extracts from their work against the effort

    and mindshare exerted to achieve results. Empowerment focuses on the level of

    ownership an employee feels over their own work while satisfaction with the manager

    focuses on the level of satisfaction an employee has with the manager-subordinate

    relationship (Durand & Nord, 1976).

    Research Questions

    In order to understand the impact of managers EI on employee engagement, the

    following four research questions were asked:

    1. What is the relationship between a leader's emotional intelligence quotient(EI) score for the Perceive branch of MSCEIT and their direct report's

    job satisfaction.

    2. What is the relationship between a leader's emotional intelligence quotient(EI) score for the Use branch of MSCEIT and their direct report's level

    of job satisfaction.

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    3. What is the relationship between a leader's emotional intelligence quotient(EI) score for the Understand branch of MSCEIT and their direct

    report's level of job satisfaction.

    4. What is the relationship between a leader's emotional intelligence quotient(EI) score for the Manage branch of MSCEIT and their direct report's

    level of job satisfaction.

    Emotional intelligence scores for each of the four branches (perceive, use,

    understand, and manage) are the independent variables for the study. This is measured for

    managers within the sample by using the MSCEIT test (Salovey & Mayer, 1990). The

    dependent variable for the study is the job satisfaction score as measured by the Job

    Satisfaction Survey (JSS). This quantitative study focused on understanding any

    relationship between the managers EI scores for each branch and each of the job

    satisfaction scores. The sample was taken from a call center of 1000 employees and 108

    managers in the insurance industry and represented 5% of employees (49) and 10% of the

    management team (10).

    Significance of the Study

    The gap in the literature surrounds the role of emotions in affecting employee job

    satisfaction specific to call centers. McKenzie (2010) indicated that managers have a role

    in eliminating the concerns of employees and creating an atmosphere of communication

    and inclusion when working through change. The outcome of this study may assist

    leaders in attracting and retaining the talent necessary to compete within their industry

    through focusing on the employee engagement factors driven by the managers EI.

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    Additionally, Heindels (2009) work indicates there is an opportunity for further research

    in understanding the critical success factors relating leader emotional intelligence to

    employee engagement factors.

    Definition of Terms

    Call Centeris the organization of individuals who are responsible for fielding the

    phone calls from customers with inquiries, complaints or other concerns regarding a

    product or service they have purchased (Rath, 2005).

    Emotional intelligence is defined by Goleman (1995) as the ability to recognize

    and control emotions in oneself as well as recognize and interpret emotions in others.

    Emotional intelligence quotient (EQ) is a measurement of the emotional

    intelligence of an individual. Similar to the IQ measurement, EQ focuses on emotion

    rather than intellectual intelligence. Bar-On (1997) developed the Bar-On scale for

    measuring EI with his EQ-I test.

    Employee engagementdescribes the psychology of an employees attitude toward

    their current situation in their workplace. Macey and Schneider (2008) describes three

    facets of employee engagement: psychological, behavioral, and trait.

    Front line manageris the manager level individual responsible for the front line

    associates who deal directly with customers (Frunzi & Savini, 1997). Front line managers

    represent the level of management closest to the customer and presumably have the

    greatest potential impact on customer satisfaction.

    Job satisfaction is defined by Allen and Wilburn (2002) as a measure of an

    employees happiness in their current job and future prospects within their role.

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    Additionally, they make the link between an employees job satisfaction and customer

    satisfaction. The mantra is that a satisfied employee will make a satisfied customer.

    Assumptions, Limitations, and Bias

    There were four essential assumptions made in this study. First, it is assumed that

    the participants surveyed are representative of the population. Second, it is assumed that

    the emotional intelligence quotient (EQ) is an accurate measure of emotional intelligence.

    Third, it is assumed that the self-assessment tool is accurate. Finally, there is an

    assumption that the job satisfaction scores reported are representative of a general sample

    and not driven by a recent outlier event.

    Among the limitations of this study is the fact that it is limited only to the call

    centers, with their high turnover rates which may place generalizability into question for

    industries with normal or low turnover. Another limitation is that, in general, EQ is a

    relatively weak measurement (Muyia & Kacirek, 2009). Finally, the results may be

    impacted by an outlier stress level among those sampled on the day they complete the


    Biases in either design or outcomes of the study are components that were

    considered as part of this research. There were three potential areas for bias in this study:

    researcher, participant, and method bias. Each of these potentials areas were addressed

    throughout the study.

    Researcher bias comes in many forms. Boyd and Westfall (1955) found that

    researcher personality characteristics may bias both the design and results of a study.

    Bailar, Bailey, and Stevens (1977) found a link between response rates and the

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    researchers attitude toward the subject matter. Singer, Frankel, and Glassman (1983) and

    Phillips and Dipboye (1989) took the argument a step further through their finding that

    outcomes often skew toward confirming the researchers initial perspectives and

    preconceived notions regarding the subject. For this study, each of the above risks for

    bias was monitored throughout the research process.

    The second area of concern for biases hat may have impacted the results of the

    study concerns participants. Building from the potential for researcher personality to

    affect research outcomes, so too may the participants in the study affect outcomes

    through their disposition (Phillips & Dipboye, 1989). A second potential for bias

    concerns the Hawthorne effect which describes a propensity to respond to a survey with

    answers the participants think appropriate to the content instead of providing an honest

    assessment (Denova, 1968).

    Data collection method bias has manifested itself in each of the methods of

    collecting data. Albaum (1987) found bias in mail surveys although the bias was less

    obvious that in interviews. Because this survey was conducted via online survey, there is

    less likelihood of bias manifesting itself in the outcomes (Evans, Garcia, Garcia, &

    Baron, 2003) but it must be accounted for in analyzing results.

    Organization of the Remainder of the Study

    The following chapters review the body of literature on the subject of emotional

    intelligence. The leading thinkers on the subject are reviewed along with their preferred

    methods of measurement of the construct. Additionally, an overview of the job

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    satisfaction construct is provided in order to understand both main components of this


    Methodology is also discussed. This study was correlational in nature and

    reviewed the emotional intelligence measurements of the front line managers in the

    sample and the correlation of those results to the job satisfaction and employee

    engagement scores of the line employees in the sample.

