Linking Emotional Intelligence and Performance at Work: Current Research Evidence with Individuals and Groups

Linking Emotional Intelligence and Performance at Work: Current Research Evidence with Individuals and Groups

Linking Emotional Intelligence and Performance at Work: Current Research Evidence with Individuals and Groups

Linking Emotional Intelligence and Performance at Work: Current Research Evidence with Individuals and Groups

Synopsis

In this edited volume, leading edge researchers discuss the link between Emotional Intelligence (EI) and workplace performance. Contributors from many areas such as social science, management (including organizational practitioners), and psychologists have come together to develop a better understanding of how EI can influence work performance, and whether research supports it.

A unique feature of this book is that it integrates the work of social scientists and organizational practitioners. Their mutual interests in EI provide a unique opportunity for basic and applied research and practices to learn from one another in order to continually refine and advance knowledge on EI. The primary audience for this book is researchers, teachers, and students of psychology, management, and organizational behavior. Due to its clear practical applications to the workplace, it will also be of interest to organizational consultants and human resource practitioners.

Excerpt

It is a common belief that workers should leave their emotions at the door when they walk into work. In the last two decades, however, research has revealed that this practice may not be possible or desirable. Reports about the unavoidable influence of emotion on behavior and decision making have emerged from a variety of academic disciplines including psychology (e.g., Lewis & Haviland-Jones, 2000), organizational behavior (e.g., Ashforth & Humphrey, 1995; Martin, Knopoff, & Beckman, 1998), sociology (e.g., Ollilainen, 2000), anthropology (e.g., Levy, 1984) and neuroscience (e.g., Damasio, 1994). These scholars have argued that emotion provides a unique source of information about the environment and that it unavoidably informs thoughts and actions. Research by Antonio Damasio, Head of the Department of Neurology at the University of Iowa College of Medicine, shows that emotion is an adaptive response and part of the process of normal reasoning and decision making; his research suggests that emotion information helps the brain make decisions and establish priorities and is critical to learning and memory (Damasio, 1994, 1999).

The suggestion that individuals differ in their ability to perceive, understand, and use emotion as a source of information was first proposed by psychologists Peter Salovey and Jack Mayer (1990). They labeled this ability emotional intelligence (EI) and formally defined it as involving (a) the ability to perceive, appraise, and express emotion accurately; (b) the ability to access and generate feelings when they facilitate cognition; (c) the ability to understand affect-laden information and make use of emotional knowl-

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