Emotional Intelligence - A Personal Resource for Employees who Work With People : Processes and Implications

Faculty/Professorship: Fakultät Humanwissenschaften: Abschlussarbeiten 
Author(s): Nizielski, Sophia
Publisher Information: Bamberg : opus
Year of publication: 2014
Pages: 130 ; Illustrationen, Diagramme
Supervisor(s): Schütz, Astrid  ; Wolstein, Jörg  
Language(s): English
Bamberg, Univ., Diss.
Licence: German Act on Copyright 
URN: urn:nbn:de:bvb:473-opus4-106038
Previous research indicates that emotional intelligence (EI) is a personal resource for employees who work with people. Emotionally intelligent people have repeatedly been found to perform better on the job and to be less likely to experience burnout than people with low emotional abilities. However, the mechanisms that underlie such well-established relations are largely unknown. Furthermore, testing the supposed potential of EI in the context of personnel selection has been widely neglected in previous studies. To address some of the existing gaps in this research, I wanted to examine whether EI would have the potential to operate as a personal resource for people working in and applying for jobs that are associated with emotional demands.
The present dissertation consists of five parts. Chapter 1 provides an introduction to the construct of emotional intelligence and explains the relevance of EI in the context of working with people. At the end of Chapter 1, I present an overview of my empirical research on EI by presenting the central research questions that are revisited in the subsequent chapters.
Chapter 2 concerns the processing of emotional signals as a function of EI. Working with people is characterized by frequent and sometimes even conflict-laden interactions with clients. Previous research has indicated that EI is positively related to the quality of social interactions (e.g., Lopes et al., 2004). As emotions convey information about inner states, thoughts, and intentions (see Keltner & Haidt, 1999), the accurate appraisal of others’ emotions may help employees to act successfully in their social interactions with clients. For this reason, I examined the relation between EI and nonverbal dominance, which can be considered to be an adaptive strategy of emotion appraisal. As expected, emotionally intelligent people, especially those high in the ability to understand emotions, relied more strongly on the nonverbal part of emotion-relevant information when appraising others’ emotional states than people low on EI.
In Chapter 3, I take up existing gaps in research on the indirect effects of EI on work-related outcomes. Understanding the relation between teacher EI and student misconduct as an indicator of poor job performance for teachers was the goal of the research that is presented in this chapter. The results showed that teachers’ self-perceived EI was negatively related to student misconduct and that this relation was mediated by teachers’ tendency to attend to student needs. Furthermore, I investigated processes that may underlie the relation between teachers’ perceived abilities to appraise emotions and burnout. Results showed that both an intrapersonal (i.e., proactive coping) and an interpersonal process (i.e., attending to student needs) were mediators of the relation between the self-perceived ability to appraise one’s own emotions and burnout as well as between the self-perceived ability to appraise others’ emotions and burnout.
Chapter 4 concerns the relevance of EI in the context of personnel selection. Although a large number of studies have pointed to the potential of EI in personnel selection, research in real-life selection contexts has been scarce so far. Thus, the aim of the study that is presented in this chapter was to examine whether the EI of people who applied for the job of a flight attendant would predict aptitude ratings. There was a trend toward a positive direct effect of applicants’ ability to perceive emotions on the aptitude ratings. Furthermore, applicants’ abilities to understand and regulate emotions exerted indirect effects on the aptitude ratings through observer ratings on their job-relevant competencies.
An integration of and a conclusion about my research on EI in the context of working with people is shown in Chapter 5. The main research findings are summarized by providing answers to the central research questions of my dissertation. In the overall discussion, I take up the processes that seem to underlie the effects of EI on job performance and burnout and elaborate on the transferability of these processes to other professions. Furthermore, I point to the uniqueness of the EI facet emotion understanding and discuss possible maladaptive effects of an exaggerated EI. Following the general limitations and suggestions for future research, practical implications with regard to EI training and personnel selection are illustrated and an overall conclusion is drawn.
GND Keywords: Gefühl ; Intelligenz ; Personalwesen ; Online-Publikation; Gefühl ; Intelligenz ; Arbeitswelt ; Online-Publikation
DDC Classification: 150 Psychology  
RVK Classification: CW 2000     CW 5800   
Type: Doctoralthesis
URI: https://fis.uni-bamberg.de/handle/uniba/6469
Year of publication: 6. November 2014

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