    Chapter 4 describes the results of the study and addresses the research questions

    that were asked. Outcomes were determined in relation to the samples selected and the

    relationship, if any between emotional intelligence and the elements of employee

    engagement. Summary and recommended future studies on the topic complete the study

    and provide suggested framework for future researchers to continue to build upon this

    study and the existing body of knowledge.

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    Emotional Intelligence as a Construct

    The concept of emotional intelligence (EI) has been developed over time as a

    complimentary intelligence to intellect and social intelligence, among others. The

    research has evolved over time, and spans mid century work in behavioral science to

    more recent works focusing specifically on the study of emotional intelligence. From the

    work or Thorndike (1920) and Weschler (1958) through modern day EI academics such

    as Goleman (1995), Gardner (1983), Mayer and Salovey (1993), and Bar-On (1997), EI

    has found its way into the lexicon of academia and business alike.

    Emotional intelligence is a relatively new measure of intelligence, having really

    been developed over the last thirty years. Over this time the idea has evolved and has

    taken on the form of innate abilities, personality traits, emotional and intellectual

    capabilities, and as a developed ability (Mayer & Salovey, 1990). The evolution of EI as

    a construct has led to great debate about its place among the previously recognized

    intelligences. Weschlers (1958) concept of multiple intelligences forms the basis for the

    idea that EI is not a measure of an element of IQ, but rather an intelligence that can stand

    on its own, independent of intellect, social intelligence, and other measures of intellectual


    Chronology of Theoretical Development

    The concept of emotional intelligence is often credited as stemming from the

    work of Thorndike (1920), Wechsler (1958), and (Fancher, 1985). These early thinkers

    laid the foundation from which emotional intelligence was eventually born. Thorndike

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    (1920) studied social intelligence which he defined as the ability to act rationally and

    intelligently while managing relationships with others. Weschler (1958) built his

    theoretical work from the foundation of Thorndikes work and began to separate personal

    and social intelligence from innate intellectual abilities. This separation eventually led to

    divergent fields including EI.

    The early works of Thorndike (1920) and Weschler (1958) provided a foundation

    for the development of emotional intelligence as an independent intelligence. However, it

    took many years between their research and the research of Gardner (1983). The

    evolution from behaviorist psychology to cognitive research in the second half of the 20


    century (Hunt, 1993) helped to build a foundation for the study of EI which is both

    behaviorist and cognitive in nature. This shift in the focus of the psychology field was

    instrumental in spurring the concept of EI.

    Perhaps spearheading the emotional intelligence research field was Gardner

    (1983) whose concept of multiple intelligences implicitly recognized the potential for an

    emotional state of intelligence. Intelligence had primarily been thought of in terms of

    intellectual or social intelligence. His theories of personal intelligence including

    intrapersonal (understanding ones internal feelings) and interpersonal (recognizing the

    feelings of others) provided a supporting framework for the subsequent research on the

    concept of EI.

    Although the term emotional intelligence was not yet a part of the lexicon of

    academia, Gardners (1983) work was in the space that would eventually be termed

    emotional intelligence research. Gardner (1983) studied interpersonal and intrapersonal

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    intelligence as they related to the capability to understand emotions, intentions, and

    motivations in oneself and others. Inter and intrapersonal intelligences combined provide

    a framework or foundation for Salovey and Mayers (1990) landmark evaluation of

    emotional intelligence.

    The field of psychology began to focus on how emotions and thought interact

    with one another. Bower (1981) and Mayer and Bremer (1985) studied mood and the

    impact on thought processes. Coupled with the work of Gardner (1983), the 1980s

    produced significant research in the realm of emotional connection to cognitive

    processes. The shift in thinking in some parts of the scientific community paved the way

    for later thinkers such as Mayer and Salovey (1990) to begin publishing articles focused

    on the concept of emotional intelligence and the term was coined.

    As leading thinkers in the study of EI, Mayer, Salovey, and Caruso (2004) defined

    EI as the capacity to recognize, manage, and leverage emotions to improve self and

    relationship management. The term emotional intelligence was coined by Salovey &

    Mayer (1990) through their research which stemmed from the efforts of Thorndike,

    Weschler, Gardner, and others as they formalized the definition of EI. This early

    definition was limited to the ability to read, understand, and recognize emotions in

    oneself and others. Later their definition expanded to perceiving and understanding

    emotions in others as well as managing and harnessing emotions in oneself (Salovey &

    Grewal, 2005; Mayer & Salovey, 1997).

    As academic research became more popular in professional and academic

    journals, author Daniel Goleman took the concept to the masses. His (1995) book

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    Emotional Intelligence: Why it can matter more than IQ brought the concept of EI into

    popular culture. This mainstream recognition of EI as a leadership competency led to

    many more research opportunities as well as practitioner applications in institutes of

    higher education as well as in corporations. Golemans view of EI is a mixed model

    focused on both ability and personality. His research has led to a perspective that an

    individual may use EI to their advantage by effectively managing relationships and by

    increased self-motivation which is related to high levels of EI. Goleman (1995) views EI

    as a skill that can be honed through learning and practice.

    Another leading thinker in the study of emotional intelligence is Bar-on (1997).

    Bar-On (1997) developed a model of EI that focuses on emotional intelligence as a

    coping mechanism. He describes emotional intelligence as a development of the

    emotional core that allows an individual to think clearly in the face of emotions and act

    rationally in relationships and other acts of daily life.

    Bar-On (2004) further developed the body of knowledge concerning EI through

    his analysis of the shared elements of emotional and social intelligence. The social side of

    intelligence makes up half of the four elements of EI. The relationship management and

    management of other emotions elements of EI have a social component and thus provide

    synergy with the study of social intelligence. However, not all researchers are convinced

    the social and emotional intelligence overlap is warranted including Mayer and Salovey

    (1997) who described EI in ways that separates EI from other aspects of social

    intelligence such as personality characteristics.

