Industrial Psychiatry Journal

: 2013  |  Volume : 22  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 97--99

Emotional intelligence and organizational effectiveness

Kalpana Srivastava 
 Department of Psychiatry, Armed Forces Medical College, Pune, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Kalpana Srivastava
Department of Psychiatry, Armed Forces Medical College, Pune - 411 040, Maharashtra

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Srivastava K. Emotional intelligence and organizational effectiveness.Ind Psychiatry J 2013;22:97-99

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Srivastava K. Emotional intelligence and organizational effectiveness. Ind Psychiatry J [serial online] 2013 [cited 2020 Nov 27 ];22:97-99
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Our emotional mind will harness the rational mind to its purposes, for our feelings and reactions-rationalizations-justifying them in terms of the present moment, without realizing the influence of our emotional memory.

-Goleman. [1]

As early as in 1920, Professor Thorndike in his theory of "social intelligence" defined it as the "ability to understand and manage men and women, boys and girls, to act wisely in human relations." [2] Further attempts to define emotional intelligence (EI) in 1940 found that there are two types of intelligence, "intellective" and "nonintellective," under the theory of intelligence quotient. However, EI was always a part of holistic definition of intelligence. Wechsler [3] in his definition of intelligence identified EI as "the global capacity of the individual to deal effectively with his environment." The theory proposed by Gardner and Qualter [4] of multiple intelligences proposed interpersonal intelligence and intrapersonal intelligence. Interpersonal intelligence is the ability to understand the perception and desires of other people whereas in intrapersonal intelligence, it is the capability to control and understand oneself. This ability helps in building effective work environment.

Emotional intelligence can best be described as the ability to monitor one's own and other people's emotions, to discriminate between different emotions and label them appropriately, and to use emotional information to guide thinking and behavior. Salovey et al. have proposed three models of EI. The "ability model," focuses on the individual's ability to process emotional information and use it to navigate the social environment. [5] The "trait model" as developed by Konstantin Vasily Petrides, "encompasses behavioral dispositions and self-perceived abilities and is measured through self-report." [6] The "mixed model" is a combination of both ability and trait EI. It defines EI as an array of skills and characteristics that drive leadership performance, as proposed by Goleman. [7] There was further addition to the concept of EI as enumerated by Salovey et al. For them, EI concerned the way in which an individual processes information about emotion and emotional responses. These findings pointed to different ways in which competencies such as empathy, learned optimism, and self-control contributed to important outcomes in the family, the workplace, and other life arenas.

Recently, EI has been noted to be implied across the workplace having an essential component in determining the leadership effectiveness mainly when leaders are dealing with teams in the workplace. The application of EI gained significance when Goleman [8] with his research in this area emphasized its role in organizations and also showed increasing attention on EI. Overall EI leaders inspire team members to work efficiently in order to achieve organizational goal. There had been lack of study on relations between EI and its positive impact on the corporate world.


The emphasis on trait aspect and empathy in understanding EI cannot be denied. Trait model of EI incorporates factors of personality into an overall construct, which includes variables such as empathy and well-being. [9] Researchers have noted specific work-based measures of EI. [10],[11] Wong and Law [12] conceptualized EI as containing four distinct dimensions: Self-emotional appraisal, others' emotional appraisal (OEA), regulation of emotion (ROE), and use of emotion (UOE).

Self-emotional appraisal concerns an individual's capacity to understand his/her emotions and to be able to exhibit these emotions. The self-appraisal in the service industry is always necessitated as there is high amount of interaction with customers in service jobs. [13] It is desirable to understand one's emotions before understanding others' emotions. OEA relates to an individual's ability to identify and understand the emotions of people around them. Lopes et al. [14] believe that the ability to perceive and understand emotions has a direct influence on social interactions, as it helps individuals interpret internal and social cues. ROE is an individual's ability to manage his or her emotions. Côté and Miners [15] noted that the ROEs influences the quality of social relationships, and in service jobs, this can affect task performance when dealing with customers. Finally, UOE refers to the ability of individuals to utilize their emotions by aligning emotions with productive activities. Creating positive emotions and having expectations are an integral component of customer care. [16] Therefore, it is important for service employees to effectively generate emotions to create a positive service environment that contributes to customer satisfaction and future loyalty. [17] Researchers have found the need of service employees to manage their emotions in order to manage emotions of the customers, and this is applicable across education industry to the hospitality industry. [18],[19],[20]

 Leadership and Emotional Intelligence: A Synthesis

The leader has a direct influence on the culture of work environment. Studies have found the impact of leader on the behavior of employees. [21] However, it is still a major question to what extent do leaders and managers have a positive influence on their employees and on functions of organizations. The [Figure 1] illustrates organizational factors that are interrelated. Each of these factors influences emotional intelligence. At the same time, the HR functions of recruitment and selection, training and development, and management performance have a strong impact on leadership. The leadership has a direct influence on the extent to which HR functions are effective in helping to increase the EI of organizational members. The high level of EI helps in identifying talents, delegation of roles accordingly and resolving the conflict amicably. The review of literature revealed mechanisms of EI and its synthesis with leadership. [22] The mechanism includes the qualities given as under:{Figure 1}

Perception of others emotions: Accurate social perception allows individuals to gain considerable knowledge of other group members' attitudes, goals, and interests, which should enable influence by identifying, understanding, and addressing members' unstated needs and creating goals that might be accepted.Understanding of others emotions: EI members may improve the performance of their group. The ability to orchestrate one's emotions as per the need of the group helps in accomplishment of the group task, which in turn influences group performance.Manage emotions: The effective management of emotions enables a member to influence the group by changing other members' emotional reactions to particular courses of action; these influencers draw upon past experience and apply on them.


Role of EI in achieving organizational effectiveness is very significant, and it is reiterated in studies carried out across the globe. However, assessment and predictability of EI leading to success is still a very important issue to be addressed. Available literature suggests that facets of EI align well within the framework of achieving goals of the organization and ultimately leading to job satisfaction.


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