Academic journal article International Journal of Business

The Relationship between Cultural Intelligence, Emotional Intelligence, and Student Performance

Academic journal article International Journal of Business

The Relationship between Cultural Intelligence, Emotional Intelligence, and Student Performance

Article excerpt


One factor that can affect individual performance is intelligence whose concept has been accepted since the early 20th century and has been gaining ever-increasing currency since its inception. Initially, the concept of intelligence was known only as IQ until Thorndike (1936) introduced an alternative consisting of abstract, mechanical, and social elements. The third aspect, social intelligence (SI), became a concern to many scholars and was later divided into two variables. The first is the interpersonal aspect within which an individual's intelligence, through interaction with others, is affected by his/her mood, temperament, motivation, and intentions. The other aspect is intrapersonal in nature focusing on how well someone understands him/herself and how he/she expresses his/her feelings (Gardner, 2002; Wong and Law, 2002). The concept of Emotional Intelligence (EI), which subsequently emerged as part of SI, was characterized by Goleman (1995) as the ability to control impulses and delay gratification, regulate mood, empathize and experience hope. More recently, the concept of Cultural Intelligence (CQ), defined as "an individual's capability to function and manage effectively in culturally diverse settings' (Ang et al., 2007), has emerged as a direct response to the era of globalization.

These various concepts of intelligence have attracted the attention of scholars both in terms of their influence as well as the instruments used to measure them. However, research into the relationship between different forms of intelligence is still limited in scope because each possesses its own unique character. However, the need for a model that may explain the link between intelligence remains. This is because, by knowing the relationship between different forms of intelligence, a more in-depth understanding can be achieved (Crowne, 2009). In addition, knowing the relationship between contrasting concepts of intelligence, can exploit opportunities to acquire new knowledge (Crowne, 2009). Ultimately, the fruits of this research, related to the relationship between CQ and EI, can be used as a basis to determine how such a relationship can affect a person's performance.

Based on the above, there is a need for further research to be undertaken into the relationship between differing forms of intelligence. Crowne (2009) conducted a study which produced a model describing the relationship between SI, EI, and CQ. However, the proposed model was arrived at exclusively through study of the relevant literature and its validity remains to be confirmed through empirical study. Therefore, the objectives of this study are to investigate empirical evidence regarding the relationship between (1) CQ and EI, including their various components, (2) students' experience of applying their CQ and EI when traveling abroad, and (3) the role of students' CQ and EI in their academic performance.


A. Emotional Intelligence

After the emergence of SI concepts, others related to human intelligence began to develop. One commanding the attention of scholars is related to the concept of EI, a sub-element of SI (Salovey and Mayer, 1990). Since its emergence, the concept of EI has continued to evolve, thereby producing a wide range of contrasting opinions (Cartwright and Pappas, 2008). Salovey and Mayer (1990) argued that EI forms part of social intelligence involving the ability to understand and control one's own emotions and monitor those of others in order to guide one's thoughts and actions. Meanwhile, Goleman (1996) regarded EI as a set of skills that affect a person's ability to perform, work in groups and adapt, as and when necessary, in doing so. In line with this, Salovey and Pizarro (2003) argued that EI constitutes the ability to perceive, express, understand, use, and regulate emotions as a means of adapting and, in doing so, improving performance. In this study, the definition used is that of Mayer and Salovey (1997), namely, the ability to understand, assess, express, and regulate emotion and knowledge related to emotions. …

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