Academic journal article Journal of Emerging Trends in Educational Research and Policy Studies

Age: A Determinant of Management's Emotional Intelligence Competency

Academic journal article Journal of Emerging Trends in Educational Research and Policy Studies

Age: A Determinant of Management's Emotional Intelligence Competency

Article excerpt

Abstract

Emotional intelligence (EI) is the capacity of an individual to identify his/her own emotions and to become sensitive to those that he/she perceives from the environment and the circle of people he/she is interacting with. It is a particular set of abilities and knowledge-building attitudes. EI enables managers to tap into their emotions as a source of energy to foster intrapersonal and interpersonal understanding. EI is increasingly being emphasized as a leader attribute that managers require to improve the performance of their organizations. The objectives of this study were; to determine the influence of age on management's EI and to establish the moderating effects of gender and managerial experience on the relationship between age and management's EI. A survey research design was used for this study. The institutions studied were selected using stratified random sampling technique. The three strata considered were primary schools, secondary schools, and colleges/tertiary institutions. From each institution sampled, the respondent was the head of the institution. Apart from the data from the managers, each manager was also rated by four subordinates called raters. Emotional Competency Profiler (ECP) was used to determine the EI of the managers. Age was taken as the independent variable while EI was identified as the dependent variable. Manager's gender and managerial experience were considered as the moderating factors. Data was analyzed statistically using SPSS. Both descriptive and inferential statistics were carried out and hypotheses tested. Results showed that the managers exhibited moderate levels of EI. There was a significant positive linear relationship between age and EI (R2=0.67, F=28.18. t=12.9, p=0.000, β=0.843). It was also observed that the contextual factors had mild moderating effects on the relationship between age of the manager and EI that was not statistically significant. It was therefore concluded age does have a bearing on the EI competency of the manager with older people posting higher EI levels.

Keywords: emotional intelligence, age, gender, experience, emotional competency, profiler.

INTRODUCTION

In recent years, emotional intelligence (EI) has been a popular topic of debate in the field of management. It has been praised as a successful predictor of job performance and leadership ability. Goleman (1998) asserts that emotional intelligence, not IQ, predicts workplace success and who transpires as a leader. The common characteristic that binds those who most influenced our histories, our societies, our cultural traditions, and civilizations is emotion. Throughout history and in cultures around the world, the leader is the one to whom others look for assurance and clarity when threatened with uncertainty or harm Goleman, Boyatzis, & McKee, (2002). These leaders influence, inspire, initiate, communicate, create, adapt, achieve, empathize, support and serve. They are highly selfconfident and optimistic individuals, who possess acute organizational awareness and political adeptness. All of these are EI competencies that guide leadership behaviour and all can be developed over time through accurate self-assessment, reflection and experience (Goleman, 1998). EI enables managers to take better decisions and enjoy better relations in organizations (Reed, 2005).Emotional intelligence is a person's ability to recognize personal feelings and those of others and to manage emotions within themselves and in their relationships with others. The concept of emotional intelligence has roots in social intelligence developed by Thorndike (1990) who proposed multiple forms of intelligence including abstract, mechanical and social intelligence. Mayer and Salovey (1997) characterize EI as the ability to understand people and deal with people. One skill frequently cited in the literature on leadership as being necessary in a variety of situations is the interpersonal and intrapersonal skills associated with Emotional Intelligence (Dulewicz, and Higgs, 2003). …

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