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    Mayer and Salovey (1997) built upon the continuum of the emotional intelligence

    literature including their own, while recognizing the work particularly of Goleman (1995)

    and Bar-On (1997) and viewed EI as distinguished from traits and talents. Their focus

    and expanded definition of EI represents characteristics outside of the realm of the

    definition of intelligence. This focus, particularly in separating EI from traditional

    definition of intelligence, may have come in response to a building coalition against the

    concept of EI being recognized as intelligence at all by some researchers who view the

    concept as a personality trait more than intelligence similar to intellectual intelligence

    (Landy, 2005). This backlash in the academic community has been a hurdle for emotional

    intelligence researchers who continue to build the argument for a separate and distinct

    form of intelligence represented by EI through various models and schools of thought.

    Models of Emotional Intelligence

    As researchers have looked to develop the study of emotional intelligence, the

    study has branched into three general models. Muyia (2009) attempted to bucket the

    definitions and models of EI into three categories: ability model, personality model, and a

    mixed model. The ability model implies that EI is a competency that can be learned,

    developed and maintain as individuals focus on the elements of the construct of EI.

    Goleman (1995) is recognized as a leader in the research and positioning of EI as an

    ability. Golemans studies represent EI as an ability akin to athletic ability that can be

    trained to become more efficient and effective in any given individual.

    Other researchers have utilized a personality model to describe and research EI.

    Bar-On (1997) focused his research on EI as a personality trait. His measure of EI (EQ-i)

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    has been compared to a personality trait assessment (Roberts, Zeidner, & Matthews,

    2001). Bar-Ons (2004) argument was that personality plays an important role in how

    other perceive an individuals emotions or motivations in a social setting. The thinking is

    that internal emotions and the external manifestation of emotions (perceived as

    personality) are inextricably linked (Bar-On, 2004).

    Finally, Mayer et al. (2004) view EI from a mixed model perspective. Perhaps

    using the best arguments from both Goleman (1995) and Bar-On (2004), Mayer et al.

    (2004) agree that EI is an innate ability, perhaps part of an individuals personality make-

    up as well as a skill that can be further developed. They view EI as both a competency

    that can be developed as well as an innate ability, something that an individual enjoys

    from birth forward which may be more akin to an example of athleticism whereby an

    individual may be born with given talents (personality in the case of EI) but has the

    opportunity to further develop those talents (or allow the talents to whither) which

    follows the ability models thinking.

    EI as a Competency That Can Be Developed

    Goleman (1995) measures EI via the Emotional Competence Inventory (ECI).

    Golemans research (Goleman, 2005; Goleman, Boyatzis, & McKee, 2002) supports the

    notion that EI may be learned and practiced. The ECI is a measurement that allows an

    individual to self-report elements of EI that ultimately allows the participant to then focus

    on those areas that may need further development and make an impact to their EI growth.

    With this in mind, leadership development programs have begun to focus training

    managers and executives in the elements of emotional intelligence and how to develop

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    their competencies in this area. Goleman et al. (2002) focused particularly on the concept

    of EI as a critical competency in effective leadership and have been able to link EI

    competencies to positive employee morale as well as linking EI to improved financial

    performance of organizations where leaders have practiced and exhibited strong EI

    competencies. This provides a monetary gain for employers who recognize EI not as an

    element of personality, but rather a construct that individuals can learn to enhance over


    The ability model (Salovey & Mayer, 1990; Mayer & Salovey, 1993, 1995, 1997;

    Mayer, Salovey, & Caruso, 2000a) consists of an accurate understanding of ones own

    emotions, use of emotions to enhance intellectual intelligence, understanding emotions,

    and regulation of emotions. The ability model views EI as a competency and is specific

    about the four main areas of focus to enhance emotional intelligence. These four are

    presented in a continuum from understanding emotions (and triggers) and regulating or

    harnessing these emotions to leverage as strengths. Mayer et al. (2000a) described

    understanding ones own emotions as monitoring internal thoughts and feelings.

    Understanding emotions in others is viewed as identifying these emotions through

    physical states, spoken word, and other outward verbal and non-verbal actions others may

    take during an interaction (Mayer et al., 2000a).

    The use of emotions to enhance intellectual intelligence is the ability to

    understand multiple perspectives of intelligence and correlate internal emotions with

    emotions of others to better understand and react to certain situations (Izard, 2001). The

    ability to understand emotion recognizes the outcomes of emotions and provides a

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    framework and reference point for future reactions to the same emotions in a given

    context (Frijda, 1988). The foundation for this is understanding what may trigger an

    emotion- whether it is positive or negative- in order to act more intelligently upon that

    emotion, deciding how to best leverage the emotion within the context of the situation.

    Regulation of emotions is an offshoot of understanding emotion; this is the

    foundation of the ability model of emotional intelligence (Mayer & Salovey, 1997).

    Regulation includes the moderation of emotions, judging and acting on the usefulness of

    a given emotion- i.e. when and where to use anger as an advantage in a situation. This

    may include displaying angry emotions in situations that require renewed focus from

    others or when to display eagerness and hopefulness in promoting a positive environment

    for success.

    EI as a Personality Trait/Characteristic

    Emotional intelligence is viewed by some as a personality trait or a characteristic

    that individuals are born with. Bar-Ons (1997) EQ-i model focuses on measuring items

    such as resilience and ability to manage stressors as critical components of EI. The traits

    measured with Bar-Ons model cross into the big five personality factors of

    extraversion, emotional stability, agreeableness, conscientiousness, and openness to

    experience (Barrick & Mount, 1991, p.1). Bar-On recognized personality as a significant

    component of emotional intelligence in individuals. However, this idea has contributed to

    some of the major criticisms of EI concerning the grey area between which components

    of personality constitute true EI and which are simply personality traits. The EQ-i model

    attempts to separate the difference between the two.

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    The EQ-i model was designed with an eye toward both emotional and social

    intelligence. Bar-Ons (1997) focus was on how an individual uses an understanding of

    their emotions and the emotions of others to navigate through social situations. This

    model aims to measure effectiveness in this endeavor. Viewing EI in this manner (as a

    characteristic of personality) has lent itself to criticism from academia including from

    pioneers in the research of EI, Salovey and Mayer (1990) who decried Bar-Ons method

    as lacking the necessary correlating properties linking emotions to intelligence.

    Overall, the research recognizes that personality is a component of EI, the

    differences between research models lies in how big of an impact does personality have

    on the measure of EI. The question may lie in asking whether personality is the sole

    component, a contributing component or simply an ancillary characteristic that has no

    bearing on an individuals level of emotional intelligence.

