Academic journal article Journal of International Business Research

Applying Emotional Intelligence (EQ-I) in the Workplace: Vital to Global Business Success

Academic journal article Journal of International Business Research

Applying Emotional Intelligence (EQ-I) in the Workplace: Vital to Global Business Success

Article excerpt


Global businesses operate in a unique environment. Its influence spans across national and cultural borders on a daily basis. As a result, the success of organizational leadership in these global operations presents extra challenges that may not be found when competing in a local environment.

Good leadership requires a mix of knowledge, skills and abilities (KSA's). However, global business leaders need a special mix of KSA's. Knowledge can be acquired. It generally focuses on the content of the business and related markets or environments it operates in and with. Skills as a business leader are also learned. Skills are usually based on experience and the application of lessons learned. Abilities may be both innate and learned. They relate to the use of one's understanding of people, environments and personality.

Success should be more than a short-term line item for global operations. Global business should then perceive success as a long-term investment in personnel, resources, and commitment. While capital investments are important, it is the human factor that will ultimately underscore and sustain longevity for global business. Therefore, the ongoing development of emotional intelligence (EQ) is the foundation to achieving global business success.


Why is it that not all intelligent people succeed? Moreover, what accounts for the instances wherein people of average intelligence succeed when their more intelligent counterparts fall short? The answer comes in the form of emotional intelligence.

In the last two decades there has been a compelling shift in the understanding of what makes for success. Organizational researchers have come to recognize an overwhelming need for, and the importance of understanding the human facet of the organization; most especially in global operations. Moreover, before a leader can understand and effectively lead others, the leader must first understand and be comfortable with him or herself.

Depending on the source reviewed, emotional intelligence is also denoted as EQ or EI. In this paper, we refer to emotional intelligence primarily as EQ. EQ-i is used when the emotional intelligence tool is referred to. Regardless though of how it is referred to, emotional intelligence (EQ) is concerned with understanding oneself and others, relating to people, and adapting to and coping with the immediate surroundings to be more successful in dealing with environmental demands. EQ is a dynamic tool which continues changing with time, perspective, individual or environment.

Exercising emotional intelligence is then the effective management of self and the propensity for being socially adept. Simply put, EQ looks at how well one effectuates action in any given immediate situation. To measure an individual's EQ is tantamount to the gauging a person's common sense. Fundamentally, EQ helps to identify and explain how well one navigates the people element of the world.

In the 1920s, Thorndike introduced the concept of "social intelligence." This was explored less rigorously than IQ or Personality Type until the 1980's when Gardner wrote about the possibility of "multiple intelligences" and the propensity for "personal intelligence." Around the same time, Bar-On contributed with the "emotional quotient" or "EQ" by developing the theoretical framework for an "Emotional Quotient Inventory" (EQ-i) which, for the first time, allowed for the quantitative measurement of EQ scales. In 1990, Salovey and Mayer coined the phrase "emotional intelligence" which was the first conceptualized of the idea itself. Then, the concept of Emotional Intelligence (EQ) was popularized largely by Goleman (1995) in his publication of the same name.

It was Daniel Goleman who established the link between EQ and leadership. He first described this relationship with his Primal Leadership Model (2002). …

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