Academic journal article Public Personnel Management

The Relation between Managers' Emotional Intelligence and the Organizational Climate They Create

Academic journal article Public Personnel Management

The Relation between Managers' Emotional Intelligence and the Organizational Climate They Create

Article excerpt

Emotional intelligence (EI) refers to understanding and recognition of oneself and others-abilities, perception and attitudes. This mental ability has an important influence on the other abilities of a manager, especially leadership. In this article, I consider the important issue of whether and to what extent a manager's EI affects organizational climate (OC).

OC can be understood to be the perceptions of the outward features of an organization's culture. That is, employees' perceptions and attitudes toward their organization at a given time is the organization's climate. Researchers believe that the behavior of a manager has a great influence on staff's perceptions and attitudes that create OC. (1) Great OC improves the efficiency of an organization and decreases costs of turnover and problems with staff.

On the other hand, behavior results from emotions and perceptions, (2) so EI is reflected in a manager's behavior. For this reason, this research analyzed the relationship between El of managers and OC.

This article addresses two gaps in the literature: First it presents definition of OC and its association with leadership. Second, the EI of managers is directly assessed, and the association of managers' EI with OC is studied.

Organizational Climate

Researchers believe that OC is a snapshot of the surface features of the culture resulting from a workforce's attitudes and perceptions at a given point in time. A useful metaphor is to consider culture and climate as, respectively, the invisible and visible portions of an iceberg. (3)

OC has been defined as a "set of characteristics that describe an organization and that (a) distinguish it from other organizations, (b) are relatively enduring over time, and (c) influence the behavior of people in the organization" (Forehand & Gilmer, 1964, 362). (4) Stated plainly, an employee answering the question "What is it like to work here?" will offer a description of OC (5).

On the other hand, influencing OC is believed to be a function of leadership. (6) For example, researchers have revealed strong associations between OC and leaders' ability to arouse motivation by appealing to human needs for achievement, affiliation, and power. (7) Studies (8) show that a great OC decreases cost of turnover and employees' resistance to change and also improves quality, creativity, and the accepting risks, all of which lead to the loyalty of customers.

Goleman and his colleagues' research on private organizations (9) shows that OC influences one third of return and two thirds of the return is influenced by economic situations and competitive dynamics. Figure 1 shows that between 1990 and 200, the 100 U.S. publicly traded companies rated as the best palaces to work realized the highest returns as measured by the S&P 500 Index. Over the decade shown, the 100 best workplaces returns were about 70% higher than other companies. When the chart was created, the prediction was that stock returns would 500% higher than other companies by 2002. (10)

The Relationship Between Organizational Climate and Leadership

Lyman (11) has found that employees' feeling about their workplace is the principal determinant of whether an organization is a great place to work, topping policies, organizational programs, financial situation, and value of stock. She also identified the following three components of employee feelings about the place where they work:

* Feelings about management: An employee should trust the people for whom he or she works.

* Feeling about the job: An employee should have pride in what he or she does.

* Feelings about other employees: An employee should enjoy the people with whom he or she works.


More than three decades of research by SixSecond Consulting Group (12) shows that more than 70% of employees' perceptions of OC is directly shaped by managers' style of leadership and behavior. …

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