    EI as a Distinct Intelligence/ Innate Ability

    Mayer, DiPaolo, and Saloveys (1990) critique of Bar-Ons take on the EI

    construct lies at the heart of their model of EI itself. The viewpoint of EI as a distinct

    intelligence that individuals are prone to hold through innate ability differs significantly

    from the viewpoint of EI as a personality trait. It is this viewpoint that specifically ties EI

    to something more similar to intellectual intelligence, a characteristic independent of

    ones personality, yet something that contributes to an individuals overall being.

    Mayer et al. (2004) described EI as the ability to perceive, utilize, manage, and

    understand emotions through self-management and self-awareness. Their four branch

    model is similar to models advanced by Bradberry and Greaves (2009) and focuses on

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    self-awareness, self-management, relationship management, and social awareness. To

    link these four branches back to the big five personality factors that are so linked to Bar-

    Ons model, it is apparent that each of the branches is more inward looking, more

    reflective then the personality factors which are more expressive in nature. Perhaps this

    distinction best illustrates the difference between the personality model and the ability

    model. Bar-Ons (1997) personality model is expressive in nature and focuses on outward

    expression of emotions, categorizing emotions into areas similar to personality factors.

    Mayer et al. (2004) focus on the understanding and use of emotions as an internal

    exercise, something that can be understood and enhanced over time and separate and

    distinct from personality.

    The models built by Bar-On (1997), Goleman (1995), and Mayer and Salovey

    (1997), while different in many ways, are also linked by several components. Bar-On

    (1997) breaks EI down into interpersonal skills, stress management skills, mood, and

    adaptability skills (Mayer, Salovey, & Caruso, 2000b). Goleman (1995) focuses on

    similar elements of subsystems of personality including: self-motivation, relationships,

    understanding emotion in oneself, understanding emotion in others, and managing

    emotions (Mayer et al., 2000b). As Mayer et al. (2000b) reflected on the models of their

    colleagues, they determined that the focus of emotional and intellectual interactions in

    their model were most similar to that of Goleman. Their construct of EI is four pronged

    and concerns perception or emotion, facilitating emotion, understanding emotion, and

    regulating emotion (Mayer et al., 2000b). These concepts are well-aligned with

    Golemans (1995) descriptions of the elements of EI.

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    Finally, the view of emotional intelligence is broken into two components, those

    that satisfy internal needs, and those that are externally focused. Much of the distinction

    is found in constructs such as perception versus expression of emotion (Mayer et al.,

    2000b). Expression of emotion can be considered an external element of EI, how one

    interacts with the outside world. Perception of emotion on the other hand may be

    considered internally facing. Perception of the emotion in oneself or others focuses on a

    satisfaction of the internal needs of the individual to better understand the world. Other

    constructs such as Golemans (1995) recognizing emotion in others and understanding

    ones own emotions also represent the division between internal and external forces that

    make up the models of EI.

    Validity of Emotional Intelligence

    Understanding the validity of emotional intelligence has proven difficult for

    researchers for a variety of reasons. Cherniss (2010) outlines the two obstacles to

    effectively measuring EI. Ever changing and sometimes conflicting definitions and

    models of EI is the first obstacle. This is played out in the model descriptions above and

    the varied approaches to modeling EI practiced by the greatest thinkers in this space.

    Researchers have attempted to mitigate this apparent conflict by clearly stating the

    definition of EI as it relates to their individual research and acknowledging the model

    used in their research- ability, personality/trait, or mixed.. However, this has not helped

    ease concerns within the overall body of work on this concept and there is more work to

    be done to validate the concept as the body of knowledge deepens.

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    The second concern presented by Cherniss (2010) is the limitations and

    questionable validity of the measurement instruments for EI. Muyia (2009) attempted to

    reconcile the validity of the instruments by taking the bucketed models addressed above

    (ability, personality, and mixed models) to create three approaches to measuring EI:

    specific ability, integrative model, and mixed model approach. Specific ability

    conceptualizes EI as developing over time, similar to cognitive intelligence (Muyia,

    2009). The integrative and mixed model approaches focus on non-cognitive learning. In

    each of the models and approaches to measuring EI, there are significant limitations that

    have not yet been fully mitigated. These include questions such as whether EI can stand

    on its own as a separate intelligence and whether EI is simply a component of social


    Finally there is concern with the use of self-report measures to understand EI in

    individuals. Because self-reporting may be influenced by how an individual feels on a

    given day and not representative of true feelings, EI results may be skewed. Additionally,

    inherent in self-reporting mechanisms is the skewing of data related to an individuals

    awareness that their responses are being tracked. As such, responses may be embellished

    or falsified to meet the percepted expectations of a researcher. The introduction of tactics

    such as 360 degree feedback help mitigate this risk by triangulating self-reported results

    with results as reported by third parties who have had interactions with the participants.

    EI as Standalone Intelligence

    As the concept of emotional intelligence has grown, a common question is

    whether EI is strong enough to stand on its own as a separate intelligence. Salovey &

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    Mayer (1990) define EI in terms of cognitive abilities, innate to an individual

    contributing to rational thought. This set of cognitive abilities is viewed as set apart from

    established intelligences such as intellect and social intelligence. Due to the specific

    nature of the elements of EI: self-awareness, self-regulation, relationship management,

    and the ability to read emotion in others, EI maintains components much different from

    those associated with other measures of intelligence. Additionally, some argue that EI is

    not an intelligence at all, rather simply a set of personality traits (Muyia, 2009). Overall,

    the prevailing viewpoint of the scholars who study EI is that EI is one element of a

    holistic intelligence within an individual.

    Emotion and intellect have been linked as early as Thorndike (1920). Its the

    relationship between the two that constitutes emotional intelligence. Ketelaar and Clore

    (1997) viewed EI as focused on the functional relationship between emotive and

    cognitive capabilities. Their viewpoint connects EI to intellect, but in a way that the two

    are complimentary, indicating that EI must be a separate entity from intellect altogether.

    This viewpoint supports the notion that EI represents a part of intelligence that combined

    with cognitive abilities, presents a more rounded individual in terms of competencies and


    Is EI Simply an Element of Social Intelligence?

    Another perspective taken by some scholars is that EI may simply be an element

    of social intelligence given some of the similar properties between the two. Leading the

    counter charge to this argument are Mayer et al. (1990). Mayer et al. (1990) describe EI

    as a combination of two elements that when meshed are more powerful intellectual tools

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    than when standing alone. Similar to the description of the cognitive relationship with EI

    above, this combination describes social intelligence as a complimentary intelligence to

    EI. Social intelligence represents the ability of an individual to interact in social settings

    whereas EI measures a level of awareness an individual has while in social settings or

    within oneself. The continuum could be described as an individual who holds high

    emotional intelligence may also, then, demonstrate a high level of social intelligence.

    Supporting the notion of a complimentary relationship between social and

    emotional intelligence is the work of Bar-On (2004). He described awareness, expression,

    understanding, and controlling emotions and their relation to managing change,

    generating self-motivation, and affecting positive interpersonal relationships as

    connecting social and emotional intelligence. This connection supports the work of

    Mayer et al. (1990) in describing the relationship between emotional and social

    intelligence as complimentary, a continuum of learning rather than EI simply being a

    component of the umbrella of social intelligence.

    Can EI Be Measured Accurately?

    The importance of self-reporting to the measurement of EI has been presented as

    a significant concern in the literature and has in some cases threatened the validity of EI

    as intelligence separate from other, more established elements of intelligence. Davies,

    Stankov, and Roberts (1998) discussed the limitations of self-reporting to include the

    blurring of emotional intelligence factors with personality assessment. An ongoing

    struggle with the establishment of EI as an accredited measure of intelligence, the

    crossover into personality trait assessment has caused problems with validation.

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    The clear connection between personality factors, social interactions, and

    emotional intelligence factors contributes to the blurring of the lines between each, but

    researchers in the field, especially Mayer et al. (1990), Goleman (1995), Bar-On (2004)

    create clear distinctions between the three components. The arguments presented by each

    author, although differing in model and approach, generally support the notion that each

    stand on its own, while offering complimentary features. The three elements- personality

    traits, social intelligence, and emotional intelligence, when combined with intellectual

    intelligence does not threaten validity, but rather, strengthens validity of the concept of EI

    (Ryback, 1998).

    Bias in Emotional Intelligence Research

    Throughout the work of Mayer and Salovey (1993), Goleman (1995), and Bar-On

    (1997) the issue of bias has been raised. The primary concern is method bias. Because of

    the nature of the research that is done to support EI, self-reporting provides the greatest

    opportunity for bias (Spector, 2006). Spector (2006) focuses primarily on the method bias

    while using mixed method research favored by Bar-On (1997). The mixed method bias

    may be mitigated by using an ability based model (Barbuto & Burbach, 2006).

    Golemans (1995) EQ Test was developed as ability model research and thus limits the

    method bias inherent in EI research.

    The emotional competence inventory (ECI), a method created by Goleman et al.

    (2002) utilized 360 degree feedback. However, potential biases exist primarily with

    regard to how employers perceive employees or impressions (true or false) that others

    may have for the individual in question. These perceptions may color the research and

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    create biased results. Mitigation for this variable was provided by generating feedback

    from many individuals in order to filter the biases and provide an accurate picture on an

    individuals EI.

    The triangulation created by combining 360 degree feedback with self-reporting

    helps mitigate mono-method bias. This is created when self reporting mechanisms and

    results are not supported by anything else. Additionally, inflated results from self

    reporting (Jackson, Stillman, Burke, & Englert, 2007) may further influence bias in

    research. Again, this is mitigated by a triangulation approach or by using other methods

    besides self-reporting to gather information from a respondent.

    Measures of Emotional Intelligence

    There are many tools available today to measure EI in individuals. A few will be

    discussed in more detail below. Many are theoretically sound; some are not but most

    measure similar components of emotional intelligence to arrive at an Emotional Quotient

    (EQ) similar to that of IQ. The tools referenced below are those that are found to be most

    useful for this research. Although each has been criticized by some academics for a

    variety of reasons, most notably the close link to personality assessments, each is a good

    barometer of the EI competency of the respondent. The tools reviewed have been

    developed by some of the leading thinkers in the field of emotional intelligence. Those

    reviewed are: the EQ test developed by Daniel Goleman (1995), the ECI developed by

    Goleman and Boyatzis (Sala, 2000), EQ-i developed by Bar-On (1997), the SSEIT

    created by Schutte et al. (1998), and MSCEIT crafted by Mayer et al. (2002).

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    EQ Test

    Developed by Daniel Goleman (1995), the EQ Test, like most other measures of

    EI, is a self-report test. This test focuses on the use of ones own emotions and the

    emotions of others. The test is administered as a scenario analysis where respondents are

    asked to choose alternative actions to ten scenarios. Because Golemans stance is that EI

    is a competency that can be developed, it is assumed that respondents may improve their

    results on subsequent tests as they work to hone their competencies. As with other EI

    tests, academics have questioned the validity of the tool, primarily due to the self-report

    nature of the test.

    The EQ test differs from the other measures discussed because of the use of

    scenarios. The scenarios allow the respondent to put themselves in a situation and

    respond according to how they would react. This response over a series of vignettes

    allows the test to yield a score for EQ (emotional quotient) which is used as an output of

    emotional intelligence rated on a scale similar to IQ.

    Emotional Competence Inventory (ECI)

    The Emotional Competence Inventory (ECI) (Sala, 2000) links personality to

    performance. The ECI builds on Golemans (1995) previous work as well as that of

    Goleman, Boyatzis, and McKee (2002). While this measure is also a self-reporting tool, it

    also leverages 360 degree feedback and thus includes measurables based on the

    perceptions of EI competencies from others. This triangular approach strengthens the

    models, although there are still validity gaps due to the subjective nature of both internal

    and external feedback mechanisms.

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    The ECI differs from the other tools primarily with its use of the 360 degree

    feedback. In this sense, the validity questions regarding self-reporting are somewhat

    mitigated by taking into account the perceptions of others. Useful participants in 360

    degree feedback usually include family members, peer level coworkers, subordinate as

    well as managers of the respondents.

    The use of 360 degree feedback (Sala, 2000) strengthens the potential weakness

    of self-reporting mechanisms, however, there are risks concerning the size of the gap

    between outside perception and internal perception of ones level of EI. There is risk that

    the size of the gap may deter from the validity of the results of the survey. It is for this

    reason that outliers may be pulled from consideration when analyzing the results.


    Bar-Ons (1997) EQ-i model is a 133 item assessment. The tool is a mixed model

    assessment (traits and abilities) measuring interpersonal, intrapersonal, stress

    management, adaptability, and general mood of the respondents. Validity studies are

    concerned with the disconnect from traditional intellectual intelligence tests which pushes

    emotional intelligence out as a less valid component of overall intelligence (Bar-On,

    2004). Much research exists that generally considers mixed model approaches to EI as

    invalid in one form or another due to the over-reliance on self-reporting (Brown and

    Moshavi, 2005).

    Roberts, Zeidner, and Matthews (2001)took a critical eye of the EQ-i tool as a

    measurement of EI intimating that this measurement is over reliant on the individuals

    self-awareness to measure their full range of EI. Thus, as with many EI measurements,

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    the hurdle remains that as self-reporting measures, these tools are not as scientific in

    nature as measurements for other realms of intelligence such as IQ.

    The EQ-i differs from other tests in its focus on traits in addition to abilities. Bar-

    On (1997) recognized two components of EI which include personality and traits and

    thus tailored his measurement tool to account for both. His research supports the notion

    that truly developed EI is represented on both fronts.


    The Schutte Self-Report Emotional Intelligence Test (SSEIT) (Schutte et al.,

    1998) was designed to be a tool which is simple to administer and interpret as a means to

    measure EI. Schutte et al. (1998) designed the SSEIT based on the theoretical and

    practical work of Salovey and Mayer (1990). Salovey and Mayer (1990) described four

    elements of EI. They included: recognizing emotions in oneself, expression of emotion,

    emotional regulation, and leveraging emotions to solve problems, each of which are

    accounted for within the development of the SSEIT tool. Schutte et al. (1998) focused on

    taking a deeper viewpoint of the respondent within each of the elements of EI in order to

    provide a holistic overview of the measurement of emotional intelligence in the


    The SSEIT shares weaknesses of the other tests with regard to self-reporting.

    However, this tool differentiates itself from the other measurement instruments by

    focusing on four specific components of EI. The continuum from emotional recognition

    and expression (internal) to regulation and emotional leverage (external) allows for a full

    spectrum analysis of EI in the individual.

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    The Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test (MSCEIT) is a 141 item

    assessment tool that assesses the ability based model of EI (Mayer et al., 2002). MSCEIT

    focuses on the ability of the individual to recognize and react to emotions generated

    within vignettes and viewed in illustrations of facial characteristics. Support for this test

    academically comes from the realization that the ability model avoids some of the pitfalls

    associated with emotional intelligence tests that seemingly cross over too far into the

    realm of personality assessments (Brackett & Mayer, 2001). Additionally, Van Rooy and

    Viswesvaran (2004) correlate MSCEIT results with general intelligence tests, further

    supporting the validity to this tool.

    This tool differs from others in its use of the visual clues of emotions in others.

    An important element of EI is recognizes emotions not only in oneself, but in others. One

    of the most useful ways to accomplish this is by having the skill (ability) to read

    underlying emotions through facial expression. The MSCEIT allows the respondent to try

    their skill in this regard to compliment the rest of the survey outcomes to gain a rounded

    understanding of the individuals EI.

    The MSCEIT was the tool used to measure manager EI for this research. The

    variety of the construction of the questions, including visuals provided a unique

    perspective into the EI of the managers that were studied. Additionally, the use of the

    ability model provides for an appropriate framework in understanding the abilities of

    managers to develop and display emotional intelligence in the workplace and did not

    limit the results or influence the results of this study by illuminating personality factors

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    that contribute either to the self-reporting of results or the perceptions of EI in the

    managers that were studied.

    Employee Satisfaction as a Construct

    Goleman et al. (2002) found that the level of a leaders EI is correlated to the

    positive mood of their employees which then leads to higher revenues through improved

    customer satisfaction scores, particularly in service industries. In linking EI to their

    concept of primal leadership, Goleman et al. (2002) found that employees who work for a

    leader that is actively working on their EI competencies will be positively impacted and

    thus perform more strongly and experience an increase in their own satisfaction at work.

    The importance of EI as a leadership competency has been described as executive

    intelligence (Ryback, 1998). Executive intelligence includes EI as a significant

    contributor to the ability of a leader to relate to his organization, make more informed

    decisions, and increase the output as well as loyalty of the employees in the organization.

    The executive intelligence concept contemplates EI as driving employee satisfaction with

    a correlation to bottom line results and thus Ryback (1998) has been able to formulate a

    business case for EI.

    However, there are limitations to the connection between EI and effective

    leadership (Cherniss, 2010). Muyia and Kacirek (2009) found Cherniss (2010) concerns

    around the linkages of EI to leadership to be true as they worked through their research

    and determined EI had little, if any impact on a leaders job performance. Cherniss

    (2010) reiterated the importance of the situational factors as much as the EI factors in

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    determining outcome in a given situation. Situational theory supports this notion, with EI

    being just another element that may embellish a situation.

    It can be surmised that EI is simply one of many contributing factors within a

    given situation that allows for successful governorship. However, Ryback (1998) asserts

    that any situation, given a dose of EI from the leadership post will yield better results

    than those situations absent of any element of strong EI represented from leadership.

    Followers within an organization look to leaders for guidance not only in day to day

    responsibilities but also in how to react to a crises or otherwise negative situation.

    Ryback (1998) researched the connection a leader who is strong in his EI competencies

    and the reactions of employees and thus influences the outcome of such an event.

    Employee satisfaction represents a condition of feeling about ones positive or

    negative work environment, inclusive of relationships, culture, and physical environment

    (Fraser, 1983). The EI of management and coworkers can contribute to the overall

    experience of an employee and influence how they rate their own satisfaction on the job

    (Goleman et al., 2002). Again, the leader sets the tone emotionally and a leader strong in

    his own EI will influence others, implicitly or explicitly, to develop their own emotional

    intelligence and thus react to situations with more control. A feeling of control emotional

    may also contribute to a higher satisfaction on the job (Ryback, 1998).

    Employee satisfaction has followed theoretical models such as the two-factor

    theory (Fraser, 1983) and Stamps and Piedmontes (1986) model consisting of five

    viewpoints. Frasers model looks at both the satisfaction and dissatisfaction of an

    employee on the job. These factors are modeled from the employees perspective and are

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    related to the level of motivation and ownership (engagement) in ones job

    responsibilities with a correlation to levels of satisfaction or dissatisfaction.

    Stamps and Piedmonte (1986) explored employee satisfaction more broadly in

    their five factors. They view satisfaction as a conglomeration of: personal fulfillment,

    views of expectations gap, impact of their work output, relative contribution, and Frasers

    two-factor model. These five viewpoints encompass each of the factors that may

    influence an employees view of their job but what is not explicitly outlined is the impact

    of leadership EI as a construct of employee satisfaction.

    Employee satisfaction, like emotional intelligence relies heavily on self-reporting

    as a measure of the levels of satisfaction in the individual. The results of any given

    survey may be influenced by the particular feelings at the time of the survey. Therefore,

    there is risk inherent ion a heavy reliance on self-report measures to definitely entertain

    results of any given survey. However, it is the entirety of the body of research on

    employee engagement and job satisfaction that normalizes for any gaps or deficiencies in

    any given study.

    Methodologies in Existing Research in Emotional Intelligence

    Emotional intelligence has been studied primarily using variations quantitative

    research. Because emotional intelligence is recognized by some researchers as a hard

    intelligence similar to IQ, and the mainstream measures of EI are survey based (ie

    MSCEIT, EQ-I, etc), it is appropriate that the quantitative methods of research are

    applied (Mayer & Salovey, 1990). Four such studies are explored to better understand

    some of the common methodologies employed by researchers seeking better understand

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    EI and the relation to various variables. The relevance to this study is that the study is

    quantitative in nature and the methodology is similar to that of the existing body of work

    in the field.

    Day and Carroll (2008) sought to further understand a perceived gap in the

    emotional intelligence research that deals with the limitations of self-reporting to

    measuring EI. Their study was quantitative and measured the same sample taking both

    Bar-Ons (1997) EQ-I test and the MSCEIT (Mayer et al., 2004) in two separate sessions

    to determine if either was more susceptible to participant misrepresentation.

    Their method measured results of the same sample separated by two weeks. The

    sample was set in two separate functions each week. In week one they were set in an

    applicant situation where the participant was responding to the test based on their

    applying for a job. The second scenario placed the sample participants in a different

    scenario as a non-applicant, they simply instructed to complete the test as participants in

    a research study. Participants were asked to complete both the MSCEIT and EQ-I tests in

    each session (Day & Carroll, 2008).

    To understand the results of their study, Day and Carroll (2008) used descriptive

    statistics to determine the correlation between the applicant and non-applicant results of

    the two instruments. The correlation was stronger and negatively positioned for the EQ-I

    test. Reported measures t-tests were used to analyze this data. Chi-square analysis was

    used as part of a control dataset taking all of the test results and treating them as if they

    were all results from different applicants versus duplicate results for each member of the

    sample. The results of the Chi-square found the proportion of different responses

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    (indicated distorted responses) can from the EQ-I dataset whereas MSCEIT results were

    generally constant (Day & Carroll, 2008).

    The outcome of their research determined that the EQ-I test was more susceptible

    to distortion when compared to the MSCEIT (Day & Carroll, 2008). This is relevant to

    this study because the mechanism for measuring EI in the sample selected is the

    MSCEIT. Because Day and Carroll (2008) have supported the notion that, although still

    somewhat limited by the nature of self-report testing, MSCEIT limits participant

    distortion due to the nature and construct of the instrument.

    Another study on EI was performed by Rahim and Malik (2010). Their study was

    presented as a case study designed to better understand the effect of demographics on EI.

    In particular there was a focus on age, educational, and gender differences. Surveys and

    questionnaires were used to collect data. Because this was not a correlational study, but

    rather a study of independent variables, the independent sample t-test was used to

    understand gender differences in measure of EI. Their results showed that there was a

    difference and that the women in the sample showed higher EI measurements than the

    men in the sample.

    Regression analysis was used for all variables and the finding was that

    demographic variables or level of education and gender were found to have a positive

    relationship with EI. Coefficient of determination was used to determine variation in the

    results (Rahim & Malik, 2010). Variation was found to be minimal and supported the

    quality of the control group.

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    With regard to the relationship between age and EI, the mean responses were

    almost identical throughout the distribution of the age brackets. Using a 5-point Likert

    scale, each of the age brackets mean results was in the 3.8 range with a significant drop

    off of 2.8 over the age of 41. The authors postulate that this decline is a result of the

    experiences over the career of someone in this age bracket as well as the level of

    responsibility differences as the sample study progressed through their career (Rahim &

    Malik, 2010).

    Rode et al. (2007) used the MSCEIT to test the effect of the model on individual

    performance. This study considered four hypotheses: Emotional intelligence is

    positively related to interpersonal effectiveness (Rode et al., 2007, p. 402), Emotional

    intelligence is positively related to academic performance (Rode et al., 2007, p. 403),

    conscientiousness positively moderates the relationship between emotional intelligence

    and interpersonal effectiveness, such that the relationship between emotional intelligence

    and interpersonal effectiveness is stronger for high versus low levels of

    conscientiousness (Rode et al., 2007, p. 404), and Conscientiousness positively

    moderates the relationship between emotional intelligence and academic performance,

    such that the relationship between emotional intelligence and academic performance is

    stronger for high versus low levels of conscientiousness (Rode et al., 2007, p. 404).

    Each hypothesis was tested for direct and indirect effects using descriptive statistics for


    Their findings supported weak correlation between EI and group behavior

    effectiveness, public speaking, and GPA of the participants. The correlation factors were

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    r = .17, .15, and .16 respectively. These findings failed to support the notion that EI is

    most correlated with acts of two way communication, whereas public speaking and GPA

    are relatively solitary acts where it may be expected the EI has weak correlation. The

    authors were surprised by the low correlation between EI and group behavior

    effectiveness but postulated that this may have been due to the artificial environment

    within which group behavior was moderated compared to the real world environment

    within which GPA was collected (Rode et al., 2007).

    A fourth study on EI sought to understand the relationship between EI and social

    intelligence variables. Morand (2001) used the construct validity of facial recognition to

    measure against measures of social intelligence including personality type, empathy, and

    leader consideration. Morand (2001) used validated testing instruments to measure the

    social intelligence measures and a facial recognition tool to correlate results. The test was

    administered to MBA students with a sample size of 41.

    The study found the average correlation between facial emotion recognition and

    empathy (.33) and personality type (.36) both using a one tail test. Leader consideration

    on the other hand was determined to not have a significant correlation to the facial

    recognition test results (.20). The author concluded that the weak correlation of leader

    consideration was related to weakness in the study design related to this measurement

    (Morand, 2001).

    Similar to other studies, Morand (2001) found that females scored higher than

    males in facial recognition. He used descriptive statistics (t-test) to come to this

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    conclusion. The use of descriptive statistics in understanding elements of EI using

    various measures to test is common within the research on this construct.

    The quantitative nature of the studies reviewed here as well as the tools used in

    testing EI helped shape the construct of the present study. The importance of the use of

    an ability based model influenced the decision to use the MSCEIT test for EI. The studies

    reviewed are primarily correlational studies seeking to understand correlation between

    measures of EI and various elements of social intelligence, demographics, and other

    indicators. This study took a similar approach and attempted to better understand the

    correlation between the emotional intelligence specific to front line managers with the

    employee engagement factors of employees. In that regard, this study takes a similar

    approach as the studies reviewed here to build on the existing body of knowledge in the

    realm of emotional intelligence.

    Methodologies in Existing Research in Employee Engagement

    In a study focused on understanding the relationship between dysfunctional

    leaders and employee engagement, Leary (2010) used the Hogan Development Survey

    (HDS) (Hogan & Hogan, 2009) and the Utrecht Work Engagement Scale (WES) to

    measure employee engagement. The HDS is a self-report mechanism tracking three

    different categories of employee engagement: moving away, moving against, and moving

    toward engagement (Hogan & Hogan, 2009). The internal consistency reliability

    coefficients is .67. Standard deviation ratio is .84/.98 indicating reliability of the

    instrument (Leary, 2010). The use of the self-report mechanism HDS is consistent with

    the use of the Job Satisfaction Survey (JSS) which was used in this study. Both HDS and

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    JSS are self-report mechanisms that measure various elements of employee engagement.

    In order to understand empowerment, engagement, job satisfaction, and manager

    satisfaction. HDS is a 168- item test and is thus longer than the JSS. The brevity of the

    JSS tool was the main driver for the choice for this study over other tools such as HDS

    and WES.

    The WES measures employee engagement on three scales: vigor, dedication, and

    absorption. The internal consistency measure for the WES is in excess of .70 for all three

    criterion. This indicates strong internal consistency and thus promotes WES as a useful

    tool in understanding employee engagement (Leary, 2010). To analyze the data collected

    via WES and HDS, Leary (2010) used multiple regression analysis and ANOVA. One

    key finding of Learys (2010) research was the negative correlation between

    dysfunctional employee disposition and employee engagement. Although this study

    compared the disposition and employee engagement levels of the same individual, it is

    relevant to the present study that compared the disposition (emotional intelligence) of

    managers with the employee engagement levels of employees.

    In another study focused on personality and employee engagement, Wildermuth

    (2008) used the five factor model and Job Engagement Survey (JES) (Rich, 2006) to

    measure personality and employee engagement. Similar to Learys (2010) study,

    Wildermuth (2008) used an email survey to collect data using these instruments.

    Wildermuth (2008) found that extraversion was highly correlated to engagement levels.

    Because emotional intelligence contains elements of personality, the present study

    concerns an element of comparison between personality and engagement. Wildermuths

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    (2008) provides a framework for this understanding. Like the present study, Wildermuth

    (2008) contributed to the further development and validation of the tools that were used.

    The collection of data using an individual tool contributes to the overall body of

    knowledge produced by that tool.

    The JES (Rich, 2006) is an 18-item survey. Similar to the JSS tool that was used

    in the present study, the completion of the survey can be done by participants in 5-10

    minutes. Thus participation was increased as a result. Rich (2006) measured validity of

    the tool in a comparison with Schaufeli and Bakkers (2004) test UWES. Rich (2006)

    found the two to be strongly correlated.

    Wildermuth (2008) asked four questions in the study each focused on the strength

    and direction (positive or negative) of the relationships between: personality factors and

    employee engagement, differences in employee engagement across each organization,

    differences within demographics, and how best to determine predictability of engagement

    using personality test scores. T-tests, Pearson correlation, multiple regression analysis,

    and ANOVA were used to analyze the data. Wildermuths (2008) findings indicated a

    strong relationship between extraversion and engagement and indicated that personality

    factors can be strong predictors of engagement.

    The employee engagement studies referenced provide a framework for how to

    approach future employee engagement studies. In conjunction with the review of

    emotional intelligence studies, the research describes the importance and effectiveness of

    the quantitative approach to correlation of these concepts. Additionally, the examples of

    research provide additional insight into the various tools available to research and

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    understand elements of EI and job satisfaction. The present study contributes further to

    the existing body of research in both areas of study.

    Chapter Summary

    There is significant research available in the realm of both emotional intelligence

    and job satisfaction. These constructs have been studied separately as well as together to

    understand correlation. There are many tools available to measure these elements in

    individuals, however most rely on self-reporting. There have been steps to mitigate the

    relative weaknesses in self-reporting such as the use of 360 degree feedback, but there

    remains the concern around the necessity for an individual to be the expert in expressing

    how they feel as an individual.

    The research reviewed has shown correlation between emotional intelligence and

    other factors such as demographics, employee or workgroup performance, and job

    satisfaction. Additionally, it has been shown that there are changes in EI over time in

    studies of the same sample separated by time and circumstance. Research in the field of

    job satisfaction has shown correlation with manager dysfunction, behavior, and


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    The purpose of this study was to determine the relationship, if any, between

    manager emotional intelligence and job satisfaction